Fibromyalgia Diagnosis Treatment in Dubai, UAE

Fibromyalgia Diagnosis Treatment in Dubai, UAE: Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain and fatigue Our compassionate team provides comprehensive care to manage symptoms and improve your quality of life

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Fibromyalgia is a common condition associated with muscular pain and fatigue. It occurs more commonly in women than in men especially in women of childbearing age.

Fibromyalgia is not a form of arthritis nor is it associated with inflammation. Instead, fibromyalgia is a form of soft-tissue rheumatism, a broad term including a group of disorders that cause pain and stiffness around the joints and in muscles and bones.

Table of contents


Symptoms and Signs

Widespread musculoskeletal pain is the most prominent symptom of fibromyalgia. Most individuals complain of aching and stiffness in areas around the neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back and hip areas. It generally occurs throughout the body, although it may start in one region, such as the neck and shoulders, and may spread over a period of time.

Fibromyalgia pain has been described in a variety of ways, such as burning, gnawing, aching, or as stiffness or soreness. It often varies according to time of the day, activity level, the weather, sleep patterns and stress. Most people with fibromyalgia say that some degree of pain always is present. They feel the pain mainly in their muscles. For some people, the pain may be quite severe. Although the results of a general physical examination usually are normal and individuals may look healthy, a specific examination of the muscles of people with fibromyalgia reveals tender areas at locations known as tender points. Tender points are areas of the body that are painful when pressed. The presence and pattern of these characteristic tender points separate fibromyalgia from other conditions. People often are not aware of the exact location or even the presence of many of these tender points until a doctor performs a tender point evaluation.


Fatigue and Sleep Disturbances

Most people with fibromyalgia have fatigue, decreased endurance, or the kind of exhaustion felt with the flu or lack of sleep. Sometimes the fatigue is severe and a much greater problem than the pain. Most people with fibromyalgia experience sleeping problems. Although they may be able to fall asleep without major difficulty, they sleep lightly and wake up frequently during the night. They often wake up feeling tired, even after sleeping through the night. The tiredness can range from listlessness and decreased endurance to exhaustion, and can vary from one day to the next.

Nervous System Symptoms

Changes in mood are a common symptom of fibromyalgia. Feelings of sadness or being down are common and some people with fibromyalgia have depression. People with fibromyalgia also may feel anxious. Some researchers think there is a link between fibromyalgia and certain forms of depression and chronic anxiety. However, any person with a chronic illness – not just fibromyalgia – may feel depressed at times while struggling with their pain and fatigue. People with fibromyalgia may have difficulty concentrating or performing simple mental tasks. These problems tend to come and go and are often most prominent at times of extreme fatigue or anxiety. Similar problems have been noted in many people with mood changes, sleep disturbances or other chronic illnesses.

Other Problems

Headaches, especially tension headaches and migraine headaches, are common in people with fibromyalgia. Abdominal pain, bloating and alternating constipation and diarrhea (called irritable bowel syndrome or spastic colon) also are common. Bladder spasms and irritability may cause urinary urgency or frequency. Additional problems that may be associated with fibromyalgia include cramps, dizziness, pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), hands, arms, feet, legs or face.

How Is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

Fibromyalgia cannot be diagnosed with laboratory tests. The results of X-rays, blood tests, and muscle biopsies look normal. Therefore, the diagnosis is based on a careful history and physical examination. According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria, a person has fibromyalgia if he or she has a history of widespread pain of at least three months’ duration, and pain in at least 11 or more of 18 specific tender point sites. Common conditions that may mimic fibromyalgia include hypothyroidism, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and infections. These can usually be excluded by examination and laboratory tests. Because the complaints of fibromyalgia are so general and often bring to mind other medical disorders, many people undergo complicated and often repeated evaluations before they are diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It is important to see a physician or rheumatologist who knows how to diagnose and treat the condition.

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. There are many different factors, alone or in combination, that may cause fibromyalgia. For example, factors such as an infectious illness, physical trauma, emotional trauma or hormonal changes, may contribute to the generalized pain, fatigue and sleep disturbances that characterize the condition. Studies have suggested that people with fibromyalgia have abnormal levels of several of the different chemicals that help transmit and amplify pain signals to and from the brain. Whether these abnormalities are a cause or a result of fibromyalgia is unknown.

Fibromyalgia Treatment and Care

There is no known cure for fibromyalgia. Patients may be reassured that the condition, while painful, does not damage tissues and that it can be managed successfully in many cases.

Treatment options for fibromyalgia include:

Medications to diminish pain and improve
Exercise programs that stretch muscles and improve cardiovascularly
Relaxation techniques to ease muscle tension

Educational programs to help you understand and manage fibromyalgia

Your doctor can create a treatment plan specifically for you. Some people with fibromyalgia have mild symptoms and need very little treatment once they understand what fibromyalgia is and how to avoid what worsens their condition. Other people, however, require a comprehensive care program, involving medication, exercise, and pain coping skills training.

