Is fibromyalgia a distinct clinical syndrome?

C. L. Rau, I. J. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The validity of the fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) as a distinct clinical entity has been challenged for several reasons. Many skeptics express concern about the subjective nature of chronic pain, the subjectivity of the tender point (TeP) examination, the lack of a gold standard laboratory test, and the absence of a clear pathogenic mechanism by which to define FMS. Another expressed concern has been the relative nature of the pain-distress relationship in the rheumatology clinic. The apparently continuous relationship between TePs and somatic distress across a variety of clinical disorders is said to argue against FMS as a separate clinical disorder. The most aggressive challenges of the FMS concept have been from legal defenses of insurance carriers motivated by economic concerns. Other forms of critique have presented as psychiatric dogma, uninformed posturing, suspicion of malingering, ignorance of nociceptive physiology, and occasionally have resulted from honest misunderstanding. It is not likely that a few paragraphs of data and logic will cause an unbeliever to change an ingrained opinion. Therefore, this review describes the clinical manifestations of FMS, responds to some of the theoretic arguments against it, and discusses some possible pathophysiologic mechanisms by which FMS may develop and persist as a unique syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent review of pain
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

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Fibromyalgia
distress
pain
insurance
gold
physiology
economics
Malingering
Insurance Carriers
Rheumatology
Chronic Pain
Psychiatry
Economics
Pain
laboratory experimentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

Cite this

Is fibromyalgia a distinct clinical syndrome? / Rau, C. L.; Russell, I. J.

In: Current review of pain, Vol. 4, No. 4, 01.01.2000, p. 287-294.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Rau, C. L. ; Russell, I. J. / Is fibromyalgia a distinct clinical syndrome?. In: Current review of pain. 2000 ; Vol. 4, No. 4. pp. 287-294.
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