Fibromyalgia was and still is a regularly misdiagnosed and misunderstood disease, yet it is the most common arthritis-related disease next to osteoarthritis. And while some feel the symptoms are part of growing older, Fibromyalgia is not a sign of ageing.
Symptoms were first described in the 1700’s, and in 1824, a Scottish physician described tender points (the hallmark of this disease) but the condition itself was first documented by a British surgeon William Balfour in 1816.
Medical literature began discussing the symptoms of it in the early 1900’s but it was not truly recognised nor treated until the late 1970s and 1980’s.
By 1989 the respected Textbook on Rheumatology, 3rd Edition, included a chapter on fibrositis, a term for the little understood condition at that time although in 1904, another British doctor, Sir William Gowers coined the phrase ‘fibrositis’ which described this chronic soft tissue syndrome.
It was thought that Dr. Nobel of the Nobel Prize fame, as well as Florence Nightingale suffered from this condition.