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Fibromyalgia: Symptoms and More

Medically reviewed by Maushmi Sheth

Fibromyalgia has been and remains one of the most mysterious and problematic diseases in terms of diagnosis and the very definition of this condition, the mechanisms of its formation, and approaches to treatment. For a long time, fibromyalgia was referred to as idiopathic, that is, “inexplicable from a medical point of view,” conditions due to unknown reasons for development, physiological foundations, and diagnostic criteria.


Today fibromyalgia is referred to as chronic pain syndromes, which are based on the phenomenon of central sensitization. In simple terms, central sensitization involves a sharp increase in the nervous system’s sensitivity in response to ordinary stimuli in everyday life. This is manifested by chronic pain and increased pain sensitivity to non-painful effects.


Fibromyalgia is a complex disease associated with musculoskeletal pain and a number of other disorders. Even though up to 4% of the population suffers from fibromyalgia, such a diagnosis is rarely made due to the lack of clear diagnostic criteria. A distinctive feature of fibromyalgia is a large number of subjective complaints of patients with a relatively limited number of objective manifestations of the disease.


Most often, people of working age suffer from the disease. It significantly impairs the quality of life, leads to social maladjustment, and disrupts professional activity. The incidence of pathology among women is twice as high as among men.

Fibromyalgia: chronic pain or “when nothing helps”

The main clinical and characteristic manifestation of fibromyalgia is chronic pain syndrome. Patients with fibromyalgia seek medical help from rheumatologists (joints hurt), neurologists, therapists, and other specialists for constantly disturbing pain “throughout the body” in which “nothing helps.” A person with fibromyalgia is highly sensitive not only to painful stimuli but also to any other: heat, cold, and even weak tactile (touch).


Fibromyalgia’s pain has the following characteristics:

  • Constant pain. Pain can change its intensity during the day, but in general, it accompanies a person constantly. Duration of pain: at least three consecutive months.
  • In all muscles, joints – diffuse, multifocal. The patient often finds it difficult to localize pain.
  • Various characters of pain: deep, dull, burning.
  • Exhausting: many patients find it difficult even to exercise everyday physical activity (climbing stairs, walking) since the pain is associated with a feeling of fatigue, “development” of the disease.
  • Develops a state of fatigue, emotional stress, excessive physical exertion, as well as immobility, cooling, prolonged postural overstrain.
  • Other unusual sensations often accompany the pain throughout the body, such as tingling, numbness, “chills,” as well as other health problems (stomach pain, digestive problems, pain when urinating, headaches, and the like).


Other signs of fibromyalgia are depression and poor sleep:

  • 90% of patients with fibromyalgia complain of sleep problems: difficulty falling asleep, insomnia, frequent awakening in the middle of the night, shallow sleep that does not bring a feeling of rest, and recuperation. Some patients talk about vivid dreams of an unpleasant nature, nightmares. Poor sleep results in fatigue, decreased mental performance, and cognitive functions: memory, attention.
  • Depression is also a companion of fibromyalgia and is closely associated with pain. Approximately half of the patients complain of a decreased mood background, loss of the ability to enjoy almost everything, interest in the environment. The person becomes asthenic and apathetic.

Causes and mechanism of development of fibromyalgia 


Causes and mechanism of development of fibromyalgia 


The causes of fibromyalgia have not been fully understood. Experts believe it is not a disease but a chronic pain condition caused by the body’s abnormal responses to stress.

It is believed that the development of chronic pain syndrome in disease is based on the phenomenon of central sensitization – an increase in the excitability of neurons in the posterior horns of the spinal cord, which are responsible for the formation of pain. At the same time, insignificant stimuli coming from peripheral receptors cause an abnormally strong response.


Risk factors for fibromyalgia are:

  • viral infections;
  • trauma (especially the cervical spinal cord injury);
  • a sharp change in climate;
  • dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system.
  • emotional stress,
  • depression,
  • anxiety disorders.


Character traits also facilitate the development of the disease:

  • persistent conviction of the patient in the “danger” of his illness,
  • passive behavior, unwillingness to solve conflict situations, the desire to avoid decision-making,
  • catastrophizing problems,
  • unfavorable economic situation,
  • low incomes, professional lack of demand, etc.
  • In addition, a hereditary predisposition may often be a leading factor.

Diagnostics and treatment

Diagnostics and treatment

There are no specific methods for diagnosing fibromyalgia. The diagnosis is made by excluding other possible diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia, Lyme disease, etc.).


Usually, general clinical blood and urine tests, a blood test for glucose, rheumatoid factor (RF), an antinuclear antibody test (ANA) are prescribed, and the level of thyroid hormones, prolactin, and calcium is determined.


If the tests are normal and rheumatic pathology is excluded, the doctor checks the sensitivity of 18 “pain points” on the patient’s body. Increased pain at 11 points is one of the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia.


New knowledge about the mechanisms of the formation of chronic pain has significantly increased the effectiveness of the treatment of fibromyalgia and expanded the range of drugs that relieve pain and other manifestations of the disease. For effective treatment of fibromyalgia, it is necessary to prescribe several groups of drugs and the participation of doctors of different specialties (neurologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and others).


Pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia are aimed at:

  • relief of pain syndrome;
  • correction of pronounced hypochondriacal fixation of patients on their experiences;
  • normalization and improvement of the quality of sleep;
  • correction of depression.

The correct selection and combination of drugs is the key to successfully getting rid of the symptoms of fibromyalgia!


Non-pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia include:

  • cognitive behavioral therapy;
  • physiotherapy exercises;
  • physiotherapy;
  • acupuncture.


Fibromyalgia is a difficult disease to diagnose. That is why, at the first signs of symptoms of the disease, you need to contact a specialist – a neurologist or therapist. Only a qualified doctor will help you identify the disease, prescribe the correct analysis and treatment.

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Lone Star Neurology
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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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