Fibromyalgia is an arthritis-like ailment that causes intense pain everywhere—the back, neck, arms, and legs. In fact, if there are not many areas of pain involved, then it is not typical fibromyalgia.
The severity of the pain may vary from day to day. However, in most causes, the pain is relentless, with fatigue that can be as severe and limiting as the pain itself. With fibromyalgia there is also morning stiffness, poor sleep (often, the pain awakens the sufferer), anxiety and depression, difficulty concentrating, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome with abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, urinary burning and frequency, restless legs, mouth dryness, and swelling and tingling in the hands, along with the typical trigger points over the body. For most patients with fibromyalgia, the pain and fatigue interfere with their career, their family responsibilities, and all their personal relationships. The patients’ frustration is made worse by the fact that they do not look sick or injured, so most family and friends simply do not understand why there is so much limitation and pain.