Think about a disease with so many faces… A disease that deteriorates one’s health in so many ways… With a variety of features, fibromyalgia is a challenging clinical condition not only for patients but also for physicians. The challenge is related to diagnosis and management.
The hallmark of fibromyalgia is generalized pain, which involves at least four regions of the body. Pain can be nociceptive, neuropathic, central, or mixed. It is just one of the numerous features of fibromyalgia, affecting patients cap-à-pie. Headache, cognitive problems, mood disorders, fatigue, abdominal cramps, sleep disturbance, numbness/tingling in hands/feet, urinary symptoms, and dizziness/nausea make the clinical picture multifaceted and require differentiation from the numerous mimicking disorders.
Personalized approach and patient education are the main drivers of successful treatment. The patients need easily understandable and perhaps graphical information about their symptoms, clinical course of the disease, and potential therapeutic options. Regular exercising, physiotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy are among the most effective nonpharmacological options. Amitriptyline, duloxetine, milnacipran, pregabalin, cyclobenzaprine, and tramadol are widely known drug therapies used for fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic, painful, but treatable condition in view of the reassuring patient–physician collaboration. With that in mind, I want to present a cartoon for this topic.
Conflict of interest
The author declares no conflicts of interest.
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Coskun Benlidayi, I. Fibromyalgia as a challenge for patients and physicians. Rheumatol Int 38, 2345 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00296-018-4138-6