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Fibromyalgia Health Center

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Fibromyalgia - What Happens

For most people, fibromyalgia seems to involve a cycle of muscle pain, increased sensitivity to pain, and inactivity that may be made worse by sleep problems and fatigue.

  • Increasing pain causes a person to be less physically active.
  • Muscles that aren't exercised regularly are more likely to be irritated during activity. And it may be that people with fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain or have muscles that are more easily irritated.
  • The irritated muscles are painful. Some doctors think that the muscles of people with fibromyalgia stay sore because they don't repair themselves as well as they should.
  • Muscle pain, sometimes occurring with disrupted sleep and daytime fatigue, leads to less and less activity.

Although fibromyalgia is a long-lasting (chronic) condition with no cure, it can be controlled. It doesn't damage the muscles, joints, or internal organs. Most people adjust to their symptoms and are able to keep working and doing their daily activities. For more information about managing fibromyalgia, see the Treatment Overview.

Recommended Related to Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia and Alternative Treatments

From acupuncture to chiropractic, from massage to meditation, alternative treatments are in great demand. That's especially true for people with pain-related illnesses such as fibromyalgia. Alternative medicine, including herbal therapy and homeopathy, is used in place of conventional medicine. These systems are based on the belief that the body has the power to heal itself with multiple techniques, including those that involve the mind, body, and spirit. Complementary medicine can be used in combination...

Read the Fibromyalgia and Alternative Treatments article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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