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Arthritis information

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What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a common condition, causing widespread pain often alongside other symptoms. It’s thought that as many as 1 person in every 25 may suffer from it.

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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain. We explain a bit more about fibromyalgia, what causes it, how it’s diagnosed and treated, and the importance of self-help measures.

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What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Symptoms of fibromyalgia can include widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, headaches, forgetfulness and difficulty in concentrating.

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Homeopathy trials for fibromyalgia

A summary of the scientific evidence on homeopathy for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

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Capsaicin trials for fibromyalgia

A summary of the scientific evidence on capsaicin for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

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SAMe trials for fibromyalgia

A summary of the scientific evidence on SAMe for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

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Complementary medicines for fibromyalgia

Compounds that have been tested for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

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Anthocyanidins trials for fibromyalgia

A summary of the scientific evidence on anthocyanidins for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

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New blood test for fibromyalgia moves a step closer

New research by our scientists could lead to a blood test to diagnose the common pain condition fibromyalgia.

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Fibromyalgia – new guidelines

New Canadian guidelines confirm the clear message that fibromyalgia is a condition that should be diagnosed and treated in primary care....

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‘Fibromyalgia’ – more prevalent than we think?

A recent epidemiological study found that in a random sample of the general population the prevalence of symptoms reported sufficient to satisfy the ACR criteria for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia was 6.4%. This compares with an age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of a formal diagnosis of fibromyalgia of 1.1% in the same population.

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New treatments for fibromyalgia syndrome

Two studies catching the editorial eye recently in connection with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) were 'hypnosis with guided imagery' and implantation of a vagus nerve stimulator.

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Treating pain in fibromyalgia

Although cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in treating patients with chronic pain syndromes, often it can be difficult for patients to engage in psychological treatments.

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How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

Fibromyalgia is often difficult to diagnose as the symptoms vary considerably and could have other causes. Your doctor may suggest you have blood tests to rule out other conditions.

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What causes fibromyalgia?

The exact causes of fibromyalgia aren’t known, but anxiety, physical and/or mental trauma, and sleep disturbance are thought to play a part. It isn't caused by inflammation and it's thought it may be related to chemical changes in the body's pain pathways.

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What conditions may be related to fibromyalgia?

Some people who have fibromyalgia also report being affected by other conditions, including fatigue, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and restless legs syndrome.

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What treatments are there for fibromyalgia?

There's no cure as yet for fibromyalgia, but there are ways of managing your symptoms and a team of healthcare professionals will be able to support you in this.

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Self-help and daily living for fibromyalgia

Pacing your daily activities, taking regular exercise and tackling any stress or unhappiness are just some of the ways you can help ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

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Research and new developments for fibromyalgia

Arthritis Research UK is supporting the world’s first national centre for research into understanding the mechanisms of pain in musculoskeletal disorders.

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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information or call 0300 790 0400 to order the complete printed booklet.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.