What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is the second most common condition affecting your bones and muscles. Yet it's often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Its classic symptoms are widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue. There's no cure. But a combination of medication, exercise, managing your stress, and healthy habits may ease your symptoms enough that you can live a normal, active life.
Simply put, you ache all over. Common symptoms include:
- Muscle pain, burning, twitching, or tightness
- Low pain threshold or tender points
- Draining fatigue
- Trouble concentrating and remembering, called "fibro fog"
- Insomnia or not sleeping well
- Feeling nervous, worried, or depressed
Fibromyalgia can feel similar to osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. But rather than hurting in a specific area, the pain and stiffness could be throughout your body.
Other fibro symptoms can include:
- Belly pain, bloating, queasiness, constipation, and diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Dry mouth, nose, and eyes
- Sensitivity to cold, heat, light, or sound
- Peeing more often
- Numbness or tingling in your face, arms, hands, legs, or feet
Although there is no one fixed cause and most doctors believe that it's a problem with how your brain and spinal cord process pain signals from your nerves.
We do know certain conditions make you more likely to get it:
- You're a woman.
- You have another painful disease, such as arthritis, or an infection.
- You have a mood disorder, like anxiety or depression.
- You were physically or emotionally abused or have PTSD.
- You rarely exercise.
- Other family members have it.