What are the FMS Symptoms?

Clinical symptoms of FMS are very changeable and their intensity is also very variable depending on different exogenous and/or endogenous stressors (injury, cold, moisture, infection, psychosocial factors). The key symptom is chronic pain with periods of exacerbation often described by patients in a dramatic and graphic manner ("skin burning, tearing out body, stabbing sharp objects"). The pain concerns mostly the spine and large joints' area, however it has a diffused character ("every body part hurts"). Pain intensity may change during the day, which may make diagnosis difficult. One of the characteristic pain features is its increase because of physical activity, called exercise intolerance. This makes the ill person reluctant to do any physical or vital activity, as does a feeling of a chronic fatigue.

Fibromyalgia patients very characteristically experience a range of symptoms of varying intensities that wax and wane over time. These symptoms include: muscle weakness, stiffness, a feeling of chronic fatigue and a number of ailments suggesting impaired function of internal organs called vegetative and functional symptoms. According to several authors they are present in from 20 % to 100 % of cases. Even though they are rather unspecific, awareness of them makes diagnosis much easier.

According to different sources 20 to 70 % of patients reveal psychopathological symptoms like tension, anxiety, personality disturbances, psychasthenia, schizophrenia and depression. Some authors believe that these symptoms, along with vegetative and functional symptoms, are an inherent part of fibromyalgia symptoms, and their presence is the result of genetic predisposition. Fibromyalgia is quite often, however wrongly, seen as a kind of "pain mask of depression". The absence of tender points in depression is a differentiating element between these two diseases.

previous page ← FSM Symptoms → continuation