Mystery sometimes surrounds the chronic condition of fibromyalgia, mostly because it affects everyone differently.
By Mikel Theobald
Medically Reviewed by Judy Mouchawar, MD, MSPH
Everyone who has fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) experiences it differently, which is the main reason that misunderstanding and myth often surround the chronic condition that causes pain and fatigue.
Education is key to successfully managing symptoms, says Elyse Rubenstein, MD, a rheumatologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Knowing the facts makes it easier to make decisions that will help you feel better.
Here’s what we know to be true:
Myth 1: It’s all in your head.
Fact: For people experiencing the pain and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, the health condition is real, says Shane Steadman, doctor of chiropractic, a chiropractic neurologist at Integrated Health Systems in Englewood, Colorado. “It can be associated with headache, nerve pain, and a variety of other symptoms,” Dr. Rubenstein adds. “The pain and fatigue can be severe and debilitating.”
Fibromyalgia isn’t a made-up diagnosis. A review of research from 1955 to 2014, published in 2014 in The Journal of the American Medical Association, described fibromyalgia as a disorder characterized by an interwoven combination of symptoms, including a heightened central nervous system pain response along with fatigue, sleep disturbances, cognitive dysfunctions, and mood changes. Continue…