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Fibromyalgia: a review of current knowledge
  1. Peter Baldry, Emeritus Consultant Physician
  1. Millstream House, Fladbury, Pershore, Worcestershire WR10 2QX.

    Summary

    Muscular pain in the presence of a normal ESR has laboured under a variety of names and supposed causes, often being dismissed as psychogenic in origin. It is now clear that there are two specific disorders of body musculature, each with its own defined pattern of symptoms. Fibromyalgia is a disease of unknown aetiology, predominantly affecting women, that gives generalised muscular pain, a disturbed sleep pattern, morning stiffness and fatigue. Tender spots are found at certain charecteristic sites. The Myofascial Pain Syndromes, on the other hand, can usually be related to some form of trauma and are normally localised to particular muscles with readily palpable myofascial trigger points at specific spots according to the pattern of pain referral.

    Acupuncture may be a rapid and effective treatment for both disorders, often giving long lasting relief in Myofascial Pain Syndromes, but offering only repeated short term responses to Fibromyalgia sufferers.

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