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Fibromyalgia Glossary

Fibromyalgia Glossary


Abnormal Not normal: unusual behaviour, condition, position or structure.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Form of psychotherapy which uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies with commitment and behaviour-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. See Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for an alternate approach.
ACR see American College of Rheumatology (& Urine-albumin ratio).
ACT see Acceptance and Commitment Therapy above.
Acid reflux Burning sensation in throat when stomach acid comes up, called heartburn when behind the breast bone, called GORD/GERD when it happens often. See here.
Acupuncture Complementary therapy technique: inserting needles to particular muscle areas, which is thought by practitioners to stimulates the production of endorphins (natural painkilling biochemicals). See here.
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) Carrying molecule present in all living cells and produced mainly in the mitochondria, which serves as an energy source for many metabolic processes.
Adrenalin Natural stimulant made in the adrenal gland of the kidney; carried in the bloodstream, affects the autonomous nervous system, which controls functions such as the heart rate, dilation of the pupils, and secretion of sweat and saliva.
Agonist In medication: Drug that binds to the receptor of a cell to trigger a response, e.g., dopamine. In muscles: Muscle that contracts while another (the antagonist) relaxes.
Alexander technique Teaches improved posture and movement to reduce back and neck pain. See here.
Allodynia Pain experienced from a stimulus – touch, location or temperaturewhich is not normally painful. See here.
American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Institution that developed the original criteria for / classification of fibromyalgia in 1990. The latest ACR criteria (2016) can be found here.
Amitriptyline A tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) that acts on the nerves of the brain cells, like nortriptyline. See here. Overview here.
Amygdala Part of the brain associated with feeling emotions.
ANA see Antinuclear antibodies below.
Analgesic Pain-relieving medication.
Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) Condition with long term inflammation esp. of the spine. See here.
ANS see Autonomic Nervous System below.
Antagonist Muscle that relaxes while another (the agonist) contracts.
Antibody (Ab) = Immuneglobuline (Ig) A type of protein produced by the immune system when it detects harmful antigens (bacteria, fungi, parasites & viruses).
Anticonvulsant A drug used to prevent or lessen convulsions or seizures.
Antidepressant A drug used to relieve the symptoms of depression.  There are four main types - TCAs, MAOIs, SSRIs & SNRIs. See here.
Anti-inflammatory A medication that reduces inflammation and acts as an analgesic giving pain relief.
Antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) Unusual antibodies that often attack the body’s own cells & tissues.
Antispasmodic A drug used in relieving or preventing convulsions or spasms.
Anxiety (disorder) An uneasy or unpleasant feeling of distress, fear or apprehension. See here.
Arthritis Inflammation of a joint - the 2 most common are OA (Osteoarthritis) & RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis). See here.
AS see Ankylosing Spondylitis above.
Asymptomatic Having a disease, but (as yet) without symptoms (e.g. ‘subclinical’) or a disease with usually no symptoms, e.g. high blood pressure.
ATP see Adenosine Triphosphate above.
Autoimmune Disease An overactive immune response of the body attacking its own cells that can affect any part of the body.
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) Part of the nervous system that involuntarily controls the body’s internal environment, e.g. the muscle of the heart. See here.
Biochemical Relating to biochemistry; characterized by, produced by, or involving chemical reactions in living organisms.
Biomarker A biochemical feature or facet that can be used to measure the progress of disease or the effects of treatment.  
Biopschosocial (BPS.) An inter-disciplinary model that looks at the interconnection between biology, psychology, and socio-environmental factors.  
Bladder Pain Syndrome (BPS, also PBS.) A condition with pelvic pain and problems peeing. Interstitial cystitis (IC) is an inflammatory subtype, here.  
BPS See both biopsychosocial and Bladder Pain Syndrome above.  
Brain fog Mental confusion and forgetfulness that can accompany conditions like fibromyalgia or COVID-19 recovery. Also known as fibro fog when accompanying a fibromyalgia flare.
Bruxism A disorder characterized by grinding and clenching of the teeth. See here.
CAM See Complementary and alternative medicine below.
Cannabis (medical) (MMJ = Medic(in)al) Marijuana), brand names such as 'Sativex'. Cannabis based medicine. Cannabis contains (relaxing) CBD (cannabidiol) and the (psychoactive) THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD-products contain hardly any THC, MMJ contain both. See here.
