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Recognizing and Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

J Clin Psychiatry 2010;71(11):e30
10.4088/JCP.8139tx1cc

Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 2% of the American population. Current understanding explains it as a neurologic disorder of central pain processing that causes the perception of pain in response to stimuli that in healthy individuals would not be painful. The recognition of fibromyalgia can lead to effective treatment with significant improvement in functioning. Unfortunately, because of the chronic nature of the pain condition and associated counterproductive behaviors and disability, patients and physicians may rapidly become frustrated with each other and abandon the pursuit of adequate diagnosis and treatment. If the physician instead recognizes the diagnostic pattern of pain and appreciates the real nature of the underlying pathology, then he or she can be of great benefit to patients and their families in managing this chronic disease.

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