Tender Point Test Used To Diagnose Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a body wide pain filled condition that takes a toll on not only the body but the emotions and mental wellbeing of the individual that has been diagnosed with the condition. When fibromyalgia begins to consume the body the patient will begin to suffer intense pains that start in one location and then spreads out from there to encompass the whole body. The complicated thing about fibromyalgia is that the condition can be somewhat of a mystery and so can the diagnosis process.
Those that feel as though they may have fibromyalgia should seek out a diagnosis as soon as possible so as to prevent further complications. The diagnosis process can be a bit confusing but thankfully there is a new way to help diagnose if the pain being felt is truly the result of fibromyalgia or some other health concern. Keep reading for more insight on how modern research can help pinpoint fibromyalgia.
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. Everyone who suffers fromfibromyalgia has heard of the tender points test. This is a test where doctors apply pressure to 18 locations on the body; eleven of these 18 tender points needs to be reacted to for a positive fibromyalgia diagnosis. The patient must also have experienced widespread body pain for a minimum of three months; however, recently a new idea has come up to diagnose fibromyalgia that can help pinpoint an accurate diagnosis at a quicker pace.
A Diagnosis Journey
Since fibromyalgia is a diagnosis that is based on the symptoms, there is no laboratory test or X-ray that diagnoses it. The new in office test takes a widespread pain index coupled with a symptom severity scale should help lead to more diagnoses and treatment. The pain index is a 19 item checklist. The possible fibromyalgia sufferer marks the number of body parts when pain has been experienced during the last week. The symptom scale puts together the three most complain about symptoms, un-refreshing sleep, fatigue and cognitive issues. These symptoms are rated on a scale of zero to three.
In the past, the tender points test has seemed very unreliable because of the constantly changing pain of fibromyalgia. At times, fibromyalgia sufferers may not have 11 of those 18 tender points that are tender. They also may not experience the widespread body pain consistently for three months in a row. The other concern about the tender points test is doctors trying to figure out the amount of pressure that is needed to be used on the tender point. The biggest concern for doctors however, is that the tender points can change over time.
The new test is actually effective in diagnosing fibromyalgia without any physical exam. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are important and that is what this condition relies upon to diagnose.
According to research, the tender points test was actually not ever designed to be a diagnostic test for fibromyalgia. It was designed more as a guideline to assist doctors in diagnosing.
Overall, it seems that this diagnostic test will be able to treat more potential fibromyalgia sufferers in learning what exactly is causing them so much pain and fatigue.
A Few New Alternative Treatments
Once a diagnosis has been made the patient must seek out some type or form of treatment. One of the first thoughts that a fibromyalgia sufferer has is what medications are available for pain relief. Medications are indeed one treatment option; however with the use of medications come possible side effects making the treatment choice not the safest choice. Alternative treatments can be implemented as a safer treatment option than medications so the goal is to find and alternative treatment that is both effective as well as safe.
Alternative treatments would include:
- Chiropractic Care
- Massage Therapy
- Diet And Nutrition