Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)

Fibromyalgia (pronounced fy-bro-my-AL-ja) is a common and complex chronic pain disorder that affects people physically, mentally and socially.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease. Unlike a disease, which is a medical condition with a specific cause or causes and recognizable signs and symptoms, a syndrome is a collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause.

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), which has also been referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome, fibromyositis and fibrositis, is characterized by:

  • Chronic widespread pain
  • Multiple tender points
  • Abnormal pain processing
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue

For those with severe symptoms, fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) can be extremely debilitating, cause psychological distress, and interfere with basic daily activities. Fibromyalgia is not progressive and generally does not lead to other diseases.

It can, however, lead to pain, depression and lack of sleep. These problems can then interfere with the ability to function at home or on the job, or maintain close family or personal relationships. The frustration of dealing with an often-misunderstood condition also can be a complication of the condition.

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