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What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue (feeling tired). People with fibromyalgia have "tender points" on the body. Tender points are specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs which hurt when pressure is put on them.
People with fibromyalgia may also have other symptoms, such as:
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown. There may be a number of factors involved. Fibromyalgia has been linked to:
Fibromyalgia can also occur on its
Some scientists think that a gene or genes might be involved in fibromyalgia. The genes could make a person react strongly to things that other people would not find painful.
Who Is Affected by Fibromyalgia?
Scientists estimate that fibromyalgia affects 5 million Americans 18 or older. Between 80 and 90 percent of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women. However, men and children also can have the disorder. Most people are diagnosed during middle age.
People with certain other diseases may be more likely to have fibromyalgia. These diseases include:
Women who have a family member with
fibromyalgia may be more likely to have fibromyalgia themselves.
How Is Fibromyalgia Treated?
Fibromyalgia can be hard to treat. It's important to find a doctor who is familiar with the disorder and its treatment. Many family physicians, general internists, or rheumatologists can treat fibromyalgia. Rheumatologists are doctors who specialize in arthritis and other conditions that affect the joints or soft tissues.
Fibromyalgia treatment often requires a team approach. The team may include your doctor, a physical therapist, and possibly other health care providers. A pain or rheumatology clinic can be a good place to get treatment.
What Can I Do to Try to Feel Better?
There are many things you can do to feel better, including:
What Research Is Being Done on Fibromyalgia?
The NIAMS sponsors research to help understand fibromyalgia and find better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent it. Researchers are studying:
Source: Information provided courtesy of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
NIAMS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history.