Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by widespread pain throughout the body. It is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects the muscles, joints, and tendons. According to The Mayo Clinic, fibromyalgia affects more than three million people in the United States every year. Although this painful condition is common, there are many myths about fibromyalgia that should be clarified.

Here are the five myths about fibromyalgia pain:

Men aren’t affected by fibromyalgia

Although most people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women (an estimated 75 to 90%), the condition still affects men. Up to a quarter of all cases of fibromyalgia could affect men. Many medical researchers wonder if this number is low due to the misunderstanding that fibromyalgia primarily affects women.

You just need sleep

Fibromyalgia can cause constant fatigue. This, however, is not the same as just being tired. Fatigue is a symptom caused by fibromyalgia and getting enough sleep won’t mean you’ll wake up feeling energetic or fully recovered.

Fibromyalgia is basically arthritis

Arthritis and fibromyalgia are separate conditions. Fibromyalgia is a neurological condition, whereas arthritis causes inflammation in your joints. The confusion between the two usually occurs because they share certain symptoms like widespread pain in the body.

It’s just in your head

Although the disease has been recognized as a real and painful condition for decades now, there still seems to be a stigma surrounding fibromyalgia suggesting the pain is all in your head. Fibromyalgia is a real, chronic condition cause by a neurological disorder.  

You shouldn’t exercise

It has been proven that exercising regularly can help ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia (and other conditions, too!). Aerobic exercise like swimming, walking, or running have been proven to be particularly helpful in easing the pain caused by fibromyalgia.

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, consider joining a fibromyalgia research study with Boston Clinical Trials. Click here to learn more.