FMS Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia can vary, depending on the weather, stress, physical activity or even the time of day.

Widespread Pain and Tender Points

The pain of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is profound, chronic and widespread. It can migrate to all parts of the body and vary in intensity. The severity of the pain and stiffness is often worse in the morning.
Fibromyalgia pain has been described as stabbing and shooting pain and deep muscular aching, throbbing, and twitching.
Neurological complaints are often present such as:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Burning

All of these symptoms further add to the discomfort of the patient.

Aggravating Factors that Affect Pain

  • Cold, windy and humid weather
  • Non-restorative sleep
  • Physical and mental fatigue
  • Excessive physical activity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Anxiety and stress

Tender Points

To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of the body and above and below the waist. Fibromyalgia is characterized by additional pain when firm pressure is applied to specific areas of your body, called tender points. Tender point locations include:

  • Back of the head
  • Between shoulder blades
  • Top of shoulders
  • Front sides of neck
  • Upper chest
  • Outer elbows
  • Upper hips
  • Sides of hips
  • Inner knees

Fatigue and Sleep Disturbances

In today’s world many people complain of fatigue; however, the fatigue of fibromyalgia is much more than being tired after a particularly busy day or after a sleepless night.

The fatigue associated with fibromyalgia is an all-encompassing exhaustion that can interfere with occupational, personal, social or educational activities. Symptoms include profound exhaustion and poor stamina.

Many fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) patients have an associated sleep disorder that prevents them from getting deep, restful, restorative sleep. Medical researchers have documented specific and distinctive abnormalities in the stage four deep sleep of fibromyalgia patients.

During sleep, individuals with fibromyalgia are constantly interrupted by bursts of awake-like brain activity, limiting the amount of time they spend in deep sleep. Sleep disorders that have been linked to fibromyalgia include restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.

More on Fibromyalgia