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Fibromyalgia is a common condition causing widespread pain, principally in the muscles - in a study in the USA it could be diagnosed in 3% of women and 1% of men, and in a more recent study using the newer 2010 Americal College of Rheumatology criteria the numbers are higher.  

Fibromyalgia was formerly thought to be a condition of the muscles, but evidence nowadays is that it is much more related to sensitisation of the central nervous system, analogous to the changes in irritable bowel syndrome and other generalised pain conditions.  There are close parallels and much in common with other conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME) - in fact, there is a strong argument that the two are different aspects of the same condition spectrum.   Our service does not specfically deal wth CFS - there is a regional service based at Frenchay (follow this link).

We have provided links below to some sites with useful information on this condition.  A particularly detailed and useful article can be accessed via this link.

The British Pain Society and Map of Medicine have recently finalised and published recommended pathways for Chronic WIdespread Pain, Including Fibromyalgia.


A particularly detailed and useful article can be accessed via this link.

The Arthritis Care information page on Fibromyalgia is recommended.

A very thorough and good patient information page on fibromyalgia is at the American College of Rheumatology site

Excellent information page and downloadable information booklet at Arthritis Research UK

Fibromyalgia Action UK website and their information booklet








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Pain Service Website, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Webmaster Dr J G de Courcy, Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia
email: pain.webmaster[at]

Page updated 13/6/2016