According to American College of Rheumatology fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a common health problem characterized by widespread pain and tenderness. The pain and tenderness, although chronic, present a tendency to fluctuate both in intensity and location around the body. Patients with FMS experience fatigue and often have sleep disorders. It is estimated that FMS affects two to four percent of the general population. It is most common in women, though it can also occur in men. FMS most often first occur in the middle adulthood, but it can start as early as in the teen years or in the old age. The causes of FMS are unclear. Various infectious agents have recently been linked with the development of FMS. Some genes are potentially linked with an increased risk of developing FMS and some other health problems, which are common comorbidities to FMS. It is the genes that determine individual sensitivity and reaction to pain, quality of the antinociceptive system and complex biochemistry of pain sensation. Diagnosis and therapy may be complex and require cooperation of many specialists. Rheumatologists often make the diagnosis and differentiate FMS with other disorders from the rheumatoid group. FMS patients may also require help from the Psychiatric Clinic (Out-Patients Clinic) due to accompanying mental problems. As the pharmacological treatment options are limited and only complex therapy gives relatively good results, the treatment plan should include elements of physical therapy.
Keywords: fibromyalgia; pain; rehabilitation.