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When a patient presents with pain of no obvious organic origin, they are often labelled as having ‘functional’ pain. The exact diagnosis is derived from the organ system displaying the predominant symptoms e.g. musculoskeletal pain in fibromyalgia (FM) or visceral pain in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The worldwide prevalence of all functional pain syndromes (FPS) is 15–20%. World Health Organization (WHO) surveys reveal that ∼10% of primary care patients develop a chronic pain condition within 12 months of initial registration. Of these, at least 50% continue to have symptoms beyond 1 yr. FPS cause enormous economic burden on society with concurrent ramifications for the individual's family in particular and society in general. FM alone has been estimated to cost around...

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