Synonyms: FM, FMG, FMS

Medical Specialties: Family practice, Internal medicine

Clinical Definition

Fibromyalgia is a disorder of unknown etiology marked by widespread pain in muscles, tendons and joints all over the body. The condition is also involved with sleep patterns, depression, fatigue and psychological distress. While the exact cause is unknown, one theory proposes that chronic stress contributes to the onset of the disorder, once considered psychological in nature.

In Our Own Words

Fibromyalgia is considered arthritis-related, yet it is not true arthritis because it does not involve inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles or other tissues. Fibromyalgia may affect the joints, soft tissues or both, and may cause chronic pain in many patients, generally affecting more women than men.

Your eventual diagnosis is based on medical history and on widespread pain symptoms typified by extremely sore areas (''tender points") at specific locations in and around the body. 

Relevant Conditions
Side Effects
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Memory problems
Share this article
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Fibromyalgia." Arthritis Basics. Nov. 2012. Accessed July 2013.
  • Arthritis Foundation. "Fibromyalgia." Disease Center 2013. Accessed July 2013.
  • Cleveland Clinic. "Fibromyalgia." Diseases & Conditions. April 2010. Accessed July 2013.
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