The Most Common Misconceptions About Fibromyalgia

As anyone who lives with fibromyalgia will attest, there are many misconceptions surrounding the condition. The most common misconception is that it’s all in the patient’s mind, and therefore it’s not a medical problem at all.

MORE: Explaining chronic illness using an alternative to the “spoon theory.”

In an interview with, a nursing supervisor from the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Clinic at the Mayo Clinic, explains people living with fibromyalgia have central nervous systems that process pain signals in a different way than non-sufferers. Their heightened sensitivity to pain is very real and often debilitating, which has a dramatic effect on their daily lives.

Because treatments for fibromyalgia have been largely ineffective, there’s a common school of thought among those who do not understand the condition that there couldn’t have been anything wrong in the first place.

Thankfully, this attitude towards those who suffer from fibromyalgia is dwindling, due largely to more research into the condition and the fact that better diagnosis means people are much more aware of its presence, often knowing someone who lives with the illness and seeing the effects firsthand.

Other misconceptions about fibromyalgia include the way it can be treated. While diet and other lifestyle choices may relieve some of the symptoms for those who live with fibromyalgia, there is no one-size-fits-all approach — what may work for one fibro sufferer may have no effect on another. To date, research which shows any one particular diet or treatment is helpful to those living with fibromyalgia is often conflicting and patients often have to try multiple different treatments, diets, and alternative therapies to find out which works best for them.

MORE: How can acupuncture help with fibromyalgia pain?

Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

One comment

  1. Bebi says:

    Thankyou for the above. I feel that perhaps if we were able to have more Openess on Fibromyalgia, then we wouldn’t have to “defend” ourselves to so many people who don’t believe in Fibromyalgia. By having news articles published on the TV, open discussions on programmes that are watched by most, this may alleviate the Misconcepptions that Fibro is “all in our heads”. I have found that the only people who Research/try to learn more, are US: we the ones who have been diagnosed.
    Does anyone have ideas on how to get more Public Recognition of this condition.? We hear everything re all the Cancers/ other Musculo-skeletal conditions; but nothing re Fibromyalgia.

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