Skip to content

What is Fibromyalgia?

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition of the central nervous system that causes widespread muscle pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. It is not an inflammatory disease and does not cause permanent damage to muscle or joint tissues. However, fibromyalgia can have a significant impact on the quality of life of affected individuals.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
– Widespread muscle pain
– Muscle stiffness
– Fatigue
– Sleep disturbances
– Memory and concentration problems (known as “fibro fog”)
– Anxiety and depression

These symptoms can vary in intensity and may be present for prolonged periods.

The cause of fibromyalgia is not fully understood, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, physical or emotional stress, previous injuries, or infections. Fibromyalgia may also be associated with other conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches.

Brief History of this Silent Pathology

Fibromyalgia was first described in 1904 by the British neurologist Sir William Gowers, who called it “muscular rheumatism.” However, the condition did not receive much attention until the late 1970s when Dr. Hugh Smythe developed criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia. Smythe defined the disease as “a condition in which widespread muscle pain is the main symptom, along with a range of other symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and memory and concentration problems.”

In the 1990s, fibromyalgia was recognized as a real condition by the American College of Rheumatology, which established criteria for diagnosis. However, even today, fibromyalgia is often underdiagnosed.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Fibromyalgia

The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is based on the patient’s symptoms and assessment of tender points. To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a person must have widespread muscle pain for at least three months and the presence of tender points in at least 11 of the 18 specific areas of the body.

The doctor may also perform blood tests or diagnostics to rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms, such as arthritis, lupus, or chronic fatigue syndrome. However, there is no specific test for fibromyalgia, and the diagnosis is mainly based on the patient’s symptoms.

Although there is no cure for this condition, there are several treatment options available to alleviate symptoms. Treatment focuses on managing pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances, as well as stress management, and may include pain medications such as analgesics, tricyclic antidepressants, and antiepileptics. Physical therapy and moderate exercise can also be used to improve muscle strength, flexibility, and reduce pain. Additionally, cognitive-behavioral therapy can help people manage fibromyalgia symptoms and improve their quality of life.

However, there are behaviors to follow that can help reduce symptoms, including adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as a balanced diet, stress management, avoiding smoking, and maintaining a good sleep-wake cycle.

OPEN WEEK Fibromyalgia at MiniHospital “Sandro Pertini”

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service of the Minihospital “Sandro Pertini” Hospital, on the occasion of World Fibromyalgia Day on 12/05/2023, offers its physiotherapists for a free consultation regarding all the multiple aspects of this condition.

Call the number 0587 609134 by 08/05/2023 and book your visit for free.

Le ultime news


Pain is a reality that affects everyone at some point in life. It can manifest…


Rheumatology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the study, diagnosis, and treatment of…


Water therapy is a widely recognized and utilized rehabilitation method for treating a broad range…

Back To Top