Rainbow at shoreline

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association, a 501(c)3 founded in 1985, exists to meet the needs of patients with CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or FM (Fibromyalgia), their families and loved ones. The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association works to educate health-care providers and the general public regarding these severely-disabling physical illnesses. We also support patients and their families and advocate for more effective treatment and research.

by Robert Bennett M.D., FRCP

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association Fall 2002 UPDATE

Editor's Note, 2015: We suggest you pass this article on to your treating physicians. Much of Dr. Bennett's treatment protocol also applies to individuals with ME/CFS, as the two conditions closely parallel each other. There has been some change in the medications recommended for FM pain since this article was written in 2002. For updated information go to the Fibromyalgia Information Foundation website maintained by Dr. Bennett's research group and click on Treatment. Also see More resources below.

If you are reading this you probably have a common syndrome of chronic musculoskeletal pain called fibromyalgia (FM). This chronic pain state is caused by abnormalities of sensory processing within the spinal cord and brain. As such you will usually experience a bewildering array of bodily and psychological problems that can seldom be "cured". However, armed with both patience and knowledge, many FM patients can be helped to live with less pain and be more productive. In my own evolving experience of dealing with this problem, I can identify seven aspects of management that are of importance for your doctor to successfully manage your FM.

Notice about names

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association would like to clarify the use of the various acronyms for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) on this site. When we generate our own articles on the illness, we will refer to it as ME/CFS, the term now generally used in the United States. When we are reporting on someone else’s report, we will use the term they use. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are currently using ME/CFS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are calling the illness CFS.

Until there is consensus on a name for the illness, the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association name will not change.