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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a common condition that causes widespread stiffness, aches and pain in muscles throughout the body. It can also cause extreme tiredness, which can interfere with carrying out normal activities. In some people the symptoms may come and go, while others …
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary from person to person and can be mild to severe. The most common symptom is widespread aches and pains in the muscles in the back, neck and shoulders. If you have fibromyalgia you may have certain areas on your …
What causes fibromyalgia?
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is not known. It can sometimes begin after physical trauma, such as a car accident or surgery, or after a having an infection, depression or experiencing severe stress. It is thought that these events change the way your body's …
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
There is no specific test that can be used to identify fibromyalgia. Your doctor will usually make a diagnosis based on your symptoms and by assessing if you have pain in the 18 'tender spots'. Fibromyalgia is usually diagnosed after other likely conditions …
How is fibromyalgia treated?
There is no cure for fibromyalgia. Treatment for the condition aims to relieve pain and fatigue and usually involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Common lifestyle treatments may include reducing stress, setting a regular sleep pattern and …
Who gets fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia can affect all types of people, but women between 30 and 60 years of age are the most likely to develop the condition. You are also more likely to develop fibromyalgia if you have a family member with the condition or have other conditions, such as …
What are 'tender points'?
In fibromyalgia, there are certain areas on the body that become very tender. These areas are called tender points and generally appear in 18 places on the body. The sites for tender spots include the neck, shoulder, chest, hip, elbows and knees.
Is fibromyalgia serious?
Fibromyalgia is a long-term disorder, but does not usually get worse over time. However, in severe cases the pain and tiredness associated with the condition can make it hard to carry out normal daily activities.
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 14 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Votes: 425 (Click smiley face below left to rate)