Is fibromyalgia a distinct clinical entity? The approving rheumatologist’s evidence.

Fibromyalgia is a challenge to the modern day physician. Today’s practice of medicine is evidence-based, but fibromyalgia shifts this paradigm. There is even still debate as to whether this diffuse musculoskeletal pain syndrome, with a reduced pain threshold, and tender points on examination constitutes a definitive entity or disease process. We do not have the luxury of measurable abnormal findings on clinical examination or laboratory testing. The diagnosis of this condition is not aided by the use of any modern-day technology, and is simply a clinical syndrome. No treatment that we prescribe for fibromyalgia is universally successful in managing symptoms. Our skills as physicians are constantly challenged by treatment options offered to patients by non-conventional medicine. Even so, as physicians, our role should be to support our patients and continue to pursue scientific study in order to better understand this enigma.

Source:

Baillieres Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol 1999 Sep;13(3):437-43.

Rheumatic Disease Unit, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

PMID: 10562374, UI: 20023796

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