The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association does not assume any responsibility for the outcome of treatments or other self-care strategies described in any of the listed books, that might be undertaken by readers and we recommend individuals always consult with their healthcare providers before trying any new treatment, supplement, or healthcare product.


Fibromyalgia for Dummies, by Dr. Roland Staud, 2007, ISBN:  0764554417

Despite the trend of having a "Dummies" book for just about anything imaginable and leaving the impression the topic might be lightly treated, that is not the case with this relatively new book on FM. The author is Dr. Roland Staud, a well-known rheumatologist who specializes in FM, conducts research on FM at University of Florida, and contributes articles for leading FM newsletters. Dr. Staud provides accurate and current information about FM and reviews numerous treatment interventions and other aspects with an open mind. It may have a slight drawback, that as a "Dummies" book, the material may viewed by some as a little bit simplified. However, we still rate this as one of the better new books on FM. It will likely meet the needs of newly diagnosed patients with FM and their family members as well as patients who would like to update their home library.

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain: A Survival Manual, by Devin Starlanyl, 1996, ISBN: 1572240466

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain: A Survival Manual (2nd Edition), by Devin Starlanyl, 2001, ISBN: 1572242388

The Fibromyalgia Advocate, by Devin Starlanyl, 1999, ISBN: 1572241217

An overview of this trio of books, written by Devin Starlanyl, is being provided concurrently because of her unique style and unique format of these books. The books are larger than most (about the size of phone book) and are finished with the same, signature design on the cover—they are very easy to spot. The original edition (1996) of the "survival manual" was one of the most welcomed, patient guides to hit bookshelves—often referred to as the "big blue Bible" on FM. Five years later, an updated version (with a jade green cover) was released to include more recent information on research, medications, and special issues.

The overall appeal of Starlanyl's books is not only detail which she goes into, great coping tips and advice given, but also the handy worksheets and numerous sketched figures with illustrated trigger points which are included in the manuals. These illustrations help to show where many symptoms may originate from (much of this information, she writes, was based on Drs. Travell's and Simons' publications on myofascial pain).  Few books cover these coexisting conditions and explain perpetuating factors to this level.

Devin Starlanyl has been long involved with patients by starting one of the first FM/MPS internet groups, lecturing about the illnesses, and as a physician, also treating patients with the same. She is also someone who has both illnesses herself and thus, she is able to write and communicate with a deep personal appreciation of FM and MPS. The book on advocacy (with the bright purple cover) is pretty much what the name suggests—it is a resource manual with advice on how to deal with many situations, like legal rights, disability, other special issues and includes "data sheets" with references which patients can copy and take with them on doctors' appointments. These books are very informative and practical—one might very likely find the original edition at public libraries, but the 2nd edition would make for a good investment by anyone with FM.