Fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome: a comprehensive approach to identification & management

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Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a common, chronic

musculoskeletal pain disorder of unknown etiology seen

predominately in women. It is recognized as an important

clinical problem associated with high levels of functional

disability, emotional distress, and utilization of several

types of medical services. While widespread pain and the

presence of multiple tender points characterize the dominating

features, there are a large number of nonrheumatic symptoms

and associated conditions that occur in a high frequency in

this disorder. When the characteristic pattern of symptoms is

recognized, FMS can be successfully managed by nurse

practitioners with expectation of some improvement. The

mainstays of management include patient education, medication,

aerobic exercise, and physical therapy. An ongoing

relationship with the patient and periodic follow-up are

mandatory.

Leslie M

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