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Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a chronic pain condition which often causes disabling musculoskeletal pain and tenderness. It affects all ages, all ethnic groups and cultures with a seemingly increasing prevalence in recent years. The onset may be fast or slow and may follow an acute illness or injury (a triggering event).

The cause of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is essentially unknown. However, what is known is that it is a syndrome of altered pain processing – an unexplained amplification of the way the body communicates pain signals to the brain. It affects more females than males and the incidence tends to increase with age.

Potential symptoms

Chronic pain and other somatic (disabling) symptoms, but without apparent tissue damage or inflammation, including:

  • Widespread pain (myofascial pain)
  • Tender points
  • Lethargy (low energy levels)
  • Trouble remembering and concentrating (foggy brain)
  • Waking up feeling unrefreshed
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Gastrointestinal disturbance / Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Depression / Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Interstitial Cystitis or Irritable Bladder Syndrome
  • Jaw/facial muscle dysfunction

Recommended treatment

  • Medications, including
    • Antidepressants
    • Anti-neuropathics
    • Analgesics
  • Physiotherapy/Physical Activity
  • Psychological and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Other resources

Emerge Australia – Fibromyalgia (FM)


There is unfortunately no cure for Fibromyalgia Syndrome and the most effective approach is often a combined or multidisciplinary treatment.

At QPain, we tailor pain management programs to help patients experiencing pain to improve their quality of life and function. Speak to your QPain specialist today about having a custom program designed to suit you.

PAIN FACT

Fibromyalgia was only first formally confirmed as a diagnosis in 1981. Little is still known about the disease and no cure is available although it is one of the more common pain disorders affecting millions of people worldwide.

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“It’s vital to work with a physician who specialises in pain medicine to help identify the source of your pain and develop the best method of treatment.”

Dr Frank Thomas