Fibromyalgia


This site contains reliable information from National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and true stories from people with fibromyalgia.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points.

Although fibromyalgia is often considered an arthritis-related condition, it is not truly a form of arthritis (a disease of the joints) because it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues. Like arthritis, however, fibromyalgia can cause significant pain and fatigue, and it can interfere with a person’s ability to carry on daily activities. Also like arthritis, fibromyalgia is considered a rheumatic condition.

You may wonder what exactly rheumatic means. Even physicians do not always agree on whether a disease is considered rheumatic.

If you look up the word in the dictionary, you’ll find it comes from the Greek word rheum, which means flux – not an explanation that gives you a better understanding.

In medicine, however, the term rheumatic means a medical condition that impairs the joints and/or soft tissues and causes chronic pain.

 

 

 

The word fibromyalgia comes from the Latin term for fibrous tissue (fibro) and the Greek ones for muscle (myo) and pain (algia).

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Tender points are specific places on the body –

  • on the neck,
  • shoulders,
  • back,
  • hips,
  • upper and lower extremities –
  • where people with fibromyalgia feel pain in response to slight pressure.

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