Is Fibromyalgia A Form of Myopathy?

fibromyalgia and myopathy

Fibromyalgia is a type of condition that can lead to a lot of debilitating symptoms. Among these are mental fog, chronic fatigue and chronic pain. However, the condition mainly involves overall muscle pain and weakness. This is why fibromyalgia is sometimes associated as a form of myopathy.




What is Myopathy?

Myopathy is an umbrella term for muscle diseases which lead to the dysfunction of muscles fibers. There are several different conditions can affect the muscle tissues and it can be broken down into several different categories:

  • First, there are the dystrophies that affects the way the muscle tissues regenerate after damages. Generally, these conditions are progressive and this means that over time, they could destroy the heart and lungs’ ability to function well.
  • Certain forms of myopathy is caused by the body’s inability to process nutrients and feeding nutrients to the muscles.
  • Finally there are certain types of myopathy that could lead to genetic abnormalities and affect the muscle cells’ ability to replicate.

Is Fibromyalgia A Form of Myopathy?

Myopathy can lead to several different symptoms. It generally leads to the weakness of muscles that makes moving extremely difficult. Myopathy can also cause pain and stiffness in the muscles. As you can see, the symptoms of myopathy and fibromyalgia are rather similar. However, fibromyalgia does not fall into the standard category of myopathy. This is because myopathy is primarily due to a defect in the muscles. Unlike myopathy, patients of fibromyalgia do not show any inflammation or any abnormality in muscle tissues. Thus, it is likely that the pain as a result of fibromyalgia does not really come from the muscles themselves.

Furthermore, fibromyalgia is not really a progressive dystrophy and does not seem to come with any nutritional component in the same way as other myopathies would.




Instead, a lot of researchers have proposed that the root of fibromyalgia lies within the nervous system. The main idea behind such theory is that there are certain malfunctions in how the body processes pain. In normal cases, when muscles are injured or damaged, your nerves transmit signal into the brain and perceive these as pain.

However, with fibromyalgia, your nerves fire signals into the brain although there is no actual damage done to the muscles. The most common explanation for this is that the brain itself is actually abnormal. Research shows that those who have fibromyalgia have reduced blood flow in the areas of the brain that process pain. This reduced flow of blood could explain why your brain cannot process pain properly.  As a result, such miscommunication can lead to the weakness and pain of the muscles.

How to Prevent Muscle Weakness in Fibromyalgia?

One of the main reasons why fibro patients feel weakness in their muscles is because of the lack of physical activity. Thus, doctors highly recommend patients to exercise on a regular basis to help strengthen the muscles and lessen the severity of the symptoms in the long term. However, the type of exercise you do is very important as it can either improve or worsen your symptoms.

The type of exercise that are best suited for fibromyalgia is light low impact exercise such as walking, stretching, swimming, warm water aerobics, yoga, taichi etc. Doctors recommend a mere 30 minutes each day. If you find that the exercise you do is not helping you, it could be that you are doing the wrong type of exercise. Approach a physical therapist when necessary as they can better design an exercise therapy plan customized to your needs.

24 Comments

  • Really???? Lack of exercise!!!???? I don’t think so…. when I do too much work, moving around, exercise, or whatever… I can’t move the following day. Most times for more than one day. I find when I take more breaks I can get more done.
    I do believe also that it is neurological. I have nerve pains, zaps, pins, burning, aches on a daily basis. The pain can be anywhere in my body including my abdomen and chest.

      • I also feel the same way I would get up in the morning I fix me something to eat and I would eat my breakfast and a lot of times I try to clean the house I couldn’t do much I had to lay back down everything wore me out and all I want to do is sleep. People don’t know how much pain you are in until they’re in it you can sweep the floor and there you are in the bed.. When I exercised I would do it 3 times a week but I did it’s easy stuff I didn’t work out hard and it just hurt me too bad I went through therapy same thing I did it for however long the doctor want me to do it and it hurt me it’s like they expect you to know they tell you it will make you better but you know men that don’t have fibromyalgia as a doctor and they tell you they want you to do all this stuff and a lot of people can’t do it all they want to do is keep giving you drugs and drugs and drugs

    • I have been working out in the gym for a year now and I hurt the next day. I don’t feel strong any more. I am 64 and very active. I work 5=6 days a week. I found that taking 30 minute soaking baths in Epson salt from Saltworks.com really helps me sleep better. Sometimes I wake at 2 am and need to bathe for 20 0r 30 minutes and go back to sleep. This really helps and a few drops of essential oils such as lavender or lemongrass helps too. My worst complaint is the nerve activity I feel in my legs when laying down. Gravity pulls on the fascia and then this weird activity in the legs start. I don’t feel this is RLS either. It’s the fibro. Foot reflexology massages also help. I spend so much time trying to feel better and work thru all the discomfort. I refuse to take any medication for fiber. also….

    • I agree with you when i did exercise i couldnt even move the next day. Some one doesn’t know what they are talking about

  • I agree with Jane Shriver. I have pain ALL OVER my body. I can’t sit, stand or lay for very long because of the pain. When I’m standing, I’m constantly swaying. When I’m sitting, I’m constantly moving my legs(RLS). when I’m lying down, my body hurts so I’m constantly moving to get comfortable, which causes increased pain. What am I to do with all of that, I ask?!?!

  • I agree jane shriver! I have found much relief from fibro symptoms by doing yoga, fasting and following a ketogenic diet. I was near bedridden and this lifestyle has turned my life around. Im am semi active again and functional in daily life! But i still cant overdo or I’ll pay for it the next day!

