30 Real Fibromyalgia Statistics for a Pain-Free Life
We’re aware that fibromyalgia pain can be scary and frustrating, but don’t be afraid; you’re not alone. Our fibromyalgia statistics will show you just how common this condition really is; how to recognize the symptoms; who suffers the most; and how you can use CBD for fibromyalgia to ease your pain.
Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions and affects up to 6% of the global population. Nevertheless, doctors are still not completely sure about the various fibromyalgia causes and how it can be cured. What’s more, despite it being a relatively common condition, the signs of fibromyalgia are hard to understand, even for medical professionals, as they’re too similar to other conditions.
But first, take a look at some interesting figures:
Top 10 Most Fascinating Fibromyalgia Facts and Statistics:
- It’s estimated that fibromyalgia affects approximately 2% of the adult US population.
- Between 75% and 90% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women.
- About 64% of people who have fibromyalgia have experienced trauma as children.
- It’s estimated that 33% of people who suffer from fibromyalgia also have a family member who suffers from it.
- Approximately 2.1% of the world’s population suffers from fibromyalgia.
- Medical marijuana for fibromyalgia may reduce pain in women with fibromyalgia by a whopping 30%.
- Medicinal cannabis has improved the overall health of 81.1% of fibromyalgia patients, as the statistics on the number of people with fibromyalgia state.
- Taking as little as 300 milligrams of CBD could help ease fibromyalgia-caused anxiety in patients.
- CBD causes sleepiness for 30% of epilepsy patients, which could prove helpful for fibromyalgia patients as well.
- A recent study found that 77.1% of fibromyalgia patients look for medicinal cannabis therapy.
There is currently no cure, but there are some medications that can help ease and control fibromyalgia symptoms.
Keep on reading to find out more about the condition and the various fibromyalgia treatment options.
Fibromyalgia Statistics for the United States
1. It’s estimated that fibromyalgia affects approximately 2% of the adult US population.
This may sound like a tiny percentage, but it actually represents about 4 million adults.
Furthermore, it’s difficult to establish a fibromyalgia diagnosis as this is a condition that causes pain all over the body, including fatigue, sleep problems, and mental and emotional distress, which is also remarkably similar to other conditions.
There is also no fibromyalgia test that could confirm the diagnosis (as of now).
2. The average age range for diagnosing fibromyalgia is anywhere between 35 to 45, fibromyalgia prevalence age stats report.
Additionally, the stats also reveal that the majority of fibromyalgia patients are women.
Plus, despite the average age for diagnosing this illness being 35 to 45 years, patients usually feel the symptoms much earlier in life.
3. The first symptoms start appearing at 28 years of age (on average).
Besides the overall pain, fibromyalgia can also cause so-called “brain fogs” — it makes it difficult for the person to pay attention to things or to find the right words to express their thoughts, according to fibromyalgia statistics.
Moreover, fibromyalgia has mental health symptoms in addition to physical ones. Depression, anxiety, nervousness, and even PTSD can be connected to this condition.
4. A study from 2017 discovered that early treatment of fibromyalgia could cut costs by 15%.
Fibromyalgia patients most often receive opioids, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications to treat the condition. These treatments can be quite costly, and stats on fibromyalgia in the US reveal that if the condition is diagnosed early, the patient could spend $1,970 less on average for treatment.
Overall, fibromyalgia brings on a variety of direct and indirect costs that can mount up to as much as $17,165.
5. About 81% of people who suffer from fibromyalgia believe that the condition affects their ability to perform their job.
As we have mentioned before, fibromyalgia causes additional costs, and the loss of productivity is but one of them.
Fibromyalgia disability statistics reveal that approximately 30% of people who suffer from this condition qualify as disabled. In addition, many people who suffer from this condition have such intense pains that they’re unable to either go to work or school or even complete basic tasks around the house.
Prevalence of Fibromyalgia Stats and Facts
6. Between 75% and 90% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are, in fact, women.
Despite this condition affecting mostly women, men and children are not exempt from it. Even though the prevalence of this disease is much higher in females, there are still between a million and 2.5 million men in the US suffering from said disease.
7. About 64% of people who have fibromyalgia have experienced trauma as children.
The exact cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown, as previously mentioned.
So far, researchers have discovered that fibromyalgia is a nervous system disorder caused by the “fight or flight” system that is always active. Fibromyalgia facts also connect this condition to past traumatic experiences, such as abuse, sexual and physical assaults, combats, car accidents, and general violence.
When people go through these experiences, it appears their fibromyalgia gene activates the condition.
8. Studies show that 25% of women with fibromyalgia have been physically abused as children.
The psycho-affective impact of traumatic events greatly contributes to this condition.
However, fibromyalgia doesn’t stem from physical abuse alone, statistics for fibromyalgia in women have also revealed that a lack of parental presence and attention are also likely triggers for fibromyalgia.
Other triggers include divorce, financial difficulties, alcoholism, and similar family problems.
9. For every 9 women with fibromyalgia, there is 1 man diagnosed with this condition.
There are far fewer men diagnosed with fibromyalgia than women, but with the revised “tender points” test from 2016, there should be far more fibromyalgia diagnosis.
Fibromyalgia statistics for men show that men too are dismissed when they describe their symptoms, and just like women, have troubles when seeking help for their condition.
10. Opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used in the treatment of 25% of fibromyalgia cases.
(Taylor and Francis Group)
Even though opioids and NSAIDs have no effects on the pain caused by this condition, they’re still used as a treatment for fibromyalgia, due to the lack of effective prescription medicine.
Furthermore, fibromyalgia statistics for the USA also reveal that 31% of fibromyalgia patients are prescribed fibromyalgia medication like duloxetine, amitriptyline, gabapentin, and pregabalin within one year of their diagnosis.
Sadly, pharmacotherapy for fibromyalgia is ineffective in a vast majority of cases as medical professionals still can’t pinpoint the exact causes of the condition.
11. It’s estimated that 33% of people who suffer from fibromyalgia also have a family member who suffers from it.
Researchers have discovered that there’s also the possibility that fibromyalgia runs in the family. Fibromyalgia stats report that your chances of developing the condition are higher if someone in your family suffers from it as well.
However, they still haven’t discovered the genetic markers that are linked to this particular condition.
12. Approximately 2.1% of the world’s population suffers from fibromyalgia.
The widespread musculoskeletal pain affects millions of people around the world, and Europe is greatly affected with 2.31% of the population suffering from this condition, as fibromyalgia global statistics reveal.
Naturally, the economic costs are tremendous, and Spain alone loses more than 12 million euros every year, due to this illness.
13. Juvenile primary fibromyalgia syndrome (JPFS) affects 6% of children and adolescents.
JPFS is classified as a pediatric disorder that affects the musculoskeletal system, tender points and soft tissues, causing pain, fatigue, sleeping problems, headaches, anxiety, and paresthesia.
According to the fibromyalgia young population statistics, the great majority of people who suffer from juvenile primary fibromyalgia syndrome (83%) are non-Hispanic, and even 84% of the fibromyalgia-affected patients were female.
14. About 75% of people who report fibromyalgia symptoms don’t actually suffer from this condition.
(The Fibromyalgia Perplex)
Physicians believe that 1.3% of the US population that experiences symptoms of fibromyalgia doesn’t have severe enough symptoms to qualify for the official fibromyalgia diagnosis when they apply the 2012 fibromyalgia diagnosis criteria.
Comorbidities and Fibromyalgia Statistics
15. It’s estimated that 79.4% of fibromyalgia patients meet the criteria for a depression diagnosis.
Still, after short-term therapy, and a three-month pause, this number drops to about 52.5%. Six months after the therapy, the percentage of people who suffer from fibromyalgia and have clinical criteria for depression is 53.9%.
Not being able to get a diagnosis, having difficulties battling the pain, and seeking help can trigger serious mental health issues, according to fibromyalgia and depression stats.
16. From 1998 to 2017, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center recorded 34 suicide attempts among fibromyalgia patients in one study.
For nine years researchers have studied 8,879 fibromyalgia patients, their symptoms, laboratory values, and so on.
In close to a decade, they have recorded 3,250 cases of self-injury, 34 suicide attempts, and 96 cases of suicide ideation.
Chronic pain can be insufferable, and even though the number of suicide attempts is not huge, as fibromyalgia suicide statistics show, there is still the risk that fibromyalgia patients will commit suicide if they find their pain too great to bear.
17. Approximately 21% of people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis also suffer from fibromyalgia.
Both arthritis and fibromyalgia are chronic pain conditions, yet they are not the same condition as many may people think.
The main difference is that with rheumatoid arthritis the pain comes and goes, whereas fibromyalgia statistics reveal that the fibromyalgia pain is constant, dull, and it affects the whole body.
18. Fibromyalgia patients have a higher chance of developing heart conditions.
(Upper Cervical Awareness)
Heart palpitations, chest pain, and chest burn are common heart disease symptoms, and can also be symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Because these symptoms are fairly similar, fibromyalgia patients need to pay special attention to their heart condition. Furthermore, a study has found that fibromyalgia patients also have higher chances of suffering a stroke.
Fibromyalgia Facts and Myths
19. People only imagine they have fibromyalgia.
Even though this condition has been studied for decades, some people, medical professionals included, believe that fibromyalgia is pure imagination.
However, the condition is clinically recognized, and even the World Health Organization had officially recognized it in 1994.
20. If you suffer from fibromyalgia you need to follow a special diet.
NIH has stated, and fibromyalgia facts confirm, that there’s no need for a special diet if you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, because diet restrictions won’t completely ease your symptoms.
Nevertheless, living healthy and having a balanced diet is recommended for overall well-being.
21. This condition only affects middle-aged women.
People believe this because fibromyalgia affects women the most. However, this condition can affect anyone regardless of their gender, age, and social and cultural backgrounds.
22. Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis doctors use when they don’t know what’s wrong with you.
Fibromyalgia is incredibly hard to diagnose, and some doctors indeed use it as a “wastebasket diagnosis.” Still, facts about fibromyalgia state that there is a list of diagnostic criteria developed by the American College of Rheumatology that is used to diagnose this condition.
23. Fibromyalgia is a disguised depression or an affective spectrum disorder.
This is a fairly common myth, and even though people who suffer from this condition can develop depression or their depressive disorder can worsen because of fibromyalgia, this condition is not the same as depression.
24. Exercise could make your condition worse.
Fibromyalgia statistics for 2020 have already proven that exercise could actually help ease some fibromyalgia symptoms and improve the overall health of the patient. The key is to start slowly, do the exercises correctly, and increase the amount and intensity gradually over time.
25. There’s nothing you can do; you just have to learn to live with the condition.
Sure, there’s no known cure for fibromyalgia, and medication often doesn’t work for every person. However, there’s plenty you can do to ease the symptoms.
Sometimes non-pharmacological solutions like exercise, prescription drugs, CBD products, over the counter pain relievers, massage, and meditation, might work even better than medication.
Interesting Facts About Fibromyalgia and CBD
26. CBD benefits sleep in 30% of epilepsy patients, which could prove helpful for fibromyalgia patients as well.
People who suffer from this condition often have trouble falling or staying asleep.
One study has revealed that a large dose of CBD oil-induced sleepiness for approximately one-third of epilepsy patients who suffered from treatment-resistant epilepsy.
Another study with healthy volunteers also discovered that large doses of CBD have no such effect on healthy people. This led to a theory concerning fibromyalgia in 2019 suggesting that using CBD as fibromyalgia treatment could have similar results.
27. Taking 300 milligrams of CBD could ease fibromyalgia-caused anxiety.
Another study revealed that taking 300 mg of CBD (orally) leads to major drops in anxiety levels.
Since it’s scientifically proven that depression and anxiety are present in 80% of chronic pain conditions, CBD oil for fibromyalgia could be a way of alleviating the symptoms of this condition; more studies are needed, though.
28. Fibromyalgia statistics from 2019 show that medical marijuana for fibromyalgia may reduce pain in women with fibromyalgia by 30%.
A Dutch study from 2019 researched the effects of CBD on fibromyalgia. Scientists discovered that both the placebo and non-placebo CBD varieties had the same effect regarding pain management.
Nevertheless, they also discovered that women who used Bediol — medicinal marijuana high in both CBD and THC content — had a 30% decrease in pain levels.
29. Medicinal cannabis has improved the overall health of 81.1% of fibromyalgia patients, as the statistics on the number of people with fibromyalgia state in one study.
A study with 367 people suffering from fibromyalgia revealed that more than 80% of participants claimed that they have felt an overall improvement in health after they’ve been given medicinal cannabis for their condition.
The scientists have come to the conclusion that medicinal cannabis is an effective and safe treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms.
30. A recent study found that 77.1% of fibromyalgia patients look for medicinal cannabis therapy.
(Pain Medicine News)
Fibromyalgia worldwide statistics reveal that more than three-quarters of people who suffer from this condition look for medicinal cannabis as a form of therapy for their illness.
Research in Israel has discovered that 87.2% of fibromyalgia patients suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis. In addition, researchers have also found that the median length of fibromyalgia symptoms is seven years — hence why more than 77% of fibromyalgia patients turn to CBD and medicinal cannabis, which were clinically proven to alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms.
The Bottom Line
The majority of people can’t even imagine what it must be like to live in constant pain. And even though doctors and researchers still haven’t found the cure, this list of fibromyalgia statistics shows that millions of people fight this condition on a daily basis. Don’t lose hope, since science may yet make progress (or a breakthrough) in the treatment for this disorder. Perhaps the answer lies in CBD (or even THC)? Whatever the case, the benefits of CBD are there; time will tell if it’s an effective future treatment for fibromyalgia.
If you or someone you care about suffers from this condition, seek help from a professional, support groups, and your friends and family, because there is always a way to fight the pain.
Is fibromyalgia real?
Fibromyalgia is a very real and serious medical condition, even though its causes are still relatively unknown. Millions of adults and children suffer from it all around the world, and there is currently no cure, just medications that could alleviate some of the symptoms.
What is the life expectancy with fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia can’t shorten your life since it doesn’t affect any of the major organs. Nevertheless, the pain it causes can be quite intense compared to some medical conditions that actually can shorten your life expectancy.
(Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center)
What can be mistaken for fibromyalgia?
Many other diseases and conditions can mimic fibromyalgia. For example, various medications and parasite infections could cause muscle pain, as well as vitamin deficiencies. Moreover, rheumatic arthritis and growth hormone deficiency can also cause symptoms similar to fibromyalgia.
(News Medical Life Sciences)
What can be mistaken for fibromyalgia?
Many other diseases and conditions can mimic fibromyalgia. For example, various medications and parasite infections could cause muscle pain, as well as vitamin deficiencies.
Moreover, rheumatic arthritis and growth hormone deficiency can also cause symptoms similar to fibromyalgia.
(News Medical Life Sciences)