Cartilage A tough, resilient tissue that covers and cushions the ends of the bones and absorbs shock. Damage by joint injuries see here.
CBD Cannabidiol, substance in cannabis. See Cannabis above.
CBT see Cognitive Behavioural Therapy below.
Central Nervous System The brain and spinal cord. See here.
Central Sensitisation or Sensitivity (Syndrome) (CSS) Increased excitability of the central nervous system nerve cells in response to a stimulus (more/earlier). Categorized as nociplastic pain, a third type of pain mechanism. See here and here.
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Clear fluid that flows in the cavities between brain, skull & spinal cord, acting as shock absorber for the Central Nervous System.
C-fibres Slow-acting nociceptive nerves deeper in the body, which transmit chronic pain messages
CFS(/ME) see Chronic Fatigue Syndrome below.
Chiropractic, Chiropractor Chiropractors treat problems with bones, muscles and joints using their hands. See here. A form of complementary medicine.
Chronic Means lasting a long time, persisting or recurrent. In case of fibro pain > 3 months.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS(/ME)) Prolonged extreme tiredness/fatigue that does not go away and is accompanied by many other symptoms. Alternatively called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or together ME/CFS or CFS/ME. See here.
CNS see Central Nervous System above.
Coccydinia Tailbone pain. See here.
Coexistent Existing together or at the same time.
Cognition The process of being aware, knowing, thinking, learning and judging.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) A talking therapy/treatment based on a person's emotional, behavioural reactions and thought patterns.  Can help you to change how you 'think' (cognitive) and 'what to do' (behaviour). See here and here.
Collagen The main structural protein of skin, tendon, bone cartilage, and connective tissues.
Comorbidity Existence of other diseases or medical conditions in addition to the primary medical problem.
Complementary (alternative) medicine (CAM) Treatment types that falls outside of mainstream care. See here.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) Condition with severe pain. See here.
Connective Tissue Supports the body and connects, binds & supports other tissues together.
Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) Hormone made by hypothalamus which stimulates the release of corticotropin by the anterior pituitary gland.
Cortisol The 'primary' stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Its secretion increases during the 'fight or flight' response. - When used as a medication it is called hydrocortisone, often misnamed cortisone, see below.
Cortisone Cortisone – like cortisol – belongs to the glucocorticoid class of corticosteroids (a class of steroid hormones), also used as medication. Hydrocortisone, often misnamed “cortisone”, e.g. in asthma inhalers, is an artificial form of cortisol, and acts like it.
Costochondritis Inflammation of the cartilage that connects the inner end of each rib with the breastbone (sternum). See here.
Counselling Talking therapy to deal with emotional issues. See here.
CRH see Corticotropin-releasing hormone above.
CRPS see Complex regional pain syndrome above.
CSF see Cerebrospinal fluid above.
CSS see Central Sensitisation and nociplastic pain above.
Cymbalta Brand name for duloxetine (hydrochloride) - an SSRI antidepressant, the 2nd of 3 drugs approved for fibromyalgia by the US FDA, in 2008.
Cytokines Non-antibody proteins produced by cells to interact with and regulate the cells of the immune system. IL-6 and IL-8 belong to the pro-inflammatory ones and may be too much in FM, whilst IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13 belong to the anti-inflammatory ones and may be reduced.
Degenerative Progressive impairment of both the structure and function of a part of the body. See here.
Depression  An illness with feelings of grief, hopelessness, sadness or low energy, that is different from the normal. See here.
Diagnosis The identification or determination of the nature of the cause of a disease, either by process of elimination or other analytical methods. See here.
Dopamine A neurotransmitter that affects the part of the brain that controls movement and plays a part in experiences of desire, pleasure or pain.
Dorsal Horn Part of the spinal cord at the back of the body that acts as a gate for pain messages.
Duloxetine Brand name ‘Cymbalta', an SSRI antidepressant, used for FM.
Dysautonomia Abnormal function of the autonomic nervous system.
Dysmenorrhoea Difficult menstrual flow or painful menstruation. See here.
Dysfunction Difficult, abnormal or impaired function of an organ or bodily system.
Endocrine System Consists of glands that release hormones and is instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, and metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes.
