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Fibromyalgia

Let’s Talk About Fibromyalgia

We’ve got the doctor-approved details on fibromyalgia causes, symptoms, treatments, and a jillion other facts and tips that can make life with this chronic condition easier.

    Our Pro PanelFibromyalgia

    We went to some of the nation’s top experts in fibromyalgia to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Anca Askanase, M.D. headshot.

    Anca Askanase, M.D.Rheumatologist, Director of Rheumatology Clinical Trials

    Columbia University Medical Center
    New York City
    Andrea Nicol, M.D.

    Andrea L. Nicol, M.D.Comprehensive pain management physician, Assistant Professor

    University of Kansas Medical Center
    Kansas City, KS
    Manisha Mittal, M.D.

    Manisha Mittal, M.D.Rheumatologist, rheumatology director, Graduate Medical Education

    St. Agnes Medical Center
    Fresno, CA

    Frequently Asked QuestionsFibromyalgia

    What causes fibromyalgia?

    The underlying cause of fibro is still being researched, but we do know that it is a disorder of the central nervous system. People with fibromyalgia experience pain amplification due to abnormal sensory processing. Scientists believe that both genetic and environmental factors may play a role.

    Who gets fibromyalgia?

    Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions. The condition affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. and while fibromyalgia is most prevalent in women (75% to 90% percent of the people who have fibro are female), it also occurs in men and children, and in people of all ethnic groups.

    Are there non-drug ways to treat fibromyalgia?

    Yes! There are multiple drug-free therapies that you can try that have shown to be successful in treating fibro symptoms. These include acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, and massage therapy. These modalities can be used on their own or in conjunction with medication to help people relieve their symptoms.

    What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

    The most common symptom is deep pain, which can occur anywhere on the body, and may move around from one spot to another. It frequently appears in the neck, hips, knees, and back. Morning joint stiffness is another symptom, as is depression: People with fibro are three time more likely to struggle with this mental health issue.

    Erin L. Boyle

    Erin L. Boyle

    @ErinLBoyle

    Erin L. Boyle, the senior editor at HealthCentral from 2016-2018, is a freelance medical writer and editor.