important developments in more than 400 years

Sometimes you hear fibromyalgia called “diagnostic fashion” or “new disease”, but the truth is that fibromyalgia is not something new. It has centuries of history, with several name changes and theories that loosens along the way.

While it has not always been accepted by the medical community, and today its acceptance is not universal, fibromyalgia has come a long way and the current research continues to provide the evidence that is a physiological disease very real.

The historical narrative most often cited for fibromyalgia a 2004 article researchers Fatma Mohamed B. Yunus and Inanici. This article was compiled from his work, as well as new information from the last decade. (All sources are listed at the end of the article).

Top – 1592-1900

From the start, doctors are not separate definitions of all states of pain that we recognize today. Terminology and descriptions stood and they were gradually reduced.

In 1592, the French physician Guillaume de Baillou introduced the term “arthritis” to describe the musculoskeletal pain that is not from an injury. It is a broad term that would have included fibromyalgia and arthritis and many other diseases. Finally, doctors began using “muscular rheumatism” for painful conditions such as fibromyalgia, it did not cause deformation.

Two hundred years later, the definitions have remained vague.

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However, in 1815, the Scottish surgeon William Balfour noted nodules in the connective tissues and the theory that inflammation may be behind the two nodules and pain. It was also the first to describe the sensitive points

A few decades later, the French doctor Francios Valleix uses the term “neuralgia” to describe what he believed called sensitive pain points that move along nerves.

Other theories of the day include overactive nerve endings or problems with your own muscles.

In 1880, the American neurologist George William Barba invented terms of neurasthenia and myelasthenia describing widespread pain and fatigue and psychological disorders. It is considered that the condition was caused by stress.


Creating a more precise terminology has exploded in the twentieth century. Different names for the disease like fibromyalgia include:

  • Myogeloses
  • muscle building
  • fibrosite

Fibrositis, invented in 1904 by the British neurologist Sir William Gowers, who is stuck. The symptoms that Gowers will be familiar to those with fibromyalgia:

  • spontaneous pain,
  • pressure sensitivity,
  • Fatigue,
  • sleeping troubles,
  • sensitivity to cold,
  • Aggravation by excessive muscle use.

As treatment, he proposed cocaine injections, and use in medicine as a topical anesthetic cocaine.

Medically, “Fibro” connective tissue, and “we” means inflammation. ” Shortly after Gowers word to suggest that another researcher has published a study that seems to confirm the many theories Gowers on the mechanisms of inflammation in the state. This helped to cement the vernacular term fibrositis. Ironically, this new study was later revealed to be faulty.

In the 1930s, the growing interest for muscle pain called tender points / trigger and graphics of these models began to appear. The local anesthetic injections remained a proposed treatment.

Fibrositis was not uncommon at the time diagnosed. A 1936 document says fibrosite is the most common form of severe chronic rheumatism. He said that Britain, which represented 60% of insurance for rheumatic diseases.

In addition, at that time, the concept of referred muscle pain has been demonstrated by research. A study on the way to the pain mentioned the deep pain and hyperalgesia (increased pain response) and may have been the first to suggest that the central nervous systemwas involved in the disease.

In addition, a document on the so-called pain and trigger points emphasized the term “myofascial pain syndrome” for localized pain.

The researchers suggested that fibrositis widespread pain can come from a person with several cases of myofascial pain syndrome.

World War II has renewed interest when doctors realized that the soldiers were particularly likely to have fibrositis. Since they have no signs of inflammation or physical degeneration and the appearance of symptoms related to stress and depression, the researchers classified as “psychogenic rheumatism”. A 1937 study suggested that fibrositis was “chronic disorders psychoneurotic. ” This is why the debate between physical and psychological Pass was born.

Fibrositis continued to accept, even if the doctors could not agree on exactly what it was. In 1949, a chapter on the state appears in a text book called rheumatic things considered the arthritis and related conditions . It was said, “[N] or can not be any doubt about the existence of such a condition. ” He mentions several possible causes, including:

  • Infection,
  • Traumatic or professional
  • climatic factors,
  • psychological disorders.

However, the descriptions were vague mix of what now recognize that you are there many different pain conditions. They usually involve fatigue, headaches and psychological problems because the lack of sleep was not mentioned.

The first description of fibrositis looks like they now recognize that fibromyalgia was produced in 1968. Researcher Role Eugene F. Traut said:

  • The female,
  • generalized pain and stiffness,
  • Fatigue,
  • Headache,
  • colitis,
  • Lack of sleep,
  • “Being” refers grape “
  • Sensitive to the point of physical examinations,
  • A significant mind-body connection.

With widespread pain, recognized some regional that seems common, including what is now known as carpal tunnel syndrome. He mentioned “various levels of the axis of the spine,” which stands out among the modern diagnostic criteria: the axial skeleton (OS of the head, throat, chest and spine) and pain in the four quadrants of the body.

Four years later, however, the researcher Hugh A. Smythe wrote a chapter about Manuel fibrosite who have had a considerable influence on future studies and lead to call “modern fibromyalgia grandfather. ” It’s supposed to be the first to describe only as a very common condition, thus distinguishing the myfascial pain syndrome.

Smythe includes not only the lack of sleep in the description, but that describes what the dream was also provided to patients and the results of (sleep study) unpublished electroencephalograms showed that a malfunction in step 3 and dream of step 4. in addition, he said that the non-restorative sleep, trauma and emotional stress could lead to any increase in symptoms.

