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April 30, 1973

Section 26.—Fibrositis

JAMA. 1973;224(Suppl_5):746. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220190086029

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The term fibrositis, or fibromyositis, provides a label to describe a symptom complex which is common in practice, but the name is unfortunate in suggesting a histologic entity that has not been demonstrated.

The patients complain of pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulder girdle, and extremities which are worse with work or stress and better with rest or diversion. Except for areas of tenderness and ill-defined nodules, results of the physical examination are normal, as are those of roentgenograms, laboratory tests, and biopsies. Numerous forms of therapy, both physical and pharmacologic, have been employed and the response is that which would be anticipated with a placebo. Although there is a lack of adequate follow-up studies it is evident that fibrositis is self-limited and rarely progresses to more serious musculoskeletal disease.

Several theories of causation have had their vogue. Currently, fibrositis is considered psychogenic or psychophysiologic in origin; but in