Fibromyalgia what is it?

Last updated 21st March 2012.

Fibromyalgia (FM or FMS) is a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure.[1] It is an example of a diagnosis of exclusion. Fibromyalgia symptoms are not restricted to pain, leading to the use of the alternative term fibromyalgia syndrome for the condition. Other symptoms include debilitating fatiguesleep disturbance, and joint stiffness. Some patients[2] may also report difficulty with swallowing,[3] bowel and bladder abnormalities,[4] numbness and tingling,[5] and cognitive dysfunction.[6] Fibromyalgia is frequently comorbid with psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety and stress-related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder.[7][8] Not all people with fibromyalgia experience all associated symptoms.[9] Fibromyalgia is estimated to affect 2–4% of the population,[7]with a female to male incidence ratio of approximately 9:1.[10] The term “fibromyalgia” derives from new Latin, fibro-, meaning “fibrous tissues“, Greekmyo-, “muscle”, and Greek algos-, “pain”; thus the term literally means “muscle and connective tissue pain”)

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.

The brains of fibromyalgia patients show structural and behavioral differences from those of healthy individuals, but it is unclear whether the brain anomalies cause fibromyalgia symptoms or are the product of an unknown underlying common cause. Some research suggests that these brain anomalies may be the result of childhood stress, or prolonged or severe stress.[8]

Historically, fibromyalgia has been considered either a musculoskeletal disease or neuropsychiatric condition. Although there is as yet no cure for fibromyalgia, some treatments have been shown by controlled clinical trials to effectively reduce symptoms, including medications, behavioral interventions, patient education, and exercise.[11][12][13][14][15][16] The most recent approach of a diagnosis of fibromyalgia involves pain index and a measure of key symptoms and severity.[17]

Tender points Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia has been recognized as a diagnosable disorder by the US National Institutes of Health and the American College of Rheumatology.[18][19] Fibromyalgia, a central nervous system disorder, is described as a ‘central sensitisation syndrome’ caused by neurobiological abnormalities which act to produce physiological pain and cognitive impairments as well as neuro-psychological symptomatology.[20] Despite this, some health care providers do not consider fibromyalgia a disease because of a lack of abnormalities on physical examination and the absence of objective diagnostic tests.[21][22]

All of the links below  (open in a new windows)

What is it? UK NHS
What is it? Wikipedia
What is it? British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
What is it? A. Vogel Herbal Remedies

Awareness Groups

United Kingdom

Fibromyalgia World News
I have Fibromyalgia Facebook Group
Risa B. Lovitz (Brilliant articles and research are being written by this blogger.)

Got a local Fibromyalgia group or have some information, please post a comment below and I will include it, thanks.

Below the NHS treatment link was the torture chamber of drugs I have had to endure for as long as I can remember, sadly.

Treatment  UK NHS
Self-help UK NHS
Juicing for health

NLP (Information coming soon)

Audio to relax to:
Malcolm Hunter

The Fibromyalgia Research Blog
PubMed journal articles related to Fibromyalgia, mood disorders, and intense creative energy: A1AT polymorphisms are not always silent.
Personality & Physiology in Fibromyalgia: A New Discovery (March 2012)

Related articles:


It saddens me that the NHS‘s answer to all of this is drugs; yet in the self-help section they say that exercise is beneficial, so why is it they allow me to take thousands of pounds worth of pharmaceuticals but won’t let me have regular osteopathy or physiotherapy?

People with fibromyalgia have been found to have decreased activity in opioid receptors in parts of the brain that affect mood and the emotional aspect of pain. This reduced response might explain why fibromyalgia patients are likely to have depression, and are less responsive to opioid painkillers, researchers say.

So why the hell did they prescribe me Tramodol Hydrochloride?


Fibro Conference 2012 leaflet pdf

low battery warning


  1. wartica · March 11, 2012

    I totally agree: pharmaceutical companies are only in it for profit, so if you’re not sick or hurt, there is no money for them to be made. It’s the same reason that marijuana is still considered “illegal” – even with a number of findings of its medicinal purposes – because it’s a natural plant – not a pill. Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:))

  2. Stuart Otway-Smith · March 11, 2012

    Thank you for you comments, after checking out your profile I found some exciting things I had almost forgotten about, The Venus Project, and The Zeitgeist Movement, Namaste fellow Human!

  3. Pingback: Fibromyalgia Conference up date…. what you are missing if you have not already booked « Stuart Otway-Smith
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  7. Pamela · April 24, 2012

    Great job bringing awareness. Many doctors here in the States consider fibro a “junk” diagnosis so it’s more difficult for suffering people to even find out if they have it! I have recurring costochondritis which is painful and has limited certain activities for me. Until we experience chronic pain, it’s hard to understand what others are going through. Here’s to hope!

    • Stuart Otway-Smith · April 24, 2012

      Thank you for your comment, I have to agree with you completely on all points we have the same problems here in England.
      Like you say until you feel chronic pain you have no idea how crippling it is and neither does anyone around you as they can’t feel or witness it, hope you have a great day of pain free Joy, Namaste.

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  10. jeannehambleton · May 9, 2012

    Hi Stuart – Curiosity killed the cat but it got the better of me when I read you were following FMS Global News. Thanks and apologies for neglecting this but I was so busy organising THAT Easter conference and everything got left. As a fibromite and the responsible coordinator I am still recovering from the 20 hour days I burned up during the Easter weekend. Thanks for carrying the flyer. Must do one for April 26/23 2013 – not Easter weekend. We are already a third booked as we had rave reviews. Fantastic.

    Wanted to say I am a regional coordinator for FMA UK and look after the SW and SE. I can recommend something like 50 groups so if anyone wants to talk to real life like-minded people and join a group, I will advise where the nearest group is if I know their town. I can also pass on enquiries for other areas too. I also have a friend in Dubai who is trying to start an FM group but that is a long way to go unless you are a seasoned traveller.

    Loved your site – very informative, bright, clean, easy to read, and very helpful. Keep up the good work. Where do I get one like this? It is great. Take care and keep well. Jeanne
    jeanne @ follypogsfibro. org

    • Stuart Otway-Smith · May 15, 2012

      Thanks I’ll be in touch soon, you can get a site like this by visiting it is free of cost unless you want to register your own domain name / web address.

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