He studied medicine in Bonn, and later became prosector at the Charité Hospital in Berlin, where he was mentor to Rudolf Virchow (1821–1902). He held this position from 1833 until 1846, and supplemented his income as a teacher of anatomic drawing at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1846 he was succeeded by Virchow as prosector at the Charité, and during the same year Froriep became director of the Weimarischer Landes-Industrie-Comptoir in Weimar, where he was a publisher of illustrated scientific and medical works. In 1851 he returned to medicine, and in 1855 sold the Landes-Industrie-Comptoir to Ludwig Denicke from Lüneburg.
Froriep is known for popularizing non-German illustrated works, making them known to German scientists and physicians. He published Abbildungen der Hautkrankheiten, a translation of Thomas Bateman's "Delineations of Cutaneous Disease". He also published translated works of Astley Cooper (1768–1841), Guillaume Dupuytren (1777–1835), Louis Joseph Sanson (1790–1841) and Louis Jacques Bégin (1793–1859).
In 1843 Froriep was the first to mention the symptoms of fibromyalgia in a treatise called Ein beitrag zur pathologie und therapie des rheumatismus". He referred to the condition as muskelschwiele or muscle calluses. He described the calluses as "tender areas in muscle that felt like a cord associated with rheumatic complaints".
- The Journal of Integrative Medicine On-Line Oxidative-Dysoxygenative Trigger Points in Fibromyalgia
- Robert Freidrich Froriep @ Who Named It
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