Understanding A Little More About Fibromyalgai
The condition of Fibromyalgia is probably one of the most misunderstood conditions of our modern medical world. When it comes down to the symptoms, more specifically the symptom of pain, there are usually more questions than answers that arise. When described under clinical terms the condition of Fibromyalgai is a musculoskeletal condition that includes symptoms of widespread joint and muscle pain as well as fatigue and other symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
There are many different symptoms that are experienced by the Fibromyalgia patient. Most commonly the top two symptomatic complaints are pain and fatigue. However other symptoms can include muscle stiffness, insomnia, difficulty with concentration, tension and/or migraine headaches, jaw and/or facial tenderness, anxiousness, depression, inflammation, and even sensitivity to odors, noises, bright lights, or medications, specific foods, and cold. When it comes to the symptom of pain however this pain presented as a symptom can lead to the anomaly of the following conditions:
- Hyperalgesia – described as an increased sensitivity towards pain. Fibromyalgai is a condition that seems to amplify the pain receptors of individuals who suffer from the condition.
- Allodynia – described as a painful response to a normally otherwise inoffensive stimuli. For instance, in a normal person a handshake or hug would perfectly normal to give or receive and no pain would be felt during these acts, however in a person who has Fibromyalgai these acts of either hugging or giving a handshake can become extremely painful. Other areas that fall under the umbrella of Allodynia include an increased sensitivity to smells, bright lights, loud noises, specific foods, changes in the weather, as well as heat and/or cold.
How Does Fatigue affect the Fibromyalgai Sufferer?
As stated, other than pain, Fatigue is one of the leading symptoms of Fibromyalgai. Often times the problem with fatigue and Fibromyalgai is that there can be a vicious cycle that occurs between the pain and fatigue. The pain causes a Fibromyalgia sufferer to achieve less deep and restful sleep during the night, and the lack of this much needed deep and restful sleep only exacerbates the pain that is experienced during the day. The pain and fatigue can completely overwhelm a Fibromyalgia sufferer and it is important that the condition becomes more understood by medical professionals as well as probable patients so that proper diagnosis and more importantly proper treatment can take place.
How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?
Fibromyalgai because it is so misunderstood is often times extremely difficult to diagnose. Often times Fibromyalgai can be misdiagnosed or treated as other conditions or diseases because many similarities exist in the way that the symptoms present themselves. However, there have been some criteria that have been set up by the American College of Rheumatology (also known as the ACR) which states that once other conditions have been ruled out a diagnosis of Fibromyalgai is made after (1) A period of at least 3 months of widespread musculoskeletal pain has been present, and (2) at least 11 of 18 total Tender Points must have been identified via digital palpation. As of now it is understood that Fibromyalgai causes the nerves that work to communicated pain with the brain to work incorrectly, and in many cases these nerves become over stimulated providing too much information or incorrect information to the brain in regards to touch, sensations, and of course pain. Just like other rheumatologic conditions in order for a proper diagnosis of Fibromyalgai to be made the patient must be closely monitored by clinical observation as well as present the symptoms common to the condition of Fibromyalgia exist on a continuous basis.
What are Tender Points?
Tender Points are specific locations on the body that occur in symmetrical pairs over the body. In Fibromyalgai patients these Tender Points have a tendency to become extremely sensitive and will be felt as painful when digitally palpitated when an examination by a physician is made. The nine symmetrical pairs of Tender Points that occur at specific locations are:
- Occiput (back of the neck)
- Low Cervical (front of the neck)
- Trapezius (back of the shoulder area)
- Supraspinatus (shoulder blade area)
- Second (front chest area)
- Lateral (elbow area)
- Gluteal (rear end area)
- Greater (rear hip area)
- Knee (inner knee area)