Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on your body where slight pressure causes pain. Fibromyalgia is more common in women than in men. Previously, fibromyalgia was known by other names such as fibrositis, chronic muscle pain syndrome, psychogenic rheumatism and tension myalgias.
Signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary, depending on the weather, stress, physical activity or even the time of day...
Fatigue and sleep disturbances.
People with fibromyalgia often wake up tired and unrefreshed even though they seem to get plenty of sleep. Some studies suggest that this sleep problem is the result of a sleep disorder called alpha wave interrupted sleep pattern, a condition in which deep sleep is frequently interrupted by bursts of brain activity similar to wakefulness. So people with fibromyalgia miss the deep restorative stage of sleep. Nighttime muscle spasms in your legs and restless legs syndrome also may be associated with fibromyalgia.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating associated with IBS are common in people with fibromyalgia.
Headaches and facial pain. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have headaches and facial pain that may be related to tenderness or stiffness in their neck and shoulders.
Numbness or tingling sensations in the hands and feet (paresthesia)
Dry eyes, skin and mouth
Painful menstrual periods
See your doctor if you experience general aching or widespread pain that lasts several months and is accompanied by fatigue. Many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia mimic those of other diseases, such as low thyroid hormone production (hypothyroidism), polymyalgia rheumatica, neuropathies, lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Your doctor can help determine if one of these other conditions may be causing your symptoms.
In general, treatment for fibromyalgia includes both medication and self-care. The emphasis is on minimizing symptoms and improving general health.
Self-care is critical in the management of fibromyalgia.
Get enough sleep.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.