Is fibromyalgia (FM) 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

which 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.

Fitzcharles MA

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