• You're all caught up!
Fibromyalgia Center

Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

author image Nancy Baxi, M.D.
Dr. Nancy Baxi is a board-certified internal medicine physician with 19 years of experience. She is currently a primary care physician at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and an assistant professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University and has been an assistant professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine and the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Baxi has been a key clinical educator of medical residents and students. She has a passion for sharing medical knowledge and teaching her patients to empower them, and she has won teaching and patient care awards for her work.
Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia Photo Credit Getty Images


Fibromyalgia is a condition with chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain, however, many other symptoms and conditions often co-exist. After pain, the most common symptoms are fatigue, depression and anxiety, and trouble thinking clearly or concentrating.


Generally, patients will feel pain in the muscles. Usually, it’s an achy type of pain, but it can be a burning sensation. Some people will have numbness or tingling, as well. The patient may report symptoms similar to the flu, such as achiness and fatigue. Some patients will have stiffness, especially in the morning or after being still for a while. Their pain can wax and wane in intensity depending on other factors. They might have tender spots in certain areas of their bodies. If this pain lasts for more than three months, you should go to a doctor to be tested for fibromyalgia.


Extremely common symptoms are fatigue and low energy. Patients complain of being tired all the time and not sleeping well, either trouble with falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up groggy. Sleep studies have shown that fibromyalgia patients often do not experience all the different phases of sleep. It can be a vicious cycle in that poor sleep can cause poor mood, both of which can cause increased pain, which can then keep the patient awake at night.

Patient will also have poor recovery from exertion, even very minor exertion. They have limited energy to spend during the day and if used up too early, the can be tired the rest of the day.


Psychiatric disturbances are common in fibromyalgia patients. Twenty to 50 percent of fibromyalgia patients also suffer from depression and/or anxiety. Some patients also have trouble with thinking or concentrating, called the “fibro-fog.”

Other associated conditions

Other associated conditions include tension or migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), pelvic pain, temporomandiublar dysfunction (TMD), interstitial cystitis, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTs), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In some patients, these secondary conditions may account for the “fibro-fog.”

Patients can also be sensitive to lights, sounds, and smells. They can have dry mouth, dry eyes, sore throat, painful glands, palpitations and trouble breathing, numbness and tingling in non-painful areas, as well as short-term memory loss.

Some patients may have difficulty with autonomic dysfunction, which means they may have trouble regulating their blood pressure and pulse with position changes, so they may get dizzy easily or periodically experience their heart racing.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media