The subsequent investigation confirmed sleep alterations and show that lack of sleep can lead to symptoms of fibromyalgia as healthy people.

Smythe was then participate in a study to better define the hotspots and their use in diagnosis. It also appears chronic pain, sleep disturbances, morning stiffness and fatigue as symptoms that could help diagnose the disease.

  • The following: 1976-present

1976 – present

Although researchers have progressed, they have not yet found signs of inflammation – the “on” in fibrositis. The name was changed to fibromyalgia “fibro” connective tissue, “my” what means muscle and “neuralgia” means pain. “

However, there are still many questions. The main symptoms are vague and common in the population. Doctors still do not have an idea about what fibromyalgia.

Then a leader of the seminal study of Muhammad Yunus was released in 1981. It was confirmed that pain, sleep disturbances and fatigue were significantly more common in people with fibromyalgia than in healthy subjects control; the number of tender points was significantly higher; and many other symptoms are also significantly more frequent. These additional symptoms include:

  • subjective swelling,
  • Paresthesia (abnormal sensations nerve)
  • conditions overlap, such as syndrome of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), headaches and migraines.

This document provides enough of a set of symptoms compatible to officially designate fibromyalgia syndrome, as well as the first criterion tested to differentiate people with other fibromyalgia.

A large amount of research has already confirmed that these symptoms and conditions that overlap are really associated with fibromyalgia.

Yunus, then conducted research cement the idea of ​​a series of conditions that overlap, including of primary dysmenorrhea (painful period) with the IAS, tension headache and migraine.

It is believed that the role was unifying muscle spasms, but suggesting later give way to central sensitization theory.

From there, we had a lot of search and display progress. We do not have all the answers, but we gained a better understanding of what happens in our body.

Important developments include:

  • 1984 – first published study that you have linked a higher prevalence of fibromyalgia in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis;
  • 1985 – first controlled study of juvenile fibromyalgia was published;
  • 1986 – drugs that affect serotonin and norepinephrine are first shown to be effective;
  • 1990 – American College of Rheumatology created pain and widespread official sensitivity of analytical criteria in at least 11 of 18 specific tender points and standardize the criteria for inclusion of research in the world;
  • 1991 questionnaire from the impact of fibromyalgia developed for physicians evaluate the function;
  • 1992 discovery of low levels of growth hormone.
  • 1993 – studies show central sensitization and the HPA axis (abnormal regulation of stress);
  • 1994 confirms the high substance P (Messenger pain) in the cerebrospinal fluid;
  • 1995 first prevalence study in the US shows fibromyalgia in 2% of the population;
  • 1995 first models showing abnormal SPECT (neuroimaging) of blood flow in the brain;
  • 1999 first study showing the genetic component so it occurs in families;
  • 2000 Review of proof coins the term central sensitization syndromes;
  • 2005 – American Pain Society published the first guidelines for the treatment of fibromyalgia pain;
  • 2007 – Lyrica (pregabalin) became the first treatment approved by the FDA in the United States (Cymbalta (Duloxetine) and Savella (milnacipran), followed in 2008 and 2009, respectively)
  • 2010 – American College of Rheumatology diagnostic questionnaires reported criteriausing instead of sensitive points which alternate.

Research has continued to consolidate these results and suggest possible causal mechanisms and new factors. In early 2014, some research areas include:

  • Inflammation of the fascia: Some studies have suggested that widespread pain of fibromyalgia may actually be inflammatory, but very thin band of connective tissue called fascia bodies.
  • nerves in the blood vessels: A highly publicized study shows the temperature and additional neural sensing pain in the circulatory system.
  • Small fiber neuropathy: New research shows that some specialized nerves can be damaged.
  • Immune system abnormalities: Some lines of research show an abnormal immune system activity which may suggest chronic activation of the immune system or auto – immune. A study suggests that an automatic response – Abrie serotonin. Another offer a potential diagnostic test based on an immune system profile.

Many researchers are also working to create subgroups of fibromyalgia, keeping in mind that this is the key to nailing the underlying mechanisms and better treatments. Several treatments are still under investigation, and a main goal has been for a long time to identify and develop objective diagnostic tools such as blood tests or analysis.

Fibromyalgia has not found universal acceptance in the medical community, but it is closer than ever. As research continues to demonstrate that it is both real and physiological condition this win credibility and those of us with her to gain understanding, respect, and above all, better treatment options so that we can meet our future .


Albrecht PJ, and. Drugs against pain. June 2013 ; 14 (6): 895-915. excessive skin of the artery shunts veinlets peptidergic sensory innervation (AVS) in patients with palmar skin hairless fibromyalgia: implications for generalized pain deep tissue and fatigue.

Behm FG and. BMC Clinical Pathology. December 17, 2012; 12:25. immunologic patterns unique to fibromyalgia.

Dear XJ winter ER. Arthritis and Rheumatology. 2014 April 9 [Epub ahead of print] evidence of epidermal abnormalities density of nerve fibers in fibromyalgia: clinical and immunological implications.

Dear XJ, ER, AJ winter Dumas. Rheumatology. February 2008; 47 (2): 208-11. A subgroup of patients with fibromyalgia suggestive results polyradiculoneuropathy inflammatory demyelinating and it seems comply IVIG.

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Oaklander AL, et al. The pain. November 2013; 154 (11): 2310-6. The objective evidence that the small fiber polyneuropathy behind some diseases currently labeled as fibromyalgia.

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