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What Is Fibromyalgia?

What is

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions that causes widespread pain, tenderness, fatigue, sleep problems, and other health conditions

4 million people

in the US live with fibromyalgia

Women are 2X

more likely to have fibromyalgia than men

Fibromyalgia pain affects every aspect of life

The CDC states that there are about 4 million people in the US (about 2 percent of the adult population) with fibromyalgia compared with about 1-2.5 million people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS).

There is a substantial overlap between Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS, especially in demographic and clinical similarities/symptoms.

Our pioneering mission at OMF is to solve under-researched and under-funded chronic complex diseases including ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia (FM) and Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS) / chronic / persistent Lyme Disease.  Many of these diseases have overlapping symptoms. Breakthroughs in one disease will shed light on the others.

Fibromyalgia is a multi-system disease


Although chronic, widespread body pain is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia, a variety of other symptoms are common in FM patients.

Most Common Symptoms

Pain and stiffness all over the body

Fatigue and tiredness

Depression and anxiety

Sleep problems

Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration

Headaches, including migraines

Environmental sensitivities

Other Symptoms

Tingling or numbness in hands and feet

Pain in the face or jaw, including disorders of the jaw known as temporomandibular joint syndrome (also known as TMJ)

Digestive problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Doctors usually diagnose fibromyalgia using the patient’s history, physical examination, X-rays, and blood work.


There are no diagnostic biomarkers for fibromyalgia and it can typically take five years for a patient to receive an accurate diagnosis.

To aid in the diagnosis, OMF is developing a patient-driven tool named “Personalized Automated Symptom Summary (PASS)” that is intended to aid a clinician to more efficiently define the character and priorities of symptoms for patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS), PTLDS/chronic/persistent Lyme disease, or Fibromyalgia.

The overall strategy is to reduce the time spent by a clinician to evaluate and diagnose a patient with a chronic illness. The intent is to bridge the communication gap between patient and doctor, helping patients to more accurately and efficiently convey their symptoms to their treating physician.

There is no cure for fibromyalgia


Treatment is typically prescribed by a rheumatologist and focused on the management and relief of symptoms. A multi-disciplinary approach is usually recommended.

Progress in ME / CFS research will help find answers for Fibromyalgia. Therefore, understanding ME / CFS and Fibromyalgia are crucial to improving the lives of millions.

We remain confident that OMF’s open, collaborative and unique approach to research will give more answers for all.


Support OMF

Support Open Medicine Foundation’s quest to find effective treatments and diagnostic tests for the millions of people affected by these devastating diseases!


Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. The information provided on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia Leading Research. Delivering Hope.Open Medicine Foundation®

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