URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/fibromyalgia.html

Fibromyalgia

Also called: Fibro, FMS
On this page

Learn More

See, Play and Learn

  • No links available

Resources

Summary

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is chronic condition that causes pain all over the body, fatigue, and other symptoms. People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than people who don't have it. This is called abnormal pain perception processing.

What causes fibromyalgia?

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. Researchers think that certain things might contribute to its cause:

  • Stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents
  • Repetitive injuries
  • Illnesses such as viral infections

Sometimes, fibromyalgia can develop on its own. It can run in families, so genes may play a role in the cause.

Who is at risk for fibromyalgia?

Anyone can get fibromyalgia, but it is more common in

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Common symptoms of fibromyalgia include

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

Fibromyalgia can be hard to diagnose. It sometimes takes visits to several different health care providers to get a diagnosis. One problem is that there isn't a specific test for it. And the main symptoms, pain and fatigue, are common in many other conditions. Health care providers have to rule out other causes of the symptoms before making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. This is called making a differential diagnosis.

To make a diagnosis, your health care provider

  • Will take your medical history and ask detailed questions about your symptoms
  • Will do a physical exam
  • May do x-rays and blood tests to rule out other conditions
  • Will consider the guidelines for diagnosing fibromyalgia, which include
    • A history of widespread pain lasting more than 3 months
    • Physical symptoms including fatigue, waking unrefreshed, and cognitive (memory or thought) problems
    • The number of areas throughout the body in which you had pain in the past week

What are the treatments for fibromyalgia?

Not all health care providers are familiar with fibromyalgia and its treatment. You should see a doctor or team of healthcare providers who specialize in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is treated with a combination of treatments, which may include medicines, lifestyle changes, talk therapy, and complementary therapies:

  • Medicines
    • Over-the-counter pain relievers
    • Prescription medicines that were specifically approved to treat fibromyalgia
    • Prescription pain medicines
    • Certain antidepressants, which may help with pain or sleep problems
  • Lifestyle changes
    • Getting enough sleep
    • Getting regular physical activity. If you have not already been active, start slowly and gradually increase how much activity you get. You may want to see a physical therapist, who can help you create a plan that is right for you.
    • Learning how to manage stress
    • Eating a healthy diet
    • Learning to pace yourself. If you do too much, it can make your symptoms worse. So you need to learn to balance being active with your need for rest.
  • Talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can help you learn strategies to deal with pain, stress, and negative thoughts. If you also have depression along with your fibromyalgia, talk therapy can help with that too.
  • Complementary therapies have helped some people with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. But researchers need to do more studies to show which ones are effective. You could consider trying them, but you should check with your health care provider first. These therapies include

Start Here

Symptoms

Treatments and Therapies

Living With

Genetics

Statistics and Research

Clinical Trials

Children

Patient Handouts