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The Spectrum of Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Although fibromyalgia is currently defined in terms of widespread pain and tenderness, all FM patients have a complex of other symptoms, many of which cause significant distress and dysfunction. The following table lists many of these common symptoms as reported in the NFA 2005 Internet survey of nearly 3000 FM patients.

 Symptoms reported by 25% or more of FM patients:   

 

Symptom

Frequency

 

Low back pain

63%

 

Recurrent headaches

47%

 

Arthritis

46%

 

Muscle spasm

46%

 

Tingling

46%

 

Balance problems

45%

 

Irritable bowel syndrome

44%

 

Numbness

44%

 

Chronic fatigue

40%

 

Bloating

40%

 

Depression

40%

 

Anxiety

38%

 

Sinus problems

37%

 

Tooth disorders

32%

 

Restless legs

32%

 

Tinnitus

30%

 

Jaw pain

29%

 

Bladder problems

26%

 

Rashes

25%

Patients were also asked to evaluate the severity of various symptoms along on a 0 to 10 scale (10 representing the most severe symptom)

Severity of Symptoms:

 

Symptom

Severity 

 

Morning stiffness

7.2

 

Fatigue

7.1

 

Non-restorative sleep

6.8

 

Pain

6.4

 

Forgetfulness

5.9

 

Concentration

5.9

 

Difficulty falling asleep

5.6

 

Muscle spasms

4.8

 

Anxiety

4.5

 

Depression

4.4

 

Headaches

4.3

 

Anger

3.9

 

Restless legs

3.6

 

Abdominal pain

3.6

 

Poor balance

3.5

 

Swelling of feet and ankles

3.2

 

Dizziness

2.9

 

Bladder problems

2.5

 

Skin rashes

1.9

 

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