The Signs & Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Woman suffering from fibromyalgia symptomsThe pain that is caused by fibromyalgia is often described as a constant dull ache, usually originating in the patient’s muscles. In order to qualify as widespread, the pain must be present on both sides of the patient’s body as well as both above and below their waist.

Fibromyalgia is also characterized by specific points that produce additional pain when pressure is applied to these areas of the body; they are also known as fibro tender points. Common locations for these tender points include:

  • In between the shoulder blades
  • On top of the shoulders
  • Back of the head
  • Front side of the neck
  • Upper chest
  • Sides of the hips
  • Upper hips
  • Inner knees

Symptoms Commonly Associated with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia remains a very misunderstood medical condition overall. It is notoriously difficult to diagnose due to a lack of physical symptoms, so many people may live with fibromyalgia for years without realizing what the actual issue is. Through ongoing fibromyalgia clinical trials, we are gaining a better understanding of this disorder, but there is still much more research to be conducted. The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Tightness, chronic muscle pain, and muscle spasms
  • Moderate to severe levels of fatigue and a reduced level of energy
  • Issues sleeping and insomnia or waking up feeling unrested and as tired as you did when you went to bed
  • Feeling quite stiff in the morning or after remaining in one position for too long
  • Tension or migraine headaches
  • Cognitive issues such as problems concentrating, remembering, or performing routine mental tasks (this is called “fibro fog”)
  • Tenderness in the face and jaw
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, and alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation (could be irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Unusually sensitive to one or more of the following: noise, bright lights, medications, odors, cold, and even some foods
  • Feeling depressed or anxious
  • Irritable bladder or urinary incontinence
  • Tingling in the face or numbness in the hands, face, arms, legs, or feet
  • Reduced exercise capacity and increased muscle pain after working out
  • Hands and feet have the feeling of being swelled up (without any swelling)

The symptoms of fibromyalgia can intensify based on the time of day. For instance, the morning, late afternoon, and evening tend to be the worst times of the day for people living with this disorder. Other factors which can impact fibro symptoms are stress, changes in the weather, overexertion, inactivity, depression, and other hormonal fluctuations (it’s not hard to see why this syndrome is so difficult to treat).

When fibromyalgia goes undiagnosed and untreated, then these symptoms can continue indefinitely, or they could come and go intermittently. This is one of the issues facing health care providers as they attempt to help more people living with this disorder.