Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What is Fibromyalgia?

Table of Contents

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


Review Date: 02/14/2011
Reviewed By: Michael E. Makover, MD is a professor and attending in rheumatology at the New York University Medical Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)