Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

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Fibromyalgia is a syndrome; this means it is characterised by a combination of interrelated symptoms.

Woman with generalised pain

Widespread or generalised pain sustained over time. It's the main sympthom. 

Fatigued woman sweating


Person sitting up in bed due to insomnia

Sleep disorders.

Reduction in the ability to concentrate

Difficulty concentrating.

Numbness or tingling in hands and feet

Numbness in the hands and/or feet (paraesthesia).

Standing person with abdominal pain

Digestive problems.

Trembling person holding a hand to his temple


Person with jaw pain or facial pressure

Jaw pain.

Person lying stiffly on the ground


Two faces with different moods

Mood swings.

Colonoscopy of a woman

It is often associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome.

The symptoms of fibromyalgia are highly variable, in some cases they are severe, while they are less intense in others. Generally, the syndrome evolves with fluctuations, that is, alternating periods of improving and worsening symptoms.

Patients will not necessarily develop all the symptoms, nor will they appear at the same time or with the same intensity.

Signs of Fibromyalgia

The most relevant finding is the detection of a pathologically low pain threshold for different stimuli, although in clinical practice mechanical stimulation is used through the testing and quantification of tender points. In many patients, simple palpation of the skin can identify painful areas (allodynia), especially when something rubs against the skin (dynamically), which the patient reports as a burning sensation and is commonly observed in the region of the trapezius muscle and the upper arms.

The pain is often triggered in either the neck or lumbar region when stretching to the side. Most patients suffer limited mobility due to joint pain, for example in the shoulders, hips or spine, coupled with cutaneous hyperaemia (increased blood flow to an organ or area), the presence of fibrocystic nodules (muscle nodules with a fatty component) or positive skin rolling, reticular skin discolouration similar to livedo reticularis, joint hypermobility and changes like those seen in Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Substantiated information by:

Ana Arias Gassol
Antonio Collado Cruz
José Pérez Ruiz
Xavier Torres Mata
Ángel Fernández López

Published: 28 December 2018
Updated: 28 December 2018

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