  • No!!!!!!!!!! I was very active before I had my accident. then I got fibermyalgia and it has taken my life away from me. I had to file for disability. I also believe it is neurological. It has ruined my life. I hurt from my shoulders to feet.

  • Yoga has been instrumental for me with FM. Diagnosed over twenty years ago. Definitely restorative yoga is vital for me along with magnesium glycinate

  • My doctor does not feel fibro myalgia is real. Can you tell me if there is a special doctor if you can see who can do a test to determine if you have it? My family dr acts like the pain is in your head.

    • You need a different doctor. I suggest a neurologist. They a specialists in the field and car run multiple test to determine what exactly is wrong. I went to one for my se ere migraines and after he ran multiple test I discovered I had several major problems. One of those was a aneurysm in my left carotid artery that I was completely unaware of and needed surgery to correct it. I would have died if it had ruptured.

  • I agree with dawn , fibro has ruined my life in fact I feel I have no quality of life at all , I’m in pain constantly just plain simple housework is a big struggle for me and takes twice maybe 3 times longer longer than before I had it , changing a duvet is a nightmare I have to keep stopping and sit for a while and of course on top of all that the depression sets in because you can’t live a normal life anymore , as for exercises there is no chance I could do any , from head to feet I’m also suffering

    • Get yourself to a DR that understands FIBRO (there are many now)! Find a WARM
      WATER POOL (90+) for gentle excercise. I have been doing that for 11 years & it is the best thing (3x a wk). Many more meds to try & many naturals too. Do NOT just stay at home & suffer, please

  • I myself do water therapy once a week. I do well with that to keep my body exercising. I feel refreshed. I hurt from head to toe, i could not walk without water treadmill. I have many other things going on as well but, water feels good. Warm water therpy..

  • I have Fibromyalgia! I’ve had it over 25yrs; it had no name then, so doctors said, “it’s in your mind.” My take on it was, because they couldn’t physically see it, they thought it was a mental thing. My first Rheumatologist that I went to introduced himself to me, and I to him. I’ve had these symptoms of Fibromyalgia since 1991 and wasn’t diagnosed until 2000.We both sat down, and he told me to tell him what was going on with me, and I let it ripped(while he listened and made notes). He let me talked until I finished; and my last words were, “and this is not in my mind, it’s in my body!” He said, “I know it’s not in your head!” He had a series of test done stat (had a lab in his facility), and several things were ruled out, but, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. From the notes he’d taken from listening to me about symptoms that I was experiencing, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome also(there are no test for them with bloodwork)! Exercise, doing house work or anything like that, have me hurting for days with Fibromyalgia flares, and If my RA flares at the same time (which it’s happened several times simultaneously), I have a “super” whammy! Physical exercise is definitely not my friend; if it was a way that some of the people who suggest this stuff, could magically get Fibromyalgia and experience this pain, I’d love to be there to watch how much exercise they could do!!!

  • With Fibromyalga is real, it is a medical condition. I got Fibromyalga and it flares along with muscular migraines and also cause heel spurrs, in both feet by the arches. Who ever has fibromyalga please seek treatments threw a neurologist and go for an MRI, and ask about physical therapy with the whirl pool. They then can tell you if you get better or worse. There is also a connection that it can cause other things like MS, Lupos, and other muscular disorders. I also have invested for myself a foot and leg message machine and it helps, I got it from the bed and bath store and use a coupon there and yes you can use expired store coupon from there… wish everyone well. But seriously seek options like I mentioned in this post earlier…

  • I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read that say ” light workouts are going to help fibromyalgia ” one reason is that the pain meds have taken most of my memory. I do some stretching & yoga before I get out of bed, but it’s hardly anything that would help me loose weight. When it’s not hurricane season I do swim in the pool but suffer the next day. Learning how to balance is key, being 48 & diagnosed in 2000 I’m still trying to obtain balance. I’m a go getter & worked since I was 15. Burned the candle at both ends and worked out 5x a week. Fibromyalgia has robbed me of my life & exercise isn’t going to fix it. Sorry

  • I believe it is a central nerve system that is hyper sensitive. When I went to the dentist he stated that the novacain doesn’t react with me the way it does with most patients. He has to gI’ve many more doses than most and one time gave me the maximum allowed.

    All my senses are hyper sensitive, light, sound, touch, cold air is actually painful on my skin. That is not muscular.

    When I do any significant exercise I usually end up in bed for a couple of days afterward. I gave up on any type of exercise other than doing as much walking during the day as possible depending upon my fatigue level. If I’m pretry fatigued I don’t walk much, because I’ll be drained of energy very quickly with brain fog setting in.

    Looking back this has been a life long problem, but got worse with age and each trauma increased the sensitivity until I finally have chronic pain and sensitivity wit few days each year where I feel like a normal person.

  • You apply for disability through the Social Security office. The application can be submitted through their website. I did my app this way, received an appointment with their doctor in about a month and was informed of my approval in a few weeks. Although at the time I was barely able to get out of the car at the doctor’s office, I was in a horrible flare at the time. I have heard all sorts of horror stories about difficulty getting disability, but, I found the process fairly simple. You will need any pertinent medical information that relates to your condition.

  • I did warm water aerobics and I felt terrible. If I did three days then I couldn’t go for at least three weeks due to severe pain. I had to cancel my gym membership because I couldn’t find anything there I could do without causing more pain

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