What is the prognosis of fibromyalgia?

Updated: Apr 23, 2020
  • Author: Chad S Boomershine, MD, PhD, CPI, CPT; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Fibromyalgia is a chronic relapsing condition. In academic medical centers, long-term follow-up care of patients with fibromyalgia reportedly averages 10 outpatient visits per year and 1 hospitalization every 3 years. Chronic pain and fatigue in fibromyalgia increases the risk for metabolic syndrome.

Entirely reversing the allodynia and hyperalgesia in patients with fibromyalgia may be impossible. Nevertheless, symptoms can be significantly improved in many patients, particularly if ongoing stressors are relieved and self-efficacy for pain control can be achieved.

The treatment goal that responds least to therapy is improvement in daily functioning. A positive therapeutic response usually requires resolution of pending litigation (personal injury or workers’ compensation claims). While most patients assume that stopping work will improve their symptoms, numerous studies have shown that symptoms worsen when fibromyalgia patients go on disability. [91]

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