Diagnosing Fibromyalgia Through One’s Symptoms
Being diagnosed with a condition such as fibromyalgia must be done in order for any type of relief from this painful condition to be had. The pain associated with fibromyalgia is body wide pains and may start in one location on the body and then spread. The body begins to experience painful sensations in what is called “tender points”. Tender points are located in areas where soft tissue is had so in areas like the knees, elbows, shoulders, shins and even the buttocks. Pain is felt in the joints, muscle and tendons. Besides the aching body other areas of life can be affected by this painful condition. Fibromyalgia has been linked to further complications such as sleep problems, fatigue, headaches, depression and even anxiety attacks which we will look at in another section.
There is no denying the physical and emotional affect that fibromyalgia can have on an individual; so if you are starting to notice changes in your physical and emotional state of being, it might be wise to speak to a medical professional about what type of testing is available for fibromyalgia. But the key is to stay calm and formulate a plan. In order for you to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia you must be experiencing pain in at least 11 out of 18 tender spots for at least three months. Tender Spot locations would include:
- Rib Cage
Painful Symptoms Include The Following
Body-wide pain is often hard to clarify and give specifics of when it seems as though the pain is being felt everywhere, but in order to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia there has to be some type of specifications that are particular to or belong only with this condition, one would hope. The pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia is most commonly felt in the soft tissue, muscle, tendons and joints. Soft tissue is located in several spots on the body such as: the elbow, neck, back, knees, shins, hips and shoulders. The pain is often felt the most at night and the individual suffering from the pain often struggles to find time to sleep and once he or she finally falls asleep the night is often interrupted from the pain and the fibromyalgia patient wakes up stiff, uncomfortable and just plain miserable the next day. The painful spots on the body are referred to as tender spots and are felt in the various locations we have already mentioned. The pain will start in a location such as the knee and then spread out to include the whole leg.
The pain or feelings that correspond with fibromyalgia have been described as a:
- Deep Ache
- Shooting Pain
- Burning Pain
- Painful Joints
- Numbness And Tingling in the hands and feet
The painful sensations mentioned are felt in areas of the body where soft tissue exists and soft tissues exist in eighteen different places on the body. Fibromyalgia and pain are often simultaneous and the fibromyalgia patient struggles on a daily basis with symptoms like: muscle spasms, muscle weakness, nerve pain, twitching and even occasional palpations along. The frustrating part about fibromyalgia is that the symptoms are only one painful aspect of this condition. Diagnosing fibromyalgia is beneficial to the patient on so many levels but the main benefit has to do with the relief that can come with treating fibromyalgia once a correct diagnosis has been made.
Tender Point Test
If the primary physician is still unsure of whether or not you the patient is suffering from fibromyalgia he or she might perform a tender point test. During this process, a doctor applies firm pressure to each of the 18 tender points along with control points. Tender points are located on both sides of the body and both above and below the waist. The tender points are concentrated in the neck area. With four tender points on the front and six tender points on the back making up a total of 10 in one general area. Other tender points are found close to, but not on the joints. There are tender points near each elbow, near each knee and four are located near the pelvis and hips.