FMS (fibromyalgia (fi-bro-my-Al-juh) syndrome) is a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder for which the cause is still unknown. Fibromyalgia means pain in the fibrous tissues in the body.

The pain comes from the connective tissues, such as the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. FMS does not involve the joints, as does rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

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.

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. Medline references for FM soared and so did NIH funding as evidenced by the number of projects involving FM. From 1975 to 1990, there were only 17 projects. From 1992 to the present, there have been 500 projects involving FM. 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.

FM carries an annual direct cost of care over $20 billion. People with FM account for a large proportion of rheumatology outpatient visits and FM is the second or third most common diagnosis made by British rheumatologists. In a cross-sectional mail survey of Canadian rheumatologists, FM was listed as one of the three most common diagnoses among their patients. In an Israeli internal medicine ward, 15 percent of the inpatients were found to have FM and FM in hospital patients could be more common than reported findings.

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.

Fo rmore information, visit http://www.ukfibromyalgia.com/index.html

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