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Fibromyalgia

Have you been diagnosed with fibromyalgia? Let Highmark help you understand this chronic disorder.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder with muscle pain that can be severe enough to limit work, social activities, and everyday tasks. Pain commonly occurs in the neck, upper back, shoulders, chest, and lower back and may feel like a burning or aching sensation.

It is estimated that at least five million adults in the United States have fibromyalgia with up to 90 percent being women. Individuals with fibromyalgia begin to notice symptoms between the ages of 20 and 40, but children and older adults may also develop this condition. Experts are not sure what causes fibromyalgia, but there are steps you can take to manage it:

  • Exercise is one of the best ways to manage symptoms. Work on slowly increasing exercise time and intensity to avoid sore muscles that may cause you to limit exercise.
  • Medication can treat fibromyalgia. Talk to your physician about medications that can aid in sleep and relief of muscle and joint pain.
  • Counseling has been shown to help with sleep problems and fatigue.
Additional health and wellness information

If you're a Highmark member, you have access to a secure, members-only website that provides information about fibromyalgia and more. To access your Highmark member website, select the service region noted on your member ID card. After logging in, select the "Health & Wellness" tab and type "fibromyalgia" in the search field.