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“Fibromyalgia: What is it and Can it be Treated ?”

Prior to 1980, fibromyalgia (FM) was called “fibrositis,” which implied it was some form of inflammation in the connective tissue resulting in widespread pain.  But, no such inflammation was verified so the name was changed to fibromyalgia. Patients experience pain, fatigue and sleep and memory problems.  Currently, it is thought to be emblematic for a “centralized” pain state and it can occur alone or as a comorbidity with other “peripheral” pain states, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and lupus.  It may be linked to some genetic factors or early life stressors.  In the late 1800s, fibromyalgia-like conditions occurred primarily in women, who were considered to be weak, depressed, anxious and in need of psychotherapy.  In the early 1900s, pathologists erroneously thought they saw evidence of inflammation in muscle tissue in FM patients.

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