Endorphins Biochemicals of the body, acting as a natural painkiller and able to give a natural sense of well being.
ESA 1) The benefit 'Employment Support Allowance' or 2) Emotional Support Animal.
EULAR The European League Against Rheumatism is the organisation which represents the patient, health professional and scientific societies of rheumatology of all the European nations.
Fatigue Known as weariness, tiredness, exhaustion or lethargy, generally defined as a feeling of lack of energy.  A feeling of apathy and the desire to sleep, but not like drowsiness.
FDA (also USFDA) U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Responsible for the regulation of foods, drugs (medicines) and vaccines in the U.S. etc. See here.
Fibro fog Brain fog with mental confusion and forgetfulness that can accompany various conditions, in this case a fibromyalgia flare.
Fibromyalgia (Syndrome) A condition with widespread long-term pain and various further symptoms such as increased sensitivity to pain, tiredness/fatigue, muscle stiffness, difficulty sleeping, fibro fog, headaches and IBS. Whether it is a syndrome or not is a matter of increasing debate about classification, see “Syndrome” below. See here.
Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) An assessment and evaluation tool used to measure a fibro patient's status, progress and outcomes. Used in research. FIQR is the revised (R) version. Sample here.
Flare (up) An increase (“exacerbation”) of symptoms such as achiness, discomfort, fatigue, pain & stiffness.
FM(S) see Fibromalgia (Syndrome).
FND see Functional neurological disorder below.
Food allergy, food intolerance Allergy: Unusual reaction of the body’s immune system to specific foods. Intolerance: Difficulty digesting, unpleasant reaction to specific foods. See here and here.
Folate Usual name for vitamin B9. Deficiency of this or vitamin B12 can cause typical fibromyalgia symptoms. See here.
Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) Movement disorders like tremors, jerks; limb weakness, sensory symptoms, blackouts; and more. See here.
Gabapentin Anti-seizure drug often used to treat chronic pain. Brand name ‘Neurontin’ and others. Related to pregabalin (‘Lyrica’). See here.
GAD See Generalized Anxiety Disorder below.
Gate Control Theory Theory according to which a non-painful stimulus is thought to reduce pain travelling to the brain (central nervous system, CNS). Article here. Example: The current of a TENS unit stimulates nerve fibres to carry signals relating to touch which travel to the spinal cord and temporarily block the transition of some of the pain sensation to the brain.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than a specific event. See here.
Genetic Predisposition /susceptibility Increased likelihood to inherit a disease or specific characteristics of it.
GORD (GERD) Gastro-(o)esophagal reflux disease is when heartburn and acid reflux happen often. See there and here.
Growth Hormone (GH; Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone = GHRH) Produced during delta sleep and involved in tissue repair. Therefore, disrupted stage 4 (delta) sleep associated with fibromyalgia may account for low levels of growth hormone. More info.
Heartburn and acid reflux Burning feeling caused by stomach acid coming up to the throat. Called GERD/GORD if it happens often.
Heterogeneous Different or composed of parts of different kinds or having widely dissimilar elements or constituents. - There is not a typical fibro person, and lots of diverse groups within our community: no one size fits all.
Hippocampus An area buried deep in the forebrain that helps regulate emotion and memory. It is part of the olfactory cortex, the part of the cerebral cortex vital for the sense of smell. See here.
HMS (HS) see Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder below.
Homeopathy A complementary treatment using highly diluted substances. The NHS recommends to stop providing it, due to lack of evidence of effectiveness. See here.
Hormones Chemicals produced by glands in the body that circulate in the blood, acting as messengers having effects on body tissues.
Hyperacusis Noise sensitivity. See here.
Hyperalgesia Extreme sensitivity to pain.
Hyperglycaemia An abnormally excessive concentration of glucose in the blood.
Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD), previously Hypermobility Syndrome (HS, HMS) and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS). Heritable connective tissue disorder with increased range of joint movement. See here and here.
Hypersomnia Excessive daytime sleepiness. See here.
Hypertension High blood pressure. See here.
Hypoglycaemia An abnormally diminished concentration of glucose in the blood.
Hypotension Low blood pressure. See here.
Hypothalamus Part of the brain that regulates blood pressure, hunger, body temperature, thirst, fatigue and sleep. See here. 
