Muscular rheumatism is a common experience, often seemingly related to unaccustomed exertion or injury. In most instances, the problem resolves in response to tincture of time and the judicious use of heat and analgesics. Despite the frequency of rheumatic pain, its precise pathophysiological basis is unknown. Since it is generally accepted that nonarticular musculoskeletal pain arises from tendons, bursae, and muscles, it would logically follow that a specific diagnosis would aid in subsequent treatment. Yet, it is not uncommon to see patients who have been symptomatic for years without their condition being correctly diagnosed. It is evident the basic ground rules for diagnosing this group of disorders are often poorly understood, and presumably poorly taught and underemphasized in medical education.
In this issue of The Journal, Dr Goldenberg1 provides a timely review of the fibromyalgia syndrome. The term fibromyalgia has evolved from another with the same meaning, namely, fibrositis