• Definition

    Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues.

    Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.

    Alternative Names

    Fibromyositis; Fibrositis

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    The cause is unknown. Possible causes or triggers of fibromyalgia include:

    • Physical or emotional trauma
    • Abnormal pain response - areas in the brain that are responsible for pain may react differently in fibromyalgia patients
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Infection, such as a virus, although none has been identified

    Fibromyalgia is most common among women aged 20 to 50.

    The following conditions may be seen with fibromyalgia or mimic its symptoms:

    • Chronic neck or back pain
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome
    • Depression
    • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
    • Lyme disease
    • Sleep disorders