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The pain and discomfort of fibromyalgia can disrupt and interfere with your life. Providers at MaineHealth are here to help treat fibromyalgia and educate patients on managing symptoms to reduce pain.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread pain throughout the body, along with fatigue, memory loss and mood issues. Pain is felt in the muscles and soft tissues; above and below the waist, and on both sides of the body. Significant pain makes it difficult for people with fibromyalgia to carry on with daily activity.

Causes of fibromyalgia

There is no known specific cause of fibromyalgia. Various factors are involved, such as occurrence of physically or emotionally stressful events, repetitive injuries and genetics. Some researchers believe it may be caused by sensitive nerve cells, neurotransmitter imbalance, and/or hormonal imbalance.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia

Symptoms of fibromyalgia may occur after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. Symptoms may overlap with those of other disorders, so it is important for doctors to rule out underlying causes before making a diagnosis.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Deep, burning pain in the trunk, neck, low back, hips and shoulders

  • Tender (trigger) points on the body that are painful when pressed

  • Coexisting problems such as anxiety, depression and fatigue

  • Morning stiffness

Talk with your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Diagnosing fibromyalgia

There are no diagnostic lab tests for diagnosing fibromyalgia. Diagnosis is primarily based on how much of the body is experiencing pain. The more widespread the pain is, the more likely a diagnosis is. Doctors will rule out other disorders with symptoms similar to those of fibromyalgia before confirming a diagnosis.

Treatment for fibromyalgia

The goals of treatment for fibromyalgia focus on management of pain, fatigue, depression, and other symptoms. Some treatment plans may include:

  • Medications to reduce pain

  • Exercise

  • Relaxation and stress-reduction methods

  • Counseling to cope with chronic pain.

Primary care is your first stop for healthcare

The primary care providers at MaineHealth have the compassion and skill to care for you and the entire family. They make your health and your family’s health the first priority.