Lipomas and Fibromyalgia: What you Need to Know

Although lipomas are usually soft and rubbery in texture, they can gradually harden. They may grow over time, but when they do, it’s usually a very slow process.


Most lipomas are cosmetic and non-cancerous, so removing them is not always strictly necessary. Treatment for painless lipomas is not necessary at all. But many people with fibromyalgia have more discomfort and pain associated with their lipomas. Most can be managed with over-the-counter medications such as Advil or Tylenol. If those medications do not help, talk to your doctor about stronger pain relievers.

Hydrocortisone shots may also provide relief from painful lipomas by reducing swelling. However, many fibromyalgia patients are sensitive to hydrocortisone shots, so this option may not be as commonly recommended.

Some people may opt for surgical removal of lipomas that are particularly painful. Lipomas that are located in a part of the body exposed to a lot of friction, such as under a bra strap, can also be more painful. The removal surgery is a relatively simple process. It’s generally an outpatient procedure where the doctor uses a local anesthetic to numb the affected area while allowing you to stay awake. The doctor then removes the lipoma with a small cut. The lump is not likely to come back after removal.

Liposuction is also an effective way to remove lipomas but tends to be more painful.

There is no guarantee that surgically removing lipomas will get rid of the pain. The recovery from the surgery itself is also likely to be painful, possibly triggering a flare-up of fibromyalgia symptoms. However, it is possible that the surgery will ultimately eliminate pain from the lump, particularly if it was in a sensitive area. It will also have cosmetic benefits since these lumps can be unsightly and embarrassing.

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