What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterised by widespread pain and fatigue and often associated with other symptoms such as sleep difficulties, poor memory and concentration, headaches, bowel disturbance and sensitivity to light and noise. It is a chronic (long term) condition and may be associated with varying degrees of disability.
There is no diagnostic test for fibromyalgia syndrome at present. Investigations are usually normal and this often leads to confusion for the patient who is suffering from symptoms for which no obvious cause is identified. It is not uncommon for patients to receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia many years after onset of symptoms. Fibromyalgia may also co-exist with other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
Understanding of fibromyalgia remains limited, although research suggests that it is primarily a disorder of the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia may be referred to as a central sensitisation syndrome, resulting in pain amplification and other symptoms via a variety of pathways.
Fibromyalgia syndrome is complex and there is no single treatment currently available that will resolve symptoms. Current guidelines recommend a multidisciplinary approach using a team of healthcare professionals with different specialist skills and expertise. The aim is to improve symptom management, function and quality of life. Unfortunately, this approach is rarely used in clinical practice and this clinic was set up in 2011 to provide this for patients suffering with fibromyalgia.
- Dr Toby Garrood – consultant rheumatologist
- Dr Katherine Irving – consultant rheumatologist
- Dr Nora Ng – consultant rheumatologist
- Tess Golding – highly specialist physiotherapist
- Members of the highly specialist clinical psychology team from St Thomas’ INPUT pain unit
When and where is the fibromyalgia clinic?
We run fibromyalgia clinics on Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.
The clinic is held in the Rheumatology Department, 4th floor, Tower block, Guy’s Hospital.