Learning about fibromyalgia

Learn as much as you can about fibromyalgia. Understanding your disease may make coping with it easier.

  • Fibromyalgia is a physical condition that can also affect your mood. It is not "all in your head." However, like many people who have chronic pain, people with fibromyalgia are more likely to have depression and may require specific treatment for it.
  • Stress and depression can often make fibromyalgia worse. Dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia can itself cause stress and depression. This cycle can become very frustrating.
  • Fibromyalgia does not cause permanent damage to the muscles or joints. For some people, however, chronic pain does disrupt daily life and makes certain activities more difficult. Home treatment to control your pain and other symptoms may allow you to continue your usual activities.
  • Most people can manage their symptoms with the help of their regular doctors. If necessary, seeing a doctor who specializes in treating conditions that affect the joints and muscles (rheumatologist) or a doctor who specializes in physical rehabilitation (physiatrist) may be helpful.

Last Updated: October 21, 2009

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Richa Dhawan, MD - Rheumatology

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