Fibromyalgia is one of the most common causes of pain felt throughout the whole body, and in the last few years it has entered the public sphere as one of the biggest health concerns.
This is a chronic disease that is characterized by muscular-skeletal pain that appears in areas where pressure is applied. The strongest pain is localized in the muscular areas and appears as a sensitivity to touch or a quick change in temperature.
This syndrome is associated with those who also have trouble sleeping, fatigue, morning stiffness, depression, anxiety, digestion problems and a feeling of swelling.
To be able to diagnose whether you may be suffering from fibromyalgia you should keep in mind the pressure points on your body. They are 18 points on your body where major pain sensations are felt and are used to diagnose the condition. Let’s find out what those 18 points are.
How to diagnose fibromyalgia?
If you feel pain in a particular part of your body and if that pain increases when you put pressure on it or touch that portion of the body and the pain increases, your first step should be to consult a doctor and ask to be evaluated for fibromyalgia.
Until now, the clinical diagnosis for fibromyalgia was to put pressure on these 18 points and have more than 11 points cause pain.
These pressure points can be found in the following areas of the body:
- Second rib.
- Inferior cervical: front part of the spinal cord.
- Occiput: point below the cranium where the trapezoidal muscle begins.
- Lateral epicondural: two centimeters below the front part of the elbow.
- Trapezius muscle: middle portion of the superior edge.
- Supraspinal: above the middle edge of the spine.
- Greater trochanter: behind and below the junction of the femur and the hip.
- Gluteus: the top and external part of the muscle.
- Knees: along the top of the joint before the area of ligature connection.
The sensitivity of these areas of the body have been very important in diagnosing this condition, but there are many cases where chronic and generalized osteo-muscular pain aren’t the only way to diagnose fibromyalgia.
Currently there are other criteria to diagnose fibromyalgia, which propose that the patient can suffer from pain in five key areas and three minor symptoms in other areas:
- Change in symptoms when engaged in exercise.
- Change in symptoms because of atmospheric conditions.
- Amplification of symptoms because of stress.
- Restless nights.
- General fatigue.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
Treatment of symptoms of fibromyalgia
A cure for fibromyalgia doesn’t exist, and some people suggest that the more medication taken by the patient, the worse the problem can be. The truth is that many medications contain chemicals that affect the person’s health because the patient may have chemical sensibilities or suffer from secondary effects.
Medication for fibromyalgia has to be prescribed by a doctor or specialist, especially medication that helps with pain, is prescribed to help a patient sleep, or addresses depression or other emotional problems.
The second part of treating fibromyalgia comes in the form of supporting a patient, educating them about their options, offering emotional support and encouraging physical activity that will improve their quality of life.
Patients with fibromyalgia are always told to maintain active lifestyles since physical activity has shown to help alleviate the condition. Any physical activity should be approved by your doctor or therapist and should be done 2 to 3 times a week.
If you’re just starting to incorporate a physical routine you’ll want to start small and increase your level of activity slowly. Avoid activities that cause more pain in any area of your body. Among recommended activities are gymnastics, dance, swimming and water-based aerobics.