Advertisement

Why was fibromyalgia originally considered a connective tissue disease?

Doctors originally described fibromyalgia as a connective tissue disease in the early 1800s. It was believed to be an autoimmune disease such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. In 1816, Dr. William Balfour described a fibrous thickening of muscles and connective tissues in people with rheumatic conditions. He performed autopsies on those with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and found more fibrous tissue than normal. That gave birth to the idea that inflammation in the connective tissues caused fibromyalgia symptoms. Today, however, doctors know that fibromyalgia is a condition of the nervous system.

Continue Learning about Fibromyalgia

How to Cope with the Emotional Side of Fibromyalgia
How to Cope with the Emotional Side of Fibromyalgia
Living with fibromyalgia can understandably trigger a lot of negative feelings about yourself, your life and your relationships. But if you can learn ...
Read More
Is fibromyalgia a degenerative disease?
Dawn MarcusDawn Marcus
Fibromyalgia does not destroy joints, muscles, or nerves. Although people with fibromyalgia will...
More Answers
Fibromyalgia and Coexisting Conditions
Fibromyalgia and Coexisting ConditionsFibromyalgia and Coexisting ConditionsFibromyalgia and Coexisting ConditionsFibromyalgia and Coexisting Conditions
Learn how to treat related problems and gain better control of your fibro.
Start Slideshow
How Common Is Fibromyalgia?
How Common Is Fibromyalgia?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.