Fibromyalgia Hits Individuals Differently

Published Online: Thursday, July 1, 2004

Fibromyalgia patients can be classified into 3 distinct subgroups, a recent study found. (Individuals with fibromyalgia experience pain in the muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons.) For the study, the researchers examined 97 patients?85 women and 12 men. The patients participated in a 2-day series of tests. They also were tested for sensitivity to pressure and pain.

Subgroup 1 (n = 50 patients) included individuals who had moderate levels of anxiety and depression.These people believed that they had moderate control over their pain, and they experienced moderate-to-low levels of pain.Subgroup 2 (n = 31 patients) showed high levels of anxiety and depression.They believed that they had the least control over their pain, and they experienced high levels of tenderness.Subgroup 3 (n = 16 patients) indicated the lowest levels of pain and the highest control over their pain.Yet, the testing showed that they experienced the greatest levels of physical pain. (The findings were published in Arthritis & Rheumatism.)

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