June 25, 2008

Test & Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome related to muscles, ligaments, tendons and the multiple tender points. In the earlier days, it was called chronic muscle pain syndrome, tension myalgias, fibrositis, and psychogenic rheumatism. The common symptoms include stiffness tenderness and pain in these parts.  In addition to this, the patient also experiences fatigue both mental as well as physical. The physical fatigue reduces the activity levels of the patient. On the other hand mental fatigue affects sleep, concentration, etc. Moreover, the patient experiences depression, anxiety, and restlessness.

The symptoms play an important role in the diagnosis. Therefore, the first stage of diagnosis includes studying the symptoms. The doctor will study the occurrence of symptoms as pain and stiffness in the different parts of body. If they are occurring in all the parts of body then the patient may be having Fibromyalgia.

However, the symptoms are so common that they can be caused by some other diseases as well. Therefore, it is very important to rule out the other possibilities. For this purpose, several tests are done for the different types of possibilities. The absence of any other syndrome increases the chances of Fibromyalgia.

This disease can be caused by genetic mutations as well. Therefore, medical history of the patient or his family as well can play an important role in the diagnosis. If the medical history consists of such cases then this too, increases the chances of Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia gives rise to pain in tender points in different parts of the body. There are only 18 natural tender points in humans. However, Fibromyalgia can give rise to pain in several other points as well. Nevertheless, counting the tender points, which are showing the symptoms, is beneficial.

For Fibromyalgia to be present the symptoms must appear in at least 11 of the 18 tender points. For measuring the tender points, a force of about 1 kg i.e. about 39 newtons is applied at the tender points. If pain is experienced in them then it is showing the symptoms. The number of active Fibromyalgia points varies according to time or conditions. Still this is the most reliable test available at this moment.

Research is going on in the world for finding out precise test for diagnosing Fibromyalgia. The symptoms are severe in most of the cases, also the treatment depends upon the diagnosis, and therefore diagnosis is very important. Nevertheless, diagnosis based on the above-mentioned aspects too, is very useful and in most of the cases diagnoses it correctly.