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Information for Teaching Staff

This is part of our larger Young People and Fibromyalgia booklet. This section is aimed at young people and understanding fibromyalgia. All our publications can be found here.


What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterised by widespread muscle pain, profound fatigue and non-refreshing sleep. The pain is often described as aching or burning, just like you feel when you have the flu or have run a marathon the day before. Sleep is commonly disturbed with frequent night-time awakenings and often a person will awake feeling as tired and sore as when they went to bed the night before. The fatigue can vary from simply feeling tired to overwhelming exhaustion, which can come on suddenly as though someone has ‘pulled the plug’. These main symptoms can be only the tip of the iceberg however, as there are also a range of other commonly associated symptoms including irritable bowel syndrome, cognitive difficulties and multiple sensitivities. The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary in intensity from day to day and undulate over time. It can seem as though the pain is moving around the body and as soon as one pain disappears another one arises.

Main symptoms:

  • widespread pain throughout the body
  • disturbed sleep
  • always feeling tired 

Other common symptoms:

  • morning stiffness
  • pain when you exert yourself
  • headaches
  • difficulty concentrating (fibrofog)
  • light-headedness
  • feeling worried
  • being bothered by chemicals, light, sound, smells, noise
  • numbness and tingling
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • irritable bladder
  • cold sensitivity
  • restless legs

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