6 Most Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Woman with fibromyalgia

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a common chronic pain disorder that affects about 10 million people in the U.S. It is also one of the most difficult pain disorders for doctors to diagnose. Different people with fibromyalgia present their symptoms in different ways. Currently, there are no definitive tests to prove whether a patient is suffering from the nerve disorder. However, there are several warning signs of to look out for. If you are experiencing the following fibromyalgia symptoms, discuss them with your doctor.

Video courtesy of Mayoclinic.com

1. Sensitivity to Touch

One of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia is allodynia, or a sensitivity to touch. If you suffer from allodynia, simple everyday gestures such as a pat on the back or a rub on the arm result in pain. About one-third of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia deal with increased sensitivity and even severe pain in response to touch.

2. Fibro Fog

Fibro fog is another one of distressing fibromyalgia symptoms that sufferers must deal with regularly. This is also simply known as brain fog, a problem that affects even those without fibromyalgia. With fibro fog you might have short-term memory loss, difficulty finding word substitutions, and disorientation that can last up to a minute per episode. Fibro fog has no specific cause. It can often be attributed to several other fibromyalgia signs such as lack of good sleep, low thyroid levels, or even changes in the blood flow to the brain.

3. Tingling

Other distressing yet common symptoms of fibromyalgia flare ups are widespread tingling and sensations of burning or numbness. These sensations might be localized to specific areas of your body, or they can happen anywhere. Most people with symptoms of fibromyalgia experience tingling in hands and feet. When you are anxious or don’t get good sleep, the tingling or other sensations generally increase. In addition, these signs can become worse or more frequent at specific times of day, such as first thing in the morning or late at night.

4. Excessive Fatigue

If you deal with fibromyalgia, you likely don’t sleep well. Many sleep disturbances can affect how quickly you get to sleep, how deep you sleep, and how long you sleep each night. With this condition, fatigue is more than just feeling tired regularly. It usually is an all-encompassing exhaustion that eventually interferes with your regular activities and life. There are several reasons you might have excessive fatigue. These include an inability to sleep due to anxiety or pain, or even an imbalance of hormones that makes sleep difficult.

Fibromyalgia symptoms

5. Migraines

Regular, persistent migraines are one of the common symptoms of fibromyalgia. In many cases these migraines are due to changes in the blood flow to the brain. When the blood vessels providing blood to the brain restrict then expand, it causes migraines. Migraines due to fibromyalgia can also be attributed to hormone changes in the body and might worsen with lack of sleep, depression, and other symptoms.

6. Depression and Anxiety

The stress from the symptoms of fibromyalgia can cause a chain reaction of withdrawal from daily activities and one’s social life. Canceling plans, or not making them at all due to flare ups can cause isolation resulting in depression.  Also, not knowing when the next symptoms will occur can create a constant state of anxiety.

Ask Your Doctor about Fibromyalgia

If you are suffering from these symptoms and you regularly deal with widespread pain across your body, talk to your doctor. While diagnosis is difficult, there are treatment options such as pain relievers, physical therapy, and anti-depressant medications. Many benefit from natural remedies such as yoga, acupuncture, and meditation. A definitive diagnosis is not required before taking steps to alleviate painful symptoms.


  1. Hi I’m jodie the last 2 months my head feels floaty keep getting headaches not sleeping well but fall asleep in the day and I ache all over need some advice please

    • Jodie,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been having trouble with aches and sleeping. It can be very frustrating to try to get too the root of a problem when it has such an impact on your day to day life. The most important thing that you can do is reach out to your primary care doctor, who is familiar with your particular situation, and can point you in the right direction to start feeling better.

      Pain Resource Team

      • I have been to many doctors over the years for a few different reasons. I suffer from chronic migraines, I have degenerative disk disease, arthritis, broken 2 vertebrae (1 of them twice) one broken in several places. I have tried so many things it’s sad. Different therapies and medications. Over the counter and prescription. Nothing works and if it does a little bit it doesn’t last long. I dont sleep well either and like the other lady I have a hard time staying awake during the day. I feel exhausted 99 % of the time. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated because I’m at a total loss as to what to do. There are so many nights when I try to go to sleep that I would wish and hope I wouldn’t wake up because I couldnt stand another day like the last.(no, I’m not suicidal) I would never do anything that drastic, but it doesn’t stop me from wishing it was my last day sometimes.

  2. hi i have pain from top of my head to toe i get tingling numbness every night in hands an feet always have headache never sleep well im in constant pain im struggling to work at minute its really hard

    • Mandy,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having difficulty with tingling, headaches and sleeping. That has to be very hard to deal with. Have you spoken with your primary care doctor? While he or she might not have the answers, they can refer you to a specialist who can help you get to the bottom of what is causing these issues for you.


      Pain Resource Team

  3. Hi I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 5 years ago and have tried many of the drugs but without success.
    At the moment I’m having severe breathlessness and pain which I’m finding hard to deal with.
    I also have a compromised immune system and take hydroxyurea and impogen injections 3 times a week.
    Have you any suggestions , would love anything you think might help.
    Deborah Walsh

    • Deborah,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry that you’ve been having such a difficult time. Please consult with your primary care doctor, and let him or her know that the medications that you have been taking aren’t working, and that you’re having difficulty breathing as well. Because your doctor best understands your specific situation, he or she will be able to guide you in the best direction.


      Pain Resource Team

  4. For around 8/9 month I have suffered with server migraines/ depression/ lack of sleep and the most scary part numb/ Heavy lower limbs I.e hips and legs to the point where it takes around half hour before I can move enough to get out of bed do these sound like symptoms of fm

    • Quin,

      I’m sorry you’re experiencing these issues. The best person to consult with in regard to your specific condition is your primary care doctor. He or she will be able to address the specifics of your condition, and will guide you in the right direction. Please feel free to check back for information here that can help to supplement the guidance of your doctor.

      We will also be rolling out a forum community next month, where people like yourself can share stories and support one another. This might be a great resource for you to discuss your experience with others.


      Your Friends at Team Resource

  5. Hi my name is Cheryl I have chronic back pain I also get persistent nerve pain across my back, down my legs front and back and under my feet. My memory is so bad sometimes I double up on my medication. I did take something for my nerve pain but was useless.
    I am on antidepressants and panadeine forte.
    I try to walk my back and legs seize up I get an unbearable aching pain and until I sit down for a while I can’t move. Then off I go again.
    I stand in line for something or wait at the traffic lights my pain becomes so unbearable I feel like I have to get pulled along so I can move again. Most days I don’t want to get out of bed it drives me crazy I hope to try medical marijuana so my life is bearable again. I have had this pain for at least 35 years enough is enough!!!!

    • Cheryl,

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I’m sorry that you’re experiencing such painful symptoms that have such a significant experience on your day to day life. Our online community is a great resource where you can support, share stories and gain insight from others who are having similar experiences. Please visit forum.painresource.com to sign up and collaborate with others in our community.


      Your Friends at Pain Resource


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