Other pain syndromes to be differentiated from fibromyalgia (FM)

Several common chronic pain syndromes come to the attention of the

rheumatologist demanding for differentiation from fibromyalgia

(FM), although they are often associated with it. They may

mimick FM by (1) the occurance of wide spread pain, (2) the

chronicity of complaints, (3) the preponderance of females in

some of these, and (4) the lack of objective data to be

derived from imaging techniques and laboratory tests. Pain is

produced by the disturbance of normal function (“dysfunctional

syndromes”, MASI, ref. 6). Recognition requires examination of

the locomotor system under biomechanical auspices both at rest

and during movement in order to diagnose hyper- and

hypomobility syndromes; treatment of these conditions is

guided by principles to improve biomechanical function. In

addition, the skin needs to be examined to detect panniculosis

(also called “cellulitis”), which may be mixed up with FM due

to its preferential occurance in peri- or postmenopausal

women. It is concluded that the aforementioned differential

diagnosis needs to be considered appropriately in coinciding

FM and all studies dealing with FM.

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