Fibromyalgia (FM) is a generalized chronic pain condition affecting 2-4% of the adult US population with women being more commonly affected than men. Hypothesized mechanisms involved in both the triggering and maintenance of symptoms include sleep disturbance, predisposing activity in the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axes, and central amplification of nociceptive, affective, and cognitive processing of sensory information. Symptom domains of concern to patients with FM include persistent pain and tenderness, stiffness, fatigue, sleep disturbance, cognitive problems, problems with mood, and decreased functional status. No treatments are consistently effective for FM; however the strongest evidence currently supports the use of several pharmacological approaches, aerobic exercise, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Note: Some medications and aerobic exercise programs may also be helpful in the management of FM but we do not cover these interventions in this website. Of course, we recommend a consultation with your primary health care provider for an accurate diagnosis and discussion of various treatment options. Feel free to print this information and take it with you to discuss your treatment plan with your health care provider.