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Increased recognition of FM in both primary care and rheumatology clinics has skyrocketed since the publication of the ACR’s FM classification criteria in 1990. Diagnostic criteria also set the stage for epidemiological studies, demonstrating that FM in the general population has a prevalence ranging from 1.3 to 7.3 percent.

Musculoskeletal pain and fatigue experienced by fibromyalgia syndrome patients is a chronic problem, which tends to have a waxing and waning intensity. There is currently no generally accepted cure for this condition According to recent research; most patients can expect to have this problem lifelong. However, worthwhile improvement may be obtained with appropriate treatment, as will be discussed later. There is often concern on the part of patients, and sometimes physicians, that FMS is the early phase of some more severe disease, such as multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, etc. Long-term follow up of fibromyalgia patients has shown that it is very unusual for them to develop another rheumatic disease or neurological condition. However, it is quite common for patients with "well established" rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus and Sjogren's syndrome to also have fibromyalgia.

It is important for their doctor to realize they have such a combination of problems, as specific therapy for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, etc. does not have any effect on FMS symptoms. Patients with fibromyalgia syndrome do not become crippled with the condition, nor is there any evidence it effects the duration of their expected life span. Nevertheless, due to varying levels of pain and fatigue, there is an inevitable contraction of social, vocational activities which leads to a reduced quality of life. As with many chronic diseases, the extent to which patients succumb to the various effects of pain and fatigue are dependent upon numerous factors, in particular their psycho-social support, financial status, childhood experiences, sense of humour and determination to push on.

The American Rheumatology Society has  deem FM to be present when at least 11 of the 18 points are tender or painful to pressure. While physicians specializing in Rheumatology or Physical Medicine have often diagnosed and treated FMS, many GPs are also knowledgeable about this syndrome. The best physician for you will be one who works with you to find the most helpful treatments.  

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder for which the cause is still unknown. Most patients with fibromyalgia say that they ache all over. Their muscles may feel like they have been pulled or overworked. Sometimes the muscles twitch and at other times they burn. More women than men are afflicted with fibromyalgia, but it shows up in people of all ages. Patients can find themselves unable to work in their chosen professions and may have difficulty performing everyday tasks. As a consequence of muscle pain, many FMS patients severely limit their activities including exercise routines. This results in their becoming physically unfit - which eventually makes their fibromyalgia syndrome symptoms worse.