This is a fantastic question, because we learn from history. Fibromyalgia has been documented as far back as the 1700’s. My own grandmother was diagnosed with “muscular rheumatism” in the 1960’s, a term once used to describe fibromyalgia as we know it today.
Understanding the history is important. The following is from my website: http://www.thesethree.com/fibromyalgia/fibromyalgia.php. A greater detail is described in our book.
Symptoms of what we know as fibromyalgia today were first described in the 1700's. The disorder its self was first observed and documented by a British surgeon William Balfour in 1816. In 1904, another British doctor by the name of Sir William Gowers recognized the same collection of symptoms and described this chronic soft tissue syndrome as fibromyocitis.
Finally, in 1981 a connection was made between fibromyocitis and non-inflammatory systemic symptoms and led to the description of the syndrome formerly described as, fibromyocitis, muscular rheumatism, tension myalgia, psychogenic rheumatism, tension rheumatism, neurasthenia, and fibrocitis. Today it is called fibromyalgia.
Twenty years ago, fibromyalgia in its pure definition was unrecognized, but the continued symptoms of diffuse muscle pain and fatigue described by people with fibromyalgia (FM) led patients on a quest for help. Today, though still lacking in acknowledgment by some, it can no longer be denied and history has changed the course of the future for those of us who live with the symptoms of this disabling disorder.
We know today that fibromyalgia is a disorder caused by a loss of orchestration of our central nervous system symphony, which normally strives to find balance, feedback, and action to help the body function in all ways.
All blogs, posts and answers are based on the work in Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Celeste Cooper, RN, and Jeff Miller, PhD. 2010, Vermont: Healing Arts press and are not meant to replace medical advice. http://www.thesethree.com.
Find out more about this book:Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection