This report describes a follow-up study of 176 individuals seen between 1980 and 1990, in whom a diagnosis of post-traumatic fibromyalgia was made. Sixty-seven people completed a lengthy questionnaire and underwent a confirmatory physical examination using the American College of Rheumatology Criteria to confirm or deny the presence of fibromyalgia at the time of follow-up. A total of 60.7% noted the onset of symptoms after a motor vehicle accident, 12.5% after a work injury, 7.1 % after surgery, 5.4% after a sports-related injury and 14.3% after other various traumatic events. Fifty-six of 67 individuals had 11 or more tenderpoints (average, 13.5), 3 had 10 tenderpoints, and 7 had fewer than 10 or no tenderpoints. Study subjects were asked to compare the use of the following for the first 2 yr after onset as well as the year preceding the current evaluation: biofeedback, medications, physical therapy, manipulation, massage therapy and tenderpoint injections. In addition, we asked detailed questions regarding symptoms commonly seen in association with fibromyalgia (fatigue, sleep disturbance, etc.). Symptoms of traumatically induced fibromyalgia are quite similar to spontaneous fibromyalgia. There was a dramatic reduction in the use of all forms of physical treatments. Fifty-four percent continued to use over-the-counter pain medications, and 39% were on antidepressants. Eighty-five percent of the patients continued to have significant symptoms and clinical evidence of fibromyalgia.
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