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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia: Introduction

Fibromyalgia is a common chronic pain disorder that causes widespread pain, tenderness and stiffness in the muscles and fibrous tissues throughout the body. Severe or inadequately treated fibromyalgia can be disabling in some cases and result in difficulties participating in the activities of daily living.

It is not known what exactly causes fibromyalgia. It is believed by some researchers that fibromyalgia might be due to abnormalities in the central nervous system's sensory processing system, which results in an amplification or abnormal perception of pain. Genetic factors may increase the risk of developing fibromyalgia, and it is believed that some cases are triggered by an injury or illness. Fibromyalgia is most common in women, but can occur in both sexes and in all age groups and ethnic populations.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose because there is no specific test to detect it. Making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia includes performing a complete evaluation that includes a medical history, including symptoms, and physical examination. This includes a neurological examination. A neurological exam evaluates the brain and nerves and such functions as level of consciousness, reflexes, sensation, movement, balance, coordination, vision, and hearing. This can help to differentiate between a fibromyalgia and other conditions, such as peripheral neuropathy.

Other tests and assessments may be done to rule-out other conditions with similar symptoms. Fibromyalgia is diagnosed based on specific symptom criteria. These include widespread pain throughout the body for at least three months and tenderness and pain in at least 11 of 18 specific tender points of the body. For more information on tender points and other symptoms, refer to treatment of fibromyalgia.

It is possible that a diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be missed or delayed because symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other conditions and diseases, such as depression, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic fatigue syndrome. For more information on diseases and conditions that can mimic fibromyalgia, refer to misdiagnosis of fibromyalgia.

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but compliance with a good treatment plan can help to control symptoms of fibromyalgia to a degree that allows a person to live a productive, active life. Treatment plans include medications and other therapies. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of fibromyalgia. ...more »

Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia, once called fibrositis, is a condition affecting the muscles or joints that is often difficult to diagnose. It is one of a group of conditions with vague symptoms and may need to be distinguished from chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, Type 2 diabetes, depression, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, or various other conditions. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome share many common characteristics, and may be misdiagnosed as each other, or both misdiagnosed as depression. ...more »

Fibromyalgia: Symptoms

People who have fibromyalgia can experience a wide variety of symptoms, and the types and severity of symptoms can vary between individuals. However, fibromyalgia is marked by widespread pain, tenderness and stiffness in the muscles and fibrous tissues throughout the body for at least three months and tenderness and pain in at least 11 of 18 specific tender points of ...more symptoms »

Fibromyalgia: Treatments

The most effective treatment plan for fibromyalgia uses a multifaceted approach. Treatment plans are also individualized to best address the severity of fibromyalgia, the patient's age, lifestyle, medical history and other factors.

Medications commonly used to treat fibromyalgia include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. These include ...more treatments »

Fibromyalgia: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of fibromyalgia may be overlooked or delayed because some physicians and providers are not familiar with the disorder, and because it can be difficult to make a diagnosis. In addition, some symptoms, such as widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, numbness, and headache can mimic symptoms of other conditions. These include chronic fatigue ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Treatments for Fibromyalgia

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Fibromyalgia:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia: Related Patient Stories

Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly beneficial for Fibromyalgia may include:

Curable Types of Fibromyalgia

Possibly curable types of Fibromyalgia include:

Rare Types of Fibromyalgia:

Rare types of Fibromyalgia include:

Diagnostic Tests for Fibromyalgia

Test for Fibromyalgia in your own home

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  • American College of Rheumatology (ACR) list of tender point sites
  • more tests...»

Fibromyalgia: Complications

Read more about complications of Fibromyalgia.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

Read more about causes of Fibromyalgia.

More information about causes of Fibromyalgia:

Disease Topics Related To Fibromyalgia

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Fibromyalgia:

Fibromyalgia: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Misdiagnosis and Fibromyalgia

Cluster of diseases with difficult diagnosis issues: There is a well-known list of medical conditions that are all somewhat difficult to diagnose, and all can present in a variety...read more »

Leg cramps at night a classic sign: The symptom of having leg muscle cramps, particularly at night, is a classic sign of undiagnosed diabetes. However, there are also various other causes. See causes of...read more »

Pituitary conditions often undiagnosed cause of symptoms: There are a variety of symptoms that can be caused by a pituitary disorder (see ...read more »

Vitamin B12 deficiency under-diagnosed: The condition of Vitamin B12 deficiency is a possible misdiagnosis of various conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (see symptoms of multiple sclerosis). See symptoms of...read more »

Fibromyalgia: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Latest Treatments for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia: Animations

Research about Fibromyalgia

Visit our research pages for current research about Fibromyalgia treatments.

Clinical Trials for Fibromyalgia

The US based website ClinicalTrials.gov lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on ClinicalTrials.gov for Fibromyalgia include:

Statistics for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia: Broader Related Topics

Fibromyalgia Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Fibromyalgia, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Article Excerpts about Fibromyalgia

Questions and Answers About Fibromyalgia: NIAMS (Excerpt)

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points. "Tender points" refers to tenderness that occurs in precise, localized areas, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. People with this syndrome may also experience sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and other symptoms. (Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Fibromyalgia: NIAMS)

Questions and Answers About Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases: NIAMS (Excerpt)

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes pain and stiffness throughout the tissues that support and move the bones and joints. Pain and localized tender points occur in the muscles and tendons, particularly those of the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. Patients may experience widespread pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. (Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases: NIAMS)

Fibromyalgia Research Challenges and Opportunities: NIAMS (Excerpt)

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas of the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips called "tender points." People with this syndrome may also experience sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and other symptoms. (Source: excerpt from Fibromyalgia Research Challenges and Opportunities: NIAMS)

Definitions of Fibromyalgia:

Inflammation of white fibrous tissues (especially muscle sheaths) - (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Ophanet, a consortium of European partners, currently defines a condition rare when it affects 1 person per 2,000. They list Fibromyalgia as a "rare disease".
Source - Orphanet

 

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