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Fibromyalgia can affect many parts of the body. The primary physical symptom of fibromyalgia is pain, which is typically felt in many areas of the body. When diagnosing fibromyalgia, doctors ask about pain in different areas, including the neck, shoulders, chest, waist, hips, elbows, and knees.
People who have fibromyalgia frequently complain of a variety of symptoms that affect other parts of the body. For instance, headaches are a common problem. Some people with fibromyalgia develop gastrointestinal problems in the form of irritable bowel syndrome. Others say they have numb or tingling extremities. Still others find that their eyes and ears become sensitive to bright lights and loud noises. Fibromyalgia seems to affect the whole body, from head to toe.
If you have fibromyalgia, your body is one big target. You can have symptoms from your head (persistent headaches) to your toes (restless leg syndrome is a common complication). However, one of the defining features of fibromyalgia is pain in many places on the body, including:
- the neck
- the upper chest
- the upper back and shoulders
- the elbows
- the knees
To diagnose fibromyalgia, doctors ask about 19 such spots on the body in all. If you have a number of them for at least three months, your doctor may suspect that you have fibromyalgia.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.