M.U.P.S (Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms): Is the Accurate Diagnosis Necessary for the Rehab-Team?

Avi Ohry, Atzmon Tsur

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Physiatrists often treat patients with medically unexplained symptoms (MUPS), which suggest various psychiat-ric, psychosomatic or physical diagnoses. Some patients are finally diagnosed with somatoform, dissociative or factitious dis-orders, while some experience psychological factors affecting physical conditions. It happens that patients are admitted to re-habilitative medical facilities without a clear diagnosis. Apparently, there are overlapping symptoms between chronic fatigue syndrome, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), “Gulf War syndrome”, fibromyalgia, CRPS, and others. Aims: To assess recognition of medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) by physicians, mostly specialists in physical and rehabilitative medicine are engaged. Methods: All information was collected from scientific database site, and derived from the authors’ nearly 50 years of clinical experience. Results: Cognitive-affective disturbance, chronic muscle and joint pain, panic disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, malinger-ing, and others can be described in the medical literature as unexplained physical symptoms. Conclusions: Treatment should comprise a multidisciplinary-integrative approach, by practitioners from medicine, psychol-ogy, allied health professionals and social work. MUPS is not a “non-disease” entity, but rather, an unexplained clinical phe-nomenon. Patients are entitled to benefit from the rehabilitative medicine model of treatment even if their clinical diagnosis is not accurate or clear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-52
Number of pages4
JournalRehabilitacja Medyczna
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© AWF Krakow.


  • PTSD
  • fatigue
  • fibromyalgia
  • rehabilitation medicine
  • unexplained physical symptoms


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