Chronic diffuse musculoskeletal pain, fibromyalgia and co-morbid unexplained clinical conditions

Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2003 Aug;17(4):563-74. doi: 10.1016/s1521-6942(03)00033-0.


This chapter reviews our current knowledge on the presence of overlapping syndromes in one form of chronic diffuse pain, fibromyalgia. Patients with fibromyalgia often present with signs and symptoms of other unexplained clinical conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, temporomandibular disorders, and multiple chemical sensitivities. The high prevalence, impact on function and opportunities for treatment underscore the need for clinicians and researchers to screen routinely for co-morbid unexplained clinical conditions among persons with fibromyalgia. We, therefore, describe a simple approach to screening for such conditions in accordance with published criteria. Interventions should directly address both fibromyalgia symptoms and co-morbid unexplained clinical conditions, as well as the multiple factors that propagate pain, fatigue and limitations in function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Fibromyalgia / epidemiology*
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders / epidemiology
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Tension-Type Headache / epidemiology