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West J Med. 1981 May;134(5):405-13.

Fibrositis: misnomer for a common rheumatic disorder.


Fibrositis is a misnomer for a very common form of nonarticular rheumatism. The name implies an inflammatory process in fibroconnective tissue which has never been verified. The symptoms of fibrositis are ill-defined musculoskeletal pain made worse by stress, cold, noise and unaccustomed exercise; there is usually a significant element of depression, nonrestorative sleep, chronic fatigue and early morning stiffness. Results of physical examination are strikingly normal, apart from painful tender spots which are remarkably consistent in location from patient to patient. It is important to realize that fibrositis can complicate diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, where its prompt recognition is essential in averting inappropriate medication. Drug therapy alone is seldom effective in alleviating symptoms; a carefully planned education program is necessary to readjust both psyche and soma.

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