Share What You Know
Knowledge is powerful and knowledge can help make a difference in people’s lives. In order for knowledge to make a difference it must first be shared. Though fibromyalgia is a mysterious condition there are certain aspects of the condition that is available for dispensing and should be passed on to others suffering from or with this condition. So what do we know about this peculiar condition?
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is chronic condition that sets off widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness that has lasted for at least a period of 3 months. Fibromyalgia is characterized by one thing – pain. More than twelve million people have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and each of them are forced to live with widespread musculoskeletal pain which often goes hand in hand with extreme moments of fatigue, memory difficulties and fluctuating mood swings and behaviors. 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. The pain will start in a location such as the knee and then spread out to include the whole leg.
What Symptoms Does Fibromyalgia Produce?
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. The following is only a few of the places where soft tissue predominates and where fibromyalgia pain could be felt.
- Rib Cage
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. Fibromyalgia comes with other life complications that have been known to leave serious and even permanent effects on the body.
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. Fibromyalgia and its symptoms are similar to Lupus as well as various forms of arthritis so taking the steps needed to diagnosis fibromyalgia can help speed up the treatment process.
How Does One Attain A Diagnosis?
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. 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.
How are tender points tested?
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.