For the past 10 years or more, I have been going to the doctor to find out why I have constant muscle pain. I am not able to sleep at night due to pain and aching in my legs and lower back. Upon arising from a sitting position my legs feel weak and it is very uncomfortable to stand up straight. The most frustrating part of my problem is that my husband does not seem to believe me when I complain of hurting all the time. I have had various x-rays of my joints and frequent blood tests, yet all of the results have been normal. After years of driving my doctor insane with my complaints, he has finally diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia Syndrome. .
Fibromyalgia Syndrome, or FMS for short, is an invisible disease that involves chronic muscular pains and fatigue, as well as a number of other symptoms. Researchers have been seeking possible causes of this disease for years; however, there is not, as of this date, a definite explanation. There is no test to diagnose FMS, therefore until recently, it was often dismissed as a psychological disorder and patients were ignored by their doctors. This causes needless stress for the sufferer, because they are persistently bothered with pain that no one believes since they have no outward physical signs. However, progress made in research is making it possible for physicians to better understand, diagnose, and recommend treatments for sufferers of this disease. .
According to the Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases book, published by the National Arthritis Foundation, FMS is the second most common cause of rheumatic pain (125). Literally defined, the word "fibromyalgia" is taken from the Greek words, "fibro" meaning fibrous tissue, "my" meaning muscle, and "algia"meaning pain. In years of early research, the term used to identify this disease was "fibrositis", which indicated inflammation of the fibrous tissue. However, researchers have concluded that there is no inflammation associated with FMS, so the medical term was appropriately changed in 1987 (Starlanyl 7).