Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety. Fibromyalgia can develop on its own or along with other musculoskeletal conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
The cause of this disorder is unknown. Physical or emotional trauma may play a role in development of the syndrome. Some evidence suggests that fibromyalgia patients have abnormal pain transmission responses.
It has been suggested that sleep disturbances, which are common in fibromyalgia patients, may actually cause the condition. Another theory suggests that the disorder may be associated with changes in skeletal muscle metabolism, possibly caused by decreased blood flow, which could cause chronic fatigue and weakness.
Men and women of all ages get fibromyalgia, but the disorder is most common among women aged 20 to 50.
- Body aches
- Chronic facial muscle pain or aching
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Memory difficulties and cognitive difficulties
- Multiple tender areas (muscle and joint pain) on the back of the neck, shoulders, sternum, lower back, hips, shins, elbows, knees
- Numbness and tingling
- Reduced exercise tolerance
- Sleep disturbances
- Tension or migraine headaches