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Fibrositis: The Exhaustion and Pain Syndrome

A disorder which has generated much controversy over the last several years is fibrositis. This debate revolves around the cause and treatment of this syndrome. Fibrositis (or fibromyalgia) is used to describe trunk and limb pain, not associated with inflammation of the joints. Patients with fibrositis often feel pain and stiffness in their muscles. This stiffness may be associated with a feeling of exhaustion. The pain results in poor sleeping patterns and sufferers usually awaken feeling exhausted. Continued muscle stiffness, further exhaustion, and depression usually follow. The pain and stiffness can be made worse by exposure to the cold or changes in the weather.

Research into the cause of fibrositis continues. Recent evidence points to a sleep disturbance resulting in an exaggerated pain response of the muscles. Emotional stress is also known to play an important role in the fibrositis syndrome.

The diagnosis of this disorder may be difficult because blood tests and x-rays usually appear normal. A patient’s medical history and physical examination will usually lead to the diagnosis. Often helpful in confirming the diagnosis of fibrositis is the recognition and identification of 14 specific tender trigger points on the body.

Current treatment centers around correcting the sleep disturbance. Medications which are able to break the pain cycle and restore normal sleep patterns have been some of the most successful therapies tested to date.



Possible Tender Points


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All medications have potential side effects, risks and interactions with other medications as well as over the counter drugs. Not all medications are right for all patients. You should always check with your physician or health care provider prior to the use of any medication.