Fibromyalgia is caused by a number of factors including genetics, psychological or physical trauma or infections. You are more likely to develop fibromyalgia if you have other conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or lupus.

Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures also may help.

Overview and Symptoms

Fibromyalgia causes constant dull pain, extreme fatigue, disrupts sleep and affects memory and mood.

If you have widespread pain for more than three months without an underlying medical condition, your physician will order one or more blood tests.

  • Complete blood count
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate—which helps diagnose or monitor the progress of an inflammatory disease
  • Cyclic citrullinated peptide test—which checks for antibodies that attack the immune system
  • Thyroid function tests


Your physician will prescribe both medication and self-care to help manage the symptoms and improve general health. You physician will take into account the severity of your condition, your overall health and lifestyle when treating you.

Your physician may suggest over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription pain medication, and antidepressants to help with sleep and fatigue.

You may also be referred to a physical and/or an occupational therapist. Your therapist will work closely with your physician to create an exercise plan to help improve your strength and flexibility.

Acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga and tai chi have been known to help reduce pain, relieve stress and help with attention and memory. Our experts at CHENG-TSUI Integrated Health Center will work with your physician to suggest integrative therapies for you.

Orthopaedic Care

The Department of Orthopaedics provides world-class care with latest technologies and therapies to help patients with bone, joint and muscle conditions.


Integrated Care

The Cheng Tsui Integrated Health Center combines the leading-edge medical care of BIDMC with integrative therapies to help you get well, live well, and stay well.

Cheng Tsui Integrated Health Center