IBS see Irritable Bowel Syndrome below.
IC see Interstitial Cystitis below.
Idiopathic Pertaining to conditions without clear cause or of spontaneous origin.
 IGF Insulin Growth Factor: Hormone involved in releasing growth hormone during sleep.
Ig see Immunoglobulin (antibody)
IgG Immunoglobulin G: Very common antibody.
Immunoglobulin (= antibody) A type of protein produced by the immune system when it detects harmful antigens (bacteria, fungi, parasites & viruses).
Immunological Pertaining to the immune system, its functions of cells and antibodies etc.
Inflammation A characteristic reaction of tissues to injury or disease. It is marked by four signs: swelling, redness, heat, and pain.
Influenza (flu) Can be used in explanations to help those without the condition relate to the symptoms that are experienced, e.g. “Imagine you had the flu and then completed 10 laps of a pool...” (See here.)
Insomnia Sleeplessness, sleep disorder often associated with fibromyalgia. See here.
Intercostal Between the ribs.
Interstitial Cystitis (IC) A subgroup of BPS/PBS with bladder inflammation. See here.
Irritable Bladder Condition of the bladder marked by a sudden strong or irresistible urge to urinate.  There is however no pain associated with the condition even if there may be some discomfort in the urinary bladder. (Also: Overactive Bladder, OAB.)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - a common gut disorder. See here and here.
 Juvenile Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia in children & adolescents. See here.
“Leaky Gut Syndrome” Proponents claim symptoms are being caused by substances absorbed by the blood stream due to an overly porous bowel, with little evidence for the theory or their treatments. See here.
Ligaments A band of tough fibrous tissue connecting bones to other bones in joints and control its range of movement.
Limbic System Part of the brain involved in many of our emotions or motivations, particularly survival.
Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Opiate antagonist that in low dose has had some pilot clinical study success in managing fibromyalgia. Not licensed for it. See here.
Lupus Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) - Autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks and injures the body’s own organs and tissues. See here.
Lyrica A brand name of pregabalin. Anti-seizure drug often used for chronic pain. First prescribed drug approved by the FDA to treat fibromyalgia (2007). Related to gabapentin (‘Neurontin’ and others). See here.




Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) a combination of strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the inside of your body. See here.
ME(/CFS) see Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, here.
Mechanical Pain A name given to any type of back pain caused by abnormal stress & strain put on the muscles which support the vertebral column.
Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) Persistent physical complaints (e.g. pain, dizziness) that don't seem to belong to a medical condition. See here.
Migraine Throbbing pain on one side of the head, often with feeling or being sick, and increased light or sound sensitivity. See here.
Milnacipram Brand name 'Savella', an antidepressant SNRI used for FM.
Mitochondria Responsible for energy production in cells, located in the cytoplasm outside the nucleus of a cell (singular: ‘a mitochondrion’).
MMJ Medical or medicinal Marijuana, see Cannabis above.
MPS see Myofascial Pain Syndrome below.
MRI see Magnetic Resonance Imaging above.
Multidisciplinary Treatment Treatment of pain by practitioners of various disciplines, e.g. doctors, physiotherapists & psychologists. See here.
Multimodal Treatment Treatment of pain with different mechanisms of action by practitioners of the same discipline, e.g. doctors. See here.
Muscle Primary tissue of the body with the function of movement, via contraction, and of producing body heat.
Musculoskeletal Pertaining to the ligaments, muscles, tendons, joints & bones with the associated tissues that move & maintain the body form.  (Muscles & the skeleton)
Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) Alternate name for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CFS, often named together as ME/CFS or CFS/ME. See there above and here.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) Pain affecting muscles and connective tissue which is more localised than fibromyalgia.  It is associated with trigger points. See here.
Neuralgia Nerve pain, not only short-term.
Neuritis Nerve inflammation.
Neuromuscular Involving both nerves and muscles.
Neurontin One of the brand names of gabapentin. Related (earlier) to gabapentin (‘Lyrica’ and others). See here.
Neuropathic pain, neuropathy Nervous system pain caused by lesion (abnormality, trauma) or disease of the nerves as opposed to the normal nociceptive form without nerve damage. See here. Neuropathy: Nerve function disturbance or pathological change, e.g. neuritis (if inflamed). Peripheral neuropathy: see here. See nociceptors/nociception and nociplastic pain below.
