What is fibromyalgia?

Ask the Expert

Q:

What is fibromyalgia?


A:

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain and reduced pressure pain threshold, sometimes called tender points. People with fibromyalgia may also experience fatigue, sleep disturbances, stiffness, deep tenderness, soreness and achiness, increased headaches or facial pain, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness and problems multitasking. They frequently report functional impairment and diminished quality of life.

The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but recent evidence suggests it is associated with abnormalities in the central nervous system processing of pain. People with fibromyalgia develop an increased response to painful stimuli and experience pain from non-painful stimuli such as touch. This is thought to reflect enhanced pain processing that is characteristic of central pain sensitization.

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