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Fibromyalgia (FM) & the rheumatisms. Common sense & sensibility

  [ 17 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • February 3, 1993


Chronic musculoskeletal pain syndromes are common problems, but the
etiology, pathogenesis, and pathology of many of them are very
poorly understood. Because the currently used nomenclature
suggests an understanding that we do not have, I propose that
names like "myofascial pain," "tension myalgia," and "FM" be
abandoned in favor of the more indefinite (but more honest)
terms like "regional" and "generalized rheumatism." No matter
what we rheumatologists call it, however, the condition of
chronic generalized musculoskeletal pain probably is only one
part of an even more generalized condition that includes IBS,
chronic headaches, regional migratory numbness, TMJ syndrome,
and a whole host of other somatic pain syndromes. The same
patients end up seeing many specialists who themselves feel
frustrated with the labels at their disposal, and these
specialists end up resembling the blind men confronting the
elephant. In this regard, the new ACR criteria for the
diagnosis of fibrositis, by emphasizing tenderness and
ignoring the presence of these other syndromes, are too
circumscribed and represent a step backward in our attempts to
understand. Although the chronic rheumatisms are problems
difficult to manage and frustrating for both the patient and
the physician, when patience can be applied and confidence
achieved, a positive relationship can result and the patient
can be helped. [References: 35]

Block SR




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