First Must Come A Diagnosis
Thanks to the internet the human race feels as though they are educated enough to possibly self-diagnose. I must admit I am somewhat guilty of this myself; I am notorious for googling symptoms and then cross referencing them. Medical professionals can be somewhat intimidating especially when deep down an individual knows that something is not quite right. Though the fear of diagnosis is real that does not mean it should prevent one from seeking out a diagnosis if he or she is suffering from noticeable changes in his or her physical, emotional and mental well-being.
Keep in mind that a diagnosis must come first before relief can be had. One cannot treat a condition correctly or effectively that he or she is only guessing they have. 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
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.
What Are Tender Points?
Tender points are surface areas that seem to be just under the surface of the skin. These points hurt when just light pressure is applied. The doctor will watch for the patient to flinch or pull back when pressure is applied. The sizes of the tender points are around the size of a penny. They are much more sensitive than the areas surrounding them.
Tender Point Test Process
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.
Doctors will test all of the tender points along with other points, also known as control points, and study the patient’s reaction. The control points are designed to makes sure that the patient does not react to those as well. The doctor can use his hand or a doximeter/dolorimenter. The instrument can greatly assist in providing the correct amount of pressure.
Treating fibromyalgia can be done through several different means some of which are unique in nature but none the less effective.
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture as a therapy originated as traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patents of energy that flow through the body are and essential to total body health. Acupuncture uses stimulation of specific acu-points on the skin by inserting needles that range in length from 1 cm to 10 cm. A typical treatment involves the use of 5 to 15 needles and the generally the acu-points vary during each treatment session
- Massage Therapy – The two main symptoms that are presented by the condition of Fibromyalgia are fatigue and pain. Massage therapy can aid in lessening both of these symptoms by helping the Fibromyalgia suffer to be able to experience less pain, obtain more sleep, and also to help relax some of the tightened and stiff muscles that can contribute to much of the pain. Research has proven that the use of massage therapy as a form of Fibromyalgia treatment can help Fibromyalgia sufferers experience deeper levels of sleep and lessen levels of pain and fatigue. The way that massage therapy accomplishes this is by using the different forms of massage to help oxygenate the body as a whole which can decrease the severity of symptoms that a Fibromyalgia sufferer will experience. Massage therapy can help Fibromyalgia sufferers find relief from their symptoms specifically by:
- Improving Sleep
- Reducing Swelling, Pain, and Stiffness in the Joints & Muscles
- Decreasing Anxiety & Stress
- Increasing Blood Circulation
- Increasing Flexibility
- Increasing the Range of Motion