Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Symptoms include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points, which can be relieved through medications, lifestyle changes and stress management.
Fibromyalgia is the second most common condition affecting your bones and muscles. Yet it's often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Its classic symptoms are widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue.
We do know certain things suggest you're more likely to get it:
- You're a woman.
- You have another painful disease, such as arthritis, or an infection.
- You have a mood disorder, like anxiety or depression.
- You were physically or emotionally abused or have PTSD.
- You rarely exercise.
- Other family members have it.
Simply put, you ache all over. Common symptoms include:
- Muscle pain, burning, twitching, or tightness
- Low pain threshold or tender points
- Draining fatigue
- Trouble concentrating and remembering, called "fibro fog"
- Insomnia or not sleeping well
- Feeling nervous, worried, or depressed
There's no cure-all pill for your fibromyalgia, but you've got lots of medicines to choose from to treat your symptoms.
The FDA has approved three drugs to treat fibromyalgia: the antidepressants duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella), plus the anti-seizure medicine pregabalin (Lyrica). But your doctor may prescribe other drugs that aren't specifically approved for fibromyalgia. Medicines like these are sometimes called "off-label" medications.
Each fibromyalgia drug has its own side effects, ranging from mild to serious. You and your doctor will work together to figure out the right medicine to keep your symptoms under control.