Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition in which pain occurs in muscles and surrounding structures without any obvious tissue damage. It is an increasingly recognized chronic pain illness which is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances. The most common sites of pain include the neck, back, shoulders, pelvic girdle and hands, but any body part can be involved.
The most common symptoms of FM include any of the following:
• pain, ranging from mild to severe, widespread and chronic. It knows no boundaries, migrating to all parts of the body and may present in a variety of ways such as aching, burning, throbbing or stabbing. Neurological complaints such as numbness, tingling and burning are often present and add to the discomfort of the patient. Aggravating factors which affect pain include cold/humid weather, non-restorative sleep, physical and mental fatigue, excessive physical activity, physical inactivity, anxiety and stress
• stiffness, usually worse in the morning
• sleep disturbance
Some people with FM may also have symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome, cystitis, swelling and numbness or tingling in the arms and legs