Neurotransmitters Chemical substances released from the nerve endings of a neuron to transmit impulses to other neurons.
NMDA, N-methyl-D-aspartic acid Brain receptor, activated by the amino acid glutamate.
Nociceptors = nociceptive neurons; nociception Peripheral receptors for pain, sensory neurons (nerve cells) sensitive to painful mechanical stimuli, extreme heat or cold, and chemical (“nociceptive”) stimuli, which send possible threat signals to the spinal cord and brain. This process of nociception is the normal perception of pain through threat or damage, as opposed to neuropathic pain due to nerve damage and nociplastic pain with neither tissue nor nerve damage. See here. See neuropathic pain above, nociplastic below.
Nociplastic pain see Central Sensitisation (Syndrome) (CSS). Newly defined 3rd pain category applying to fibromyalgia, aside from nociceptive and neuropathic pain, see also neuropathic pain & nociceptors/nociception above.
 Non-articular Affecting the muscles, connective tissues or soft tissues rather than joints.
Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) Sleep stages 1-3, collectively. See here.
Non-restorative sleep (NRS) Not feeling refreshed after a night’s sleep. The most common form of insomnia in fibromyalgia.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Medication to improve pain, inflammation and high temperature, e.g. Diclofenac, Ibuprofen. See here.
Norepinephrine (NE), = Noradrenaline (NA) Neurotransmitter & hormone released naturally by nerve cells, producing many effects throughout the body in a 'fight or flight' reaction to stressful situations. See here.
Nortriptyline Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) that acts on the nerve brain cells, like amitriptyline. See here, overview here.
NREM see non-rapid eye movement above.
NSAID see non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug above.
Off-label (US) Prescription/non-prescription drugs used in non-FDA-approved way.
Opiates A drug (such as morphine or codeine) containing or derived from opium and tending to induce sleep and alleviate pain by binding to opioid receptors.
Opioids A synthetic drug possessing narcotic properties similar to opiates but not derived from opium. See here.
OTC Over the counter: non-prescription medicines.
Pain Threshold The intensity of a stimulus it takes to cause you pain. See here. Often lowered in fibromyalgia.
Pain Tolerance How much pain you can handle before breaking down mentally or physically. It tends to increase the more you deal with pain. See here.
Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS, BPS) Condition with pelvic pain and problems peeing, with Interstitial cystitis (IC) as inflammatory form. See here.
Palpitations Heartbeats that are suddenly more noticeable. See here.
Paraparesis vs. paraplegia Weakness vs. paralysis affecting the lower limbs. See here.
Parasympathetic Those nerves of the autonomic nervous system that are responsible for "rest and digest" or "feed and breed" activities (as opposed to 'sympathetic', responsible, for "flight or fight").
Paresthesia/Paraesthesia Abnormal sensation, such as numbness, prickling and tingling. See here.
Pathogenesis The origin and development of a disease.
Pathological Relating to or caused by disease.
Pathophysiological Pertaining to bodily function changes that cause an illness or the bodily function changes that the illness causes.
PBS See Painful Bladder Syndrome, also BPS. Includes IC.
Peripheral Means areas away from the centre of the body or a body part. Eg: hands are peripheral to the shoulder.
Physical therapist / physiotherapist / physical therapy / physiotherapy (PT) Person / treatment that helps restore movement and function, involving the patient’s self-care. See here.
Plantar fasciitis Pain around your heel and arch. See here. Also foot pain.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Anxiety disorder caused by very distressing events. See here.
Pregabalin Anti-seizure drug often used to treat chronic pain. Brand name ‘Lyrica’ & others. First prescribed drug approved by the FDA for fibromyalgia (2007). Related to gabapentin (‘Neurontin’ & others). See here.
Prevalence A statistical measure of people in the population having a disease at a point or period in time.
Prognosis 1. A prediction or expected outcome of a disease. 2. A patient's chance of recovery.
Psychology Science of the mind and mental processes.  The emotional and behavioral characteristics of an individual, group, or activity.
Psychosocial 1. Involving both psychological & social aspects. 2. Relating social conditions to mental health.
PT see Physical therapist / physiotherapist / physical therapy / physiotherapy.
