What is the Connection Between Fibromyalgia and Back Pain?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2018
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Fibromyalgia is a condition in which a person feels pain throughout the body and specifically in pressure points that are extremely sensitive. Fibromyalgia and back pain are linked because the condition can affect the back, which is one of the largest collection of muscles in the human body. Many of the tender points associated with the condition are located in the back, causing a link between fibromyalgia and back pain. This condition can be difficult to diagnose, as the tender points and aches must occur throughout the entire body, not in just one isolated spot.

A condition that more often occurs in women than in men, fibromyalgia can lead to other issues, such as sleeplessness and chronic fatigue syndrome. If back pain persists during the night, a sufferer may be unable to fall asleep or to continue sleeping, which can in turn affect daytime functioning. Since many of the tender points associated with fibromyalgia are located in the back, the link between fibromyalgia and back pain becomes evident in most sufferers.


One tender point in the back is along the spine in the neck; near the neck and shoulders; near the buttocks, just outside the spine; and beneath the buttocks. As is apparent by the location of these tender points, fibromyalgia and back pain often accompany each other because such tender points lie along areas of the body that are often in use throughout the day and night, regardless of activity level. Fibromyalgia and back pain can cause discomfort both during physical activity and during rest, which means treatment is necessary to alleviate the conditions before they cause other issues.

Since fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose, treatment can vary greatly depending on the sufferer. Often, a combination of medication and physical therapy are necessary to completely alleviate the condition. Acetaminophen and other painkillers can be used to alleviate some of the pain, and antidepressants can help a sufferer combat depression and sleeplessness. Physical therapy, including stretching and exercise, can help strengthen muscles and promote flexibility, which can help the sufferer regain mobility and painlessness.

Fortunately, fibromyalgia is not a progressive disorder; in other words, it is unlikely to worsen over time or cause permanent damage. It can, however, cause other issues that are more lasting, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and a host of other issues. Regular exercise and a sufficient amount of sleep at night should help prevent or alleviate fibromyalgia, as can efforts to reduce stress in daily life.



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