Importance: Fibromyalgia is present in as much as 2% to 8% of the population, is characterized by widespread pain, and is often accompanied by fatigue, memory problems, and sleep disturbances.
Objective: To review the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of fibromyalgia.
Evidence review: The medical literature on fibromyalgia was reviewed from 1955 to March 2014 via MEDLINE and the Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials, with an emphasis on meta-analyses and contemporary evidence-based treatment guidelines. Treatment recommendations are based on the most recent evidence-based guidelines from the Canadian Pain Society and graded from 1 to 5 based on the level of available evidence.
Findings: Numerous treatments are available for managing fibromyalgia that are supported by high-quality evidence. These include nonpharmacological therapies (education, exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy) and pharmacological therapies (tricyclics, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and gabapentinoids).
Conclusions and relevance: Fibromyalgia and other "centralized" pain states are much better understood now than ever before. Fibromyalgia may be considered as a discrete diagnosis or as a constellation of symptoms characterized by central nervous system pain amplification with concomitant fatigue, memory problems, and sleep and mood disturbances. Effective treatment for fibromyalgia is now possible.