Introduction: A new definition of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) based on symptoms and without tender points is discussed from a rheumatological viewpoint.
Methods: The German Fibromyalgia Association (DFV) developed a questionnaire on potential symptoms in FM based on a list of symptoms established by members of the DFV. The questionnaire was sent to all 3,996 members of the DFV.
Results: Of the 753 questionnaires 699 were returned (95% women, most frequent age between 50-60 years) and evaluated. The rank order of the most frequent symptoms (>or=97% of the respondents) was muscle pain with varying locations, low back pain, fatigue, morning stiffness, non-restorative sleep, concentration problems, lack of energy, low productivity and forgetfulness.
Conclusion: The key symptoms of FM are chronic widespread pain, non-restorative sleep and subjective disabilities. The frequency of general and extra-musculoskeletal symptoms underlines that FMS is more than just a "pain disorder".