known as fibrositis, causes chronic pain, stiffness, and
tenderness of muscles, tendons, and joints without detectable inflammation. Fibromyalgia patients have an unusually low pain threshold. Symptoms of fibromyalgia include fatigue, abnormal sleep, mental/emotional disturbances, abdominal pain, migraine and tension headaches, and irritable bladder. Treatment of fibromyalgia involves patient education, medication, exercise, and stress reduction.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
Sleep disorder is common in patients with
There is no test for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia can be associated with other rheumatic
Fibromyalgia treatment is most effective with
combinations of education, stress reduction,
exercise, and medications.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the muscles, tendons, and
joints. Fibromyalgia is also characterized by restless sleep, awakening feeling tired, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and disturbances in bowel function. Fibromyalgia is sometimes referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome and abbreviated FMS. Fibromyalgia was formerly known as fibrositis.
While fibromyalgia is one of the most common diseases affecting the muscles leading to chronic pain and disability, its cause is currently unknown. The painful tissues involved are not accompanied by tissue inflammation. Therefore, despite
potentially disabling body pain, people with fibromyalgia do not suffer from body damage or deformity. Fibromyalgia also does not cause damage to internal body organs.
In this sense, fibromyalgia is different from many other rheumatic conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, and polymyositis). In those diseases, tissue inflammation is the major cause of pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the joints, tendons, and
muscles, and it can lead to joint deformity and damage to the internal organs or muscles.
Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD on 7/1/2013
Fibromyalgia: 3 Things Patients Can Do for Themselves
It is not unusual for a patient
with fibromyalgia to ask the doctor: "What can I do to help relieve my
symptoms? After all, I am not very interested in medications."
Some patients with fibromyalgia
make this or similar statements to their doctors because they are often younger
and many do not have underlying (additional ongoing) medical conditions
(although some do).
Costochondritis is a common form of inflammation of the
cartilage where ribs attach to the breastbone, the sternum. The inflammation can involve multiple cartilage areas on
both sides of the sternum but us"...