Fibromyalgia is the disease also known as the muscular rheumatism. It affectsthe whole body and cause serious pain. The pain is located all over the body: in thetendons, joints, muscles and in the soft tissues. Patients experience thisserious pain and respond way too much to any kind of the pressure on the tenderspots. Tender points are actually the spots on the body where the patients feelmost pain.
There are no known causes of this disease. Scientists and doctors can onlyassume what is causing fibromyalgia. There are theories that fibromyalgia canbe caused by some emotional or physical trauma or stress, by problems in theserotonin metabolism or by the lack of a growth hormone secretion. Some otherscientists believe that this disease is genetically predisposed.
People suffering from fibromyalgia usually experience the pain on the specificpoint on the body. These points are located on the both sides of the body andinclude: front area of the neck, front of the chest, area around the elbow andthe knee. Also, patients might experience the pain in the area at the back ofthe shoulder and shoulder blades, at the rear end of the spine and also at therear hip.
These 9 points and additional 9 on the other side of the body are 18tenderest points in fibromyalgia patients.
To diagnose this condition, doctors agreed that a patient must feel pain andsensitivity in at least 11 of these 18 spots, and the pain should last for morethan 3 months. The pain is usually radiating and spreading from these tenderpoints, often experienced even if the patient is at rest and doesn’t doanything.
What is Not Fibromyalgia?
Don’t confuse fibromyalgia with some other diseases, such as myofascialpain. There are also myofascial trigger points, but these are not the tenderpoints, because they could appear anywhere on the body and can be easilytreated.
Patients suffering from hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, sleepingdisorders, cancers and HIV might also have symptoms resembling tender points.Doctors need to confirm the diagnosis of fibromyalgia using laboratory test andX ray. This way there will be no confusion about the cause of the overall painin the body.
The treatment depends on a severity of the condition. Mild symptoms can betreated with some stress relief and changes in the lifestyle and physical therapy. More prominent symptoms can be treated with additionalmedications and counseling.