What is it?

Fibromyalgia is a long term condition characterised by chronic widespread pain all over the body, and over-active pain responses in certain areas of the body.

Why does it occur?

The exact cause is unknown, but it’s thought to be connected to having abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain, and changes in the way the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and nerves) processes pain messages which are carried around the body. Often the condition appears to be triggered by a physically or emotionally stressful event.

What are the symptoms?

These are very varied, and include: increased sensitivity to pain, extreme tiredness, muscle stiffness, insomnia, problems with mental processes such as memory and concentration, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. It is also associated with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

How is it diagnosed?

Our consultants with expertise in this condition will do a series of tests and ask a number of questions to rule out any other cause or causes of the symptoms.

How is it treated?

Fibromyalgia can be treated with a combination of lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioural therapy and pain modification medications. The right treatment for you will be discussed at length with your consultant.

One Orthopaedics team specialists

Daniela Tonucci

Pain Management Consultant FRCA FFPMRCA