Fibromyalgia is the most common musculoskeletal condition after osteoarthritis. Still, it is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Its characteristics include widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue, as well as other symptoms. Fibromyalgia can lead to depression and social isolation.
This overview of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) covers symptoms, diagnosis, and both standard and alternative treatments.
Here's a look at the common ways that fibromyalgia can be misdiagnosed.
The main symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread pain. You can have pain on the right and left side of the body. It can also be above and below the waist. But the pain may also occur in only one or two places in the body, especially the neck and shoulders.
A diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be tricky, because fibromyalgia isn't the only condition with widespread pain.
Another reason fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose is the tendency for groups of symptoms to occur together in fibromyalgia patients. But the groups will not be the same for everyone. So, not everyone with fibromyalgia will have all the symptoms described above.
And because the symptoms can suggest multiple diseases, doctors need to rule them out first as they look for an explanation.
Another problem with diagnosing fibromyalgia is that a patient could have other conditions at the same time as fibromyalgia.