According to the CDC approximately two percent of the US population is affected by fibromyalgia and the ratio of women to men is 7:1. While the syndrome can have onset at any age and can affect either gender or race and knows no economic boundaries, predominately its affects women between puberty and menopause.
“Fibromyalgia is the third most prevalent rheumatologic disorder in the United States, is more common than rheumatoid arthritis and is classified second to osteoarthritis (AO) as the most commonly diagnosed musculoskeletal illness leading to disability. The CDC says, Fibromyalgia may often co-occur (up to 25-65%) with other rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and ankylosing spondylitis (AS).” (CDC.gov, accessed 7/5/2011)
Yet, despite these staggering figures, physicians get little to no training regarding identification or treatment of any conditions that cause muscle dysfunction.
The average fibromyalgia patient visits more than five physicians or healthcare providers and spends thousands of dollars before a diagnosis is made. We suffer many anguishing events before our symptoms are diagnosed and even when they are, the medications presently used to treat FM are either not tolerated well, have the results expected, or are cost prohibitive.