Managing Fibromyalgia

Frequently, people with fibromyalgia have undergone many tests and have seen several specialists in their search for answers. They often are told that because they look well and their tests are normal, there is nothing wrong with them. Their family and friends, as well as physicians, may doubt the reality of their complaints, increasing their feelings of isolation, guilt, and anger. You and your family should understand that fibromyalgia causes chronic pain and fatigue. You must take an active role in managing your fibromyalgia by exercising regularly, educating yourself about your condition, and learning how to implement relaxation techniques and stress management strategies.

Also, see our Physiotherapy for Fibromyalgia services

FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)

What questions are asked to diagnose fibromyalgia?

Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be a complex process as it relies heavily on clinical evaluation and the patient’s reported symptoms. Typically, healthcare professionals will ask a series of questions to assess and diagnose fibromyalgia. They may inquire about the presence, duration, and intensity of widespread pain, usually experienced in specific tender points on the body. Patients are often asked about the nature of their pain, any associated symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive issues (commonly referred to as “fibro fog”). Moreover, healthcare providers may inquire about the patient’s medical history and conduct physical examinations to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.


Reaching a definitive diagnosis may require ruling out other potential causes of similar symptoms. The diagnostic process aims to establish that the patient’s symptoms align with the criteria established by medical guidelines for fibromyalgia. It’s essential for patients to provide a comprehensive and accurate description of their symptoms during these consultations to aid in an accurate diagnosis.

What is the most effective treatment for fibromyalgia?

The most effective treatment for fibromyalgia is a tailored, multidisciplinary approach that combines various strategies to manage the diverse symptoms of the condition. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, as the effectiveness of treatments can vary from person to person. However, some common components of effective fibromyalgia treatment include:

Medications: These may include pain relievers, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants to manage pain, improve sleep, and address mood and cognitive symptoms.

Physical therapy: Exercise programs and physical therapy can help improve muscle strength, flexibility, and overall physical function.

Lifestyle modifications: These may involve adopting a balanced diet, managing stress, and improving sleep hygiene.

Counseling: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or other forms of counseling can help patients manage the emotional and psychological aspects of fibromyalgia.

Support groups: Joining support groups or engaging with others who have fibromyalgia can provide valuable emotional support and coping strategies.

The most effective treatment plan is one that is individualized, comprehensive, and focuses on improving the patient’s quality of life. It often requires ongoing adjustments and collaboration between the patient and their healthcare team to achieve optimal outcomes.

How Do Patient Education and Counseling Affect Symptoms and Outcomes?

Patient education and counseling play a significant role in managing fibromyalgia symptoms and improving outcomes. When individuals are well-informed about their condition, treatment options, and coping strategies, they are better equipped to manage their symptoms effectively.

Counseling, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help patients address the psychological and emotional aspects of fibromyalgia. It teaches patients valuable skills to manage stress, anxiety, and depression, which are often intertwined with the condition. CBT can also help individuals develop coping strategies for dealing with chronic pain and improve their overall quality of life.

Additionally, patient education can empower individuals to make informed decisions about their treatment and lifestyle. Understanding the importance of regular exercise, adopting a balanced diet, managing sleep hygiene, and recognizing triggers for symptom exacerbation can all contribute to better symptom management.

How long is the treatment for fibromyalgia?

The duration of treatment for fibromyalgia varies from person to person and depends on several factors, including the severity of symptoms, the individual’s response to treatment, and their overall health. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, and while there is no cure, it can be managed effectively with the right approach.


Treatment for fibromyalgia typically involves a multidisciplinary approach. It may include a combination of medications, physical therapy, exercise, lifestyle modifications, and counseling to address both the physical and psychological aspects of the condition. The goal of treatment is to alleviate pain, improve sleep quality, manage fatigue, and enhance overall quality of life.


Patients often work closely with healthcare providers to develop a personalized treatment plan that may be adjusted over time based on their response to interventions. While some individuals may experience significant relief from their symptoms relatively quickly, others may require ongoing management and support to maintain their well-being. The key to successful fibromyalgia management is a patient-centered approach that addresses the individual’s unique needs and preferences.

Which Conditions Are Associated with Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia often coexists with other medical conditions, a phenomenon known as comorbidity. Some common conditions associated with fibromyalgia include:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): Fibromyalgia and CFS share similar symptoms, including fatigue, sleep disturbances, and pain. Many individuals with fibromyalgia also meet the criteria for CFS.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): There is a higher prevalence of IBS in individuals with fibromyalgia, and both conditions involve gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain and altered bowel habits.

Migraines and Headaches: Fibromyalgia is often linked to frequent migraines or tension-type headaches.

Depression and Anxiety: Mood disorders, particularly depression and anxiety, are common among fibromyalgia patients. The chronic pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia can contribute to these conditions.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders: Many individuals with fibromyalgia experience TMJ-related pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint.

It’s important to recognize these potential comorbidities, as addressing them in conjunction with fibromyalgia can lead to more comprehensive symptom management and an improved quality of life for patients. Treatment plans should consider these associated conditions and be tailored accordingly.