Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain syndrome. It is characterized by pain and stiffness of the joints, muscles and tendons, fatigue and by places in the body that hurt when touched. These are places around the hip, shoulder, spine, knees and neck. There are no medications to cure the disease.


It is not known how fibromyalgia is caused. Usually, there is found nothing in the body that could explain the symptoms. It is suspected that it has to do with dealing with stress. If people don’t take enough rest, the body cannot recover. This creates an imbalance between what one can do (capacity) and what one has to deal with (payload). Which leads to changes in hormone levels and an ‘overstimulated’ nervous system. Many research is still being done into the cause of fibromyalgia. It is clear now that it’s not an inflammatory disease. It also doesn’t cause damage to muscles or joints. It is unclear whether or not fibromyalgia is hereditary.


The symptoms of fibromyalgia are usually not visible from the outside. Common signs and symptoms are:


The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is based on the symptoms and physical examination. It is difficult to determine, because no defects are found in the body. The presence of sores (tender points) in the neck, spine, shoulders, hips and knees may indicate this condition.
The following criteria are established to identify fibromyalgia:

During further examination, such as blood tests and X-rays, no defects are found. However, other disorders with similar symptoms as fibromyalgia are excluded. People with fibromyalgia often have a whole quest behind them, before they know with certainty that their symptoms may be called fibromyalgia.


There is no medicine that can cure fibromyalgia. There are several forms of treatments which, whether or not in combination, can ensure that the patient will better be able to deal with the symptoms:


The prognosis of fibromyalgia is gloomy. Fibromyalgia will often take a long time and also eventually becomes worse. Learning to deal with the symptoms seems to affect the degree of pain, anxiety and depression.