Fatigue? Muscle Pain? Know the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Over five million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, a condition marked by fatigue and muscle pain, including tender points which hurt when pressure is exerted on them. It affects more women than men, and is typically diagnosed during middle age. The cause of the condition is unknown, though some believe that a gene may be involved that lowers pain thresholds in susceptible individuals. The proper diagnosis and treatment can have a major impact on a sufferer’s quality of life.

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The back of the neck is a common area for pain with fibromyalgia.

For the best chance of receiving an accurate diagnosis, know the symptoms of fibromyalgia:

  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Morning stiffness
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Difficulty with focus, concentration and memory
  • Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
  • Tenderness in the back of the neck, shoulders, chest, lower back, hips, shins, elbows, and knees

While fibromyalgia can strike previously healthy people, it’s often preceded by episodes of stress, trauma, and repeat injuries. It’s also linked to the following conditions:

  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ)
  • Vulvodynia C
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Spinal arthritis

If your symptoms match the description above, make an appointment with your primary care doctor who can examine you and recommend specialist care, if necessary.  Then, learn what to expect, how to prepare, questions to ask at your appointment, and more with the Vitals Fibromyalgia Patient Guide.

Source: vitals.com. cdc.gov, and nih.gov