Fibromyalgia is a long-lasting problem that causes a person to have muscle pain and feel weak.

Fibromyalgia Trigger Points
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The cause is not known. It may be linked to genes, certain health problems, and stress.

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in women who are middle aged. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Having other family members who have it
  • Infections
  • Stress
  • Trauma or injury
  • Sleep problems



A person with this problem will have muscle pain and feel weak. Others problems are:

  • Problems sleeping
  • Feelings of hopelessness; worrying a lot
  • Being sensitive to touch
  • Problems with focus, thought, or memory
  • Stiff muscles
  • Being sensitive to noises, light, or odors


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. An exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.



The goal of treatment is to ease symptoms. Choices are:


Exercise at least four times a week for 30 minutes each time. Strength training exercises and aerobic exercises like swimming are best.


Therapy may help a person cope. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one method that teaches how thought patterns influence pain.


These medicines may be given:

  • Antidepressants to ease pain
  • Pain relievers
  • Anti-seizure medicine to ease pain and help with sleep problems
  • Cannabinoids to help with sleep problems


Fibromyalgia cannot be prevented. The cause is not known.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (FM; Fibromyalgia Syndrome; FMS)


American College of Rheumatology 

American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association 


Arthritis Society 

Fibromyalgia Information and Local Support 


About fibromyalgia. National Fibromyalgia Association website. Available at: Accessed October 31, 2019.

Fibromyalgia. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: Updated March 2019. Accessed October 31, 2019.

Fibromyalgia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated September 20, 2019. Accessed October 31, 2019.

Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: Updated July 2014. Accessed October 31, 2019.

Macfarlane GJ, Kronisch C, et al. EULAR revised recommendations for the management of fibromyalgia. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Feb;76(2):318-328 full-text, commentary can be found in Nat Rev Rheumatol 2016 Oct;12(10);568.