Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

The signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia are defined by two primary criteria by the American College of Rheumatology.

1. A history of pain throughout the body that involves all four quadrants of the body. This means above waist and below waist, right side and left side. This pain lasts for a period of at least 3 months.

2. Pain is felt in at least 11 of 18 tender points when touched or pressed with a pressure of about 9 lb. or 4 kg.

Often Misdiagnosed

By some estimates, about 2 percent of the US population is affected by fibromyalgia.

The signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia can be aggravated by weather, stress, physical activity and / or even the time of day.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose for a few reasons. Some doctors do not believe in it. Additionally the symptoms are not clearly definable.

Many aspects of fibromyalgia can mimic other diseases. Symptoms can be similar to autoimmune diseases and other musculoskeletal conditions. The diagnosis often has to be made with the combination of subjective and objective symptoms occurring in combination.

Because of these and other reasons, some may be misdiagnosed or go for a considerable period of time before getting a diagnosis.

The pain is aptly called arthritis of the muscles. Those suffering with it describe the pain as a constant dull ache in the muscles. To meet the American College of Rheumatology designation, the pain has to be widespread or in all four quadrants.

Fibromyalgia pain can also result with pressure to specific areas of the body called tender points.

The Tender Point Locations

Head to toe, there are places that your masseuse should never go.

  • Back of the head
  • Between shoulder blades
  • Top of shoulders
  • Front sides of neck
  • Upper chest
  • Outer elbows
  • Upper hips
  • Sides of hips
  • Inner knees


    Fibromyalgia often causes sleep disturbances and enervation or fatigue.

    Even when getting adequate sleep, people with fibromyalgia will many times wake up tired. One theory for this is that fibromyalgia sufferers rarely reach the states of restorative sleep that allow rest.

    Sleep disorders including sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome have also been linked to fibromyalgia.

    Other Conditions Linked or Co-existing with Fibromyalgia

  • Sleep Apnea
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Endometriosis
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Lupus
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Other Fibromyalgia Signs and Symptoms

  • increased sensitivity to pain throughout the body
  • pain may be migratory (move around)
  • pain may exist as chronic regional pain
  • Stress may make it worse
  • psychobehavioral factors may also contribute to fibromyalgia
  • Occurs most often in women of childbearing age, children and the elderly
  • Non-defining and Subjective Signs and Symptoms

  • Multiple chemical sensitivities
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling of weakness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Memory difficulties
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Hearing abnormalities
  • Vision abnormalities
  • Vestibular or balance abnormalities
  • Tension headaches
  • Migraine headaches
  • Temporomandibular joint syndrome
  • Ear-nose-throat complaints
  • Muscles of esophagus do not work properly
  • Numerous allergic symptoms
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Rib cage pain (not heart related chest pain)
  • Night sweats
  • Plantar or heel pain
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Heat or cold intolerance
  • Heartburn
  • Palpitations
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Evidence on echocardiogram of mitral valve prolapse
  • Neurologic conditions resulting in hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Fibromyalgia Glutathione Home Page

    Note: Sometimes the search for this information is entered as a typo of symptoms of fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia symtoms. The Signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia Resource

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