Fibromyalgia has been described as a constellation of symptoms affecting various body parts and functions. From muscle pain to sleep disturbances and anxiety, here are a few of the most prevalent symptoms.

Pain
Widespread musculoskeletal pain is the most common symptom of fibromyalgia. It generally occurs at multiple sites throughout the body, although it may start in one region, such as the neck and shoulders, and later occur at other locations over a period of time.

Fibromyalgia pain has been described in a variety of ways, such as burning, aching, stiffness or soreness. It often varies according to the time of day, activity level, weather, sleep patterns and stress. Many people with fibromyalgia say that some degree of pain is always present, although the pain can come and go. For some people the pain may be quite severe.

Also, the tender areas or points associated with fibromyalgia are similar in location to the tender areas present in other common types of muscle and bone pain, such as tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis).

Although the tender points illustrated on page 4 are common ones, many other muscles and soft tissue areas can be painful as well. People often are not aware of the presence of many of these tender points until a doctor performs a tender point evaluation.

Fatigue and Sleep Disturbances
Most people with fibromyalgia have fatigue, decreased endurance or the kind of exhaustion felt with the flu or lack of sleep. Sometimes the fatigue is severe and it can be a much greater problem than the pain.

Most people with fibromyalgia experience sleep problems. The problems with sleep are variable from person to person. Some patients have difficulty falling asleep; others sleep lightly and wake up frequently during the night. Almost all patients with fibromyalgia wake up feeling tired, even after sleeping through the night. The tiredness can range from listlessness and decreased endurance to exhaustion, and can vary from one day to the next.