1 AnswerThe pain of fibromyalgia (FM) is profound, chronic and widespread. It can migrate to all parts of the body and vary in intensity. FM pain has been described as stabbing and shooting pain, with deep muscular aching, throbbing and twitching. Neurological complaints such as numbness, tingling and burning in the extremities are often present and add to the discomfort of the person with fibromyalgia. The severity of the pain and stiffness is often worse in the morning. Aggravating factors that affect pain include cold/humid weather, non-restorative sleep, physical and mental fatigue, excessive physical activity, physical inactivity, anxiety and stress.
1 AnswerIf you ask any person with fibromyalgia (FM) what fibromyalgia is, their response would be pain; from the top of their head to the end of their toes. It's pain that "waxes and wanes" from day to day, and persists even with the use of scientifically accepted medical treatments. The pain experience is described as deep muscular aching, shooting, throbbing, stabbing, pounding and at times it is unbearable. People with FM do not sleep well, waking up feeling like they have been hit by a "Mack truck," with morning stiffness or spasticity that makes it difficult to move. Repetitive movement seems to accentuate the pain and forces many people with FM to severely limit their activities, including exercise routines. This lack of exercise results in people becoming physically unfit, causing their FM symptoms to become more severe. The other major complaint is fatigue so severe that people have a difficult time performing everyday tasks, enjoying hobbies, staying employed or taking part in their children's activities. People may feel as though their arms and legs are weighed down by cement and their bodies may feel so drained of energy that every task is a major effort.
2 AnswersFibromyalgia is more than "just pain." For some people with fibromyalgia, other symptoms are just as, or more, disabling. For example:
- Poor sleep affects four in five people with fibromyalgia, with poor sleep also linked to the increase of pain.
- Half of those with fibromyalgia experience fibro fog, a term used for memory problems and confusion. These symptoms have been linked to more severe fibromyalgia pain, fatigue, and stiffness.
- Two in three people with fibromyalgia experience problems with depression or anxiety.
- Two in five people with fibromyalgia have problems with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or bloating.
- Urinary problems, bladder and genital pain, and sexual dysfunction may also occur in fibromyalgia.
- Pain, poor sleep, fatigue, and fibro fog are the most important symptoms people with fibromyalgia want to have treated.
1 AnswerBe sure your doctor understands your full range of fibromyalgia symptoms. Although many, most, or all of them may be part of your fibromyalgia, many of the same difficulties can occur with other health conditions.
It's important to discuss each of the symptoms you experience with your doctor, for two reasons. First, although each of these symptoms is common in fibromyalgia, each can also occur as the result of other medical conditions. Your doctor may refer to these symptoms as non-specific, meaning that you can experience them with fibromyalgia, as well as with a wide variety of other health conditions. Therefore, it's important to make sure you don't have another illness before treating your symptoms as part of fibromyalgia. Second, your doctor will want to tailor your individual fibromyalgia treatment to target your most severe symptoms. Some treatments help a broad range of fibromyalgia symptoms; others are more effective for individual symptoms.
2 AnswersA 5-year study following fibromalgia symptoms in almost 300 women found significant improvement over time in fatigue, function, and depression. Improvement occurred after 1 year, with greater improvement over the following 4 years. So, the good news is that there's light at the end of the tunnel. The bad news is that the tunnel is long -- improvement will occur, but it's probably not going to happen overnight, after a few weeks, or even after a few months.
2 AnswersCeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered
Tracking symptoms in general is a good thing to do. It is possible that not all of your symptoms are directly related to fibromyalgia. They could be attributed to one of the conditions that seem to occur more frequently with fibromyalgia than other disorders. Knowing which symptoms belong to which disorder is something you should discuss with your doctor.
Conditions that frequently overlap with fibromyalgia are: severe headache, chronic fatigue syndrome, myofascial pain syndrome, Raynaud’s, hypothyroidism, restless leg syndrome, TMJ, teeth grinding, myofascial pain syndrome, allergy, irritable bowel or bladder syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, effects on the autonomic nervous system, and other rheumatological conditions or autoimmune disorders.
Once you track symptoms, you can start to identify what is aggravating them.
1 AnswerCeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answeredThe presence of jaw pain is now being considered in the widespread pain index (WPI) for the new proposed diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia.
Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) most popularly known as TMJ, and bruxism (teeth grinding) are two common sources of jaw pain, and both can be perpetuators of headaches, which is part of the symptoms severity score in the proposed criteria. Both can be attributed to the presence of myofascial trigger points.
2 AnswersJacob Teitelbaum, Integrative Medicine, answered
Yes. It is a critical part of this process, and if somebody is able to get a good night's sleep without treatment, then they probably do not have ME/CFS/fibromyalgia. Sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are also far more common in these conditions.
2 AnswersHonor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary from one person to another. The hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic, body-wide pain. Many other symptoms are associated with fibromyalgia, and no two patients have precisely the same combination. Other common symptoms include:
- poor concentration and attention span
- irritable bowel syndrome
- sensitivity to bright lights, loud noises, and temperature changes
- restless leg syndrome
2 AnswersMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredFibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that can affect people differently, so it's possible that one person's fibromyalgia symptoms would be different from another person's. That said, the symptoms used to diagnose fibromyalgia are pain in multiple areas of the body that has lasted for three months or more. Doctors also look at how much people are bothered by related symptoms, including fatigue, poor sleep and inability to think clearly.
Other common signs of fibromyalgia include migraine headaches and symptoms that overlap with other conditions, such as irritable bowel or bladder, restless legs syndrome, depression, anxiety, dizziness and loss of coordination.