PTSD see Posttraumatic stress disorder above.
RA see Rheumatoid Arthritis below.
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Stage of sleep characterised by dreams.
Raynaud's (Phenomenon) A disorder resulting in discoloration of fingers and/or toes when a person is exposed to changes in temperature (hot or cold) or emotional stress. See here.
REM see Rapid Eye Movement above.
Restless Legs Syndrome Neurological condition characterized by the irresistible urge to move the legs. See here.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Long-term condition causing pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints, in flares, sometimes further symptoms. See here.
Rheumatology The branch of medicine concerned with problems with tendons, muscles or joints.
RLS see Restless Legs Syndrome above.
Savella Brand name of Milnacipram (HCl), an antidepressant SNRI, the 3rd and last drug approved for fibromyalgia by the US FDA in 2009.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) Antidepressant. Overview here.
Sensitisation Pain nerve cells react stronger or earlier. See here. (Central sensitisation: in the central nervous system as opposed to peripheral).
Sensory Relating to sensation, eg: pain, temperature or touch.
Serotonin A neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, and metabolism.
SFN see Small Fibre Neuropathy below.
Sjogren('s) (Syndrome) (SJS, SS) Sjögren's syndrome can cause various symptoms, the most common being dry eyes and dry mouth. In severe cases the lungs, kidneys, nervous system and lymph glands can be affected.  See here.
Small Fibre Neuropathy Nerve disorder marked by severe pain attacks. There is overlap with fibro patients, but correlation and actual interaction is still to be determined.
Spasm or cramp: A sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle, causing the muscle to clench tight, shorten and squeeze causing pain. Often used to describe less painful twitches than a cramp. See here for leg cramps.
SSRI see Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.
Substance P A neurotransmitter involved in inflammation and the transmission of pain via nerve impulses.
Symptomatology Combined symptoms of a particular disease.
Syndrome A collection of signs and symptoms that occur together constituting the picture of a particular disease, e.g. CFS, CSS, HMS/HS/JHS/HSD, IBS, MPS, RLS, SJS. Whether FM is a syndrome or not is a matter of increasing debate about its classification, see here.
Systemic Affecting the body as a whole or affecting a particular body system.
TCA see Tricyclic antidepressant below.
Temporomandibular Joint (Disorder) (TMJ / TMD): The jaw joint, and thus also a disorder consisting of pain, muscle tenderness and/or clicking in the joint, and limitation or alteration of the jaw movement. (A type of temporomandibular disorder, TMD.) See here.
Tender Points 18 small areas of the body that are often painful to touch in fibromyalgia. These were initially used as a research classification tool for identifying commonalities in cohorts. However, it was then used as a diagnostic tool as it was the best option available at the time.
TENS unit (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) Device / machine with sticky pads containing electrodes that use a mild electrical current to relieve pain. See here.
Tinnitus A noise in the ear or head, described as buzzing, hissing, humming, ringing or whistling, which is generated inside the body rather than coming from outside. See here.
TMJ (TMD) see Temperomandibular Joint (Disorder) above (& jaw joint pain).
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) Medicine that acts on the nerve brain cells, e.g. amitriptyline, nortriptyline. See here.
Trigeminal neuralgia Form of sudden, severe facial pain for up to 2 minutes. See here.
Trigger Points Tight bands of muscle tissue that are painful to the touch. When pressure is applied to these points, they cause radiation of pain throughout the body. See Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) and here.
Vertigo Feeling everything is spinning, affecting balance, more than dizziness.  See here.
Virus A micro-organism smaller than a bacterium, which cannot grow or reproduce apart from a living cell. A virus invades living cells and uses their chemical machinery to keep itself alive and to replicate itself.
Vitamin B12 (and B9) (B9 = folate) Deficiency of these can cause typical fibromyalgia symptoms. See here.
Vulvodynia A term used to describe pain in the vulva, often severe, of unknown cause.
WHO World Health Organisation - the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. See here.
Xanax A rand name of Alprazolam, a benzodiazepine medication for insomnia.
Yoga Flexibility, strength & breathing exercises for physical and mental health adapted from origins 5.000 years ago in India. See here.


Zopiclone Nonbenzodiazepine sleep medication, with brand name ‘Imovane’ and others. See here.


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