I came across an interesting long term study in Finland on Fibromyalgia spanning 26 years published in the journal of Clinical Rheumatology. Severity of symptoms persists for decades in fibromyalgia-a 26-year follow-up study. There has been this sort of rumour that fibromyalgia improves with time that I have heard several times and so this study is interesting. Also there is this question on whether we can go into remission or not. Either way we all want to know what FM will be like in the future. We know it isn’t progressive but we worry it will worsen with age.

It started with 56 patients in 1986 who were given a base questionnaire. 42 of these fulfilled the criteria for FM at that ime.

Then 26 later 36 of the patients were located again. 28 of these filled out another questionnaire. So we are looking basically at the study of these 28 individuals. Nine of the questions on the new questionnaire were identical to the old one, including questions on quality of life and changes in symptoms.

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Symptoms of FM have persisted in most patients for decades without significant deterioration of self-reported functional ability. About one fourth of patients had experienced long symptomless periods during their illness. Three patients (11%) reported that they have healed from FM. study 

To which we can conclude in the long-term symptoms will remain but there can be extended periods of remission. And that perhaps exercise helps us maintain our current level of functionality over time. This is a positive study for long-term outlook really. At the very least it says things remain consistent over time, not worse.

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