Fibromyalgia | Overview

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What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia (say: fi-bro-my-al-gee-uh) is a syndrome (a set of symptoms) that causes pain on both sides of your body, as well as the upper half and lower half of your body. Areas called “tender points” may be especially painful when pressure is put on them. Common tender points are the back of the head, the elbows, the shoulders, the knees, the hip joints and around the neck.

Fibromyalgia affects about 6 million people in the United States. It is most common among people between 35 and 60 years of age. Women are more likely than men to have fibromyalgia. This syndrome might be hereditary (which means it runs in families). You may have family members with similar symptoms.

Fibromyalgia is real

Fibromyalgia is a condition that is often misunderstood. But your symptoms aren’t “all in your head.” Scientific research has shown that fibromyalgia is a real syndrome that causes real pain. Don’t let anyone discourage you from getting a diagnosis and treatment for your symptoms.

Bibliography

See a list of resources used in the development of this information.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 07/13
Created: 09/00

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