Fatigue is another extremely common symptom of fibromyalgia. This fatigue is often moderate to severe in intensity, causing a feeling of exhaustion, a lack of energy, and decreased exercise endurance. People with fibromyalgia often wake up feeling tired, even when getting a full night's rest. This may be because, as studies have shown, people with fibromyalgia symptoms have interruptions in their sleep patterns, especially with their deep sleep. Fatigue is often also made worse because the pain associated with fibromyalgia can cause difficulty sleeping (insomnia). Fatigue from fibromyalgia is often similar to that seen with another condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Tender points are specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. These points hurt when pressure is put on them.
The American College of Rheumatology also has designated 18 sites on the body as possible tender points. For a fibromyalgia diagnosis, a person must have 11 or more tender points. People who have fibromyalgia certainly may feel pain at other sites, too; but the 18 standard sites on the body are the criteria used for diagnosing fibromyalgia.
Dots indicate possible locations of tender points
(Image courtesy of the National Institutes of Health)
Other Possible Fibromyalgia SymptomsIn addition to pain, fatigue, and insomnia, some other fibromyalgia symptoms that people may experience include:
- Headaches (including migraine headaches and tension headaches)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), with IBS symptoms such as an upset stomach, cramping, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Painful cramping during your period
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
- Temperature sensitivity
- Problems with thinking and memory (sometimes referred to as "fibro fog")
- Leg cramps
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Jaw pain
- Trouble swallowing
- Frequent or painful urination.