Fibromyalgia is an often misunderstood medical disorder or syndrome. While the cause of fibromyalgia is not known, there may be several factors involved. There are theories that the onset of fibromyalgia may be linked to injuries, hormones or traumatic events. In some cases, fibromyalgia seems to run in families, although no one knows if this is due to genetic or environmental factors. Though fibromyalgia is considered a rheumatoid condition, it is not a form of arthritis. Anyone can get it, but people with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases are more likely to develop fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a confusing and often misunderstood condition. In the past, people who sought pain treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms were frequently told that their symptoms were “all in their head” and that they did not represent any known disease. However, in recent decades medical studies have proven that fibromyalgia does exist, and it is estimated to affect between 2% and 6% of people worldwide. The symptoms of fibromyalgia may include muscle pain, sleep disturbance, morning stiffness, depression and fatigue. Many people with fibromyalgia also describe problems with thinking and memory. They call this “fibro fog.” For people with fibromyalgia, the combination of pain and sleep disturbance is a double-edged sword: the pain makes sleep difficult and sleep deprivation worsens the pain. Many people with fibromyalgia have “tender points” on the body, specific places that hurt when pressure is applied. These “tender points” are often on the neck, shoulders, hips, back, arms, and/or legs. As fibromyalgia symptoms will vary from person to person, and sometimes from day to day, no one treatment will work. You may need to try a variety of treatments to find the combination that is most effective for you. Most recommended treatments strongly focus on getting enough sleep and exercise, along with eating well and stress management. Avoiding caffeine, sugar and alcohol before bedtime, using relaxation techniques and going to bed at the same time every day can help with sleep and stress. There are several different types of non-habit forming medications that may help and some people find good results with supplements. Lidocaine injections into the tender points gives temporary localized relief for some patients. Psychological support is essential: counseling, support groups, maintaining close emotional ties with supportive friends and family. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments such as massage, myofascial therapy, acupressure, acupuncture, yoga, aromatherapy, reiki, biofeedback and osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation can all be part of a comprehensive treatment plan for long term wellness.