What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is a widespread pain throughout the body.

There may be periods when your symptoms will vary maybe getting worse and then getting better. This can depend on factors such as:

  • Stress
  • Changes in the weather
  • Physical activity

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

  • Widespread Pain
    One of the main symptoms for fibromyalgia is likely to be a widespread pain. This may be felt throughout your body but could be worse in particular areas, such as your back or neck. The pain can feel like an ache, a sharp stabbing pain or a burning sensation.
  • Extreme Sensitivity
    Fibromyalgia can make you extremely sensitive to pain, and you may find that even being touched is painful. If you hurt yourself, the pain may continue for much longer than it normally would. You may also be sensitive to things such as smoke, certain foods and bright lights.
  • Stiffness
    Fibromyalgia can make you feel stiff. The stiffness may be most severe when you’ve been in the same position for a long period of time, meaning symptoms can be often worse in the morning. It can also cause your muscles to spasm, which is when they contract (squeeze) tightly and painfully.
  • Fatigue
    Fibromyalgia can cause fatigue. This can range from a mild, tired feeling to severe exhaustion. Fatigue may come on suddenly and can drain you of all your energy. 
  • Poor Sleep
    You may wake up feeling tired, even when you’ve had a good night’s rest. This is because Fibromyalgia can sometimes stop you from sleeping deeply enough to refresh yourself properly. This is often described as “non-restorative sleep.”
  • Cognitive Problems (Fibro-Fog)
    Cognitive problems are issues related to thinking and learning. If you have fibromyalgia, you may have trouble remembering and learning new things, problems with attention and concentration.
  • Headaches
    Due to the stiffness in your back and neck, you may also have frequent headaches. These can vary from mild to severe migraines.

Other symptoms:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Dizziness and clumsiness
  • Feeling too hot or too cold – this is because you’re not able to regulate your body temperature properly
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Tingling, numbness, prickling or burning sensations in your hands and feet
  • In women, unusually painful periods
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

If you are suffering from these symptoms it is important that you contact your GP for proper diagnosis and medical advice1.

Find out more about fibromyalgia here.

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Footnotes

  1.  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/fibromyalgia/symptoms/

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