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Fibromyalgia Trigger Points…Will Someone Recognize Mine?

Someone having a pain in their head

Have you begun to wonder if the symptoms you are consistently experiencing may be those of fibromyalgia?

Perhaps you’ve begun to do some research and all the facts are pointing toward this debilitating yet difficult-to-diagnose disease.

Knowing some of the most significant signs of fibromyalgia will help you start to determine if this is indeed the disease you are experiencing, and will help you start to convince others that it’s time to consider a fibromyalgia diagnosis as your reason for your ongoing emotional and physical pain.

Living with fibromyalgia can be not only incredibly painful, but incredibly frustrating as well.

Many times a healthcare provider will misdiagnose someone with fibromyalgia, thinking that their symptoms are related to something else.

Knowing how to advocate for yourself when you are living with fibromyalgia pain is going to be crucial to finding a path forward in diagnosing fibromyalgia. In the past, physicians may not have had the resources to diagnose but now the disease is recognized officially by the American Medical Association and there is an ICD 10 code for fibromyalgia available for diagnosis and insurance purposes.

Start With the Tender Points

For anyone struggling with the widespread pain and other symptoms that are associated with fibromyalgia, one of the best places to start when trying to get a diagnosis is with a widespread pain index and symptom severity scale.

Fibromyalgia is a disease that doesn’t have a cure. It also is one that can not be diagnosed with a simple blood test like other similar diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Finding a physician who understands this and knows how to test for fibromyalgia using these other tests is going to be important in order to get the relief you need and start living the life you deserve.

The widespread pain index and symptom severity scale are two diagnostic tests that your doctor or healthcare provider can administer in order to determine whether or not the symptoms you are experiencing are associated with fibromyalgia, or may be related to something else.

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What is the Widespread Pain Index?

In 2010, the American College of Rheumatology came up with diagnostic criteria that would help physicians and other healthcare providers better treat patients with fibromyalgia by pressing on various points on their body and determining the level of pain the patient is experiencing.

Called the Widespread Pain Index, this test is easily done in a medical facility by a trained health professional who understands where the various tender points are on a person’s body and who knows the scale at which to rank each tender point.

Tender point pain can be found in up to 19 different places on a patient’s body who is presenting with fibromyalgia symptoms.

These tender points are located in the following areas:

  • Right and left shoulder
  • Right and left upper arm
  • Right and left elbow joint
  • Right and left hip joint
  • Right and left upper leg
  • Right and left lower leg
  • Lower area of back
  • Neck
  • Belly
  • Chest area
  • Side of Neck
  • Both sides of jaw

As a patient stands in front of them, a doctor then presses the tip of their finger into each of these spots.

And – as the different pain points are identified, an assistant will then record the level of pain felt.

If you experience tenderness in more than seven of these spots, there’s a strong likelihood that your severe pain is very possibly now going to be considered fibromyalgia pain points and not just generalized aches and pains.

discussing with physician

What is the Symptom Severity Scale?

The Symptom Severity Scale is another piece of diagnostic criteria that you will want to encourage your physician or other health care provider to use when you have reason to believe your chronic pain and tender points may be the result of fibromyalgia.

This scale will work in conjunction with the Widespread Pain Index test to figure out where exactly your tender points are, and to what severity you are experiencing consistent and constant pain.

The Symptom Severity Scale measures three different things and will rank their severity on a scale similar to the one above.

The three things that are considered on the Symptom Severity Scale are:

  • fatigue
  • waking up still tired
  • thinking problems

Your doctor or healthcare professional will discuss with you how many of these three conditions you’ve experienced in the last seven days.

They will then ask you to rank the severity to which you’ve experienced these conditions, using a scale of 0 (no problems) to 3 (severe problems).

Obviously the more often you’ve experienced each of these things, the more likely you will receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

A skilled and knowledgeable doctor or other healthcare provider will also know to ask you about some additional symptoms that are also associated with fibromyalgia.

Some of these will include things like itching across your body, intestinal discomfort, dizziness, and numbness in your fingers and toes.

Emotional distress should also be discussed. Unfortunately, it’s very common for fibromyalgia sufferers to deal with anxiety and depression along with having to feel widespread pain throughout their body.

Whether or not a patient’s anxiety or depression is because of the physical discomfort is still unclear.

But having to experience mental issues as well as physical ones is an unfortunate part of living with fibromyalgia for many.

If you have found a physician or medical professional who understands these tests and why they are imperative in the ability to diagnose fibromyalgia, then you will be farther along than many are in getting the chronic pain in your tender points under control.

On the other hand, if you have a healthcare provider or physician who doesn’t understand the importance of these tests, you are going to have to continue to advocate for yourself until you can find someone who does understand.

Getting someone to administer these types of diagnostic tests for you and finally pinpoint where your tender points are located is a big step in your long-term management of your fibromyalgia tender points.

It’s also a big step in getting your fibromyalgia diagnosis once and for all.

Physical examination

How Can I Get Someone to Take My Tender Points Seriously?

One of the biggest frustrations for anyone suffering from fibromyalgia pain is trying to find the right professional who can and is willing to believe that your tender points are not just muscle spasms, muscle tension or other symptoms that have to do with something other than fibromyalgia syndrome.

There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to diagnosing fibromyalgia.

Because there is still no cure or even specific treatment for people with fibromyalgia, many medical professionals are very unskilled in treating or diagnosing fibromyalgia.

Part of the reason for this is that people with fibromyalgia struggle to be able to fully communicate where their actual pain points are.

Why is it so hard to communicate my tender points?

Trying to communicate your tender points can be incredibly challenging when no one seems to be taking them seriously.

When you go to your medical professional for help with your specific fibromyalgia tender points – and they aren’t willing to acknowledge your fibromyalgia symptoms – your hope of finding a true fibromyalgia diagnosis is going to feel almost impossible.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The more you learn to advocate for yourself in an attempt to get a fibromyalgia diagnosis will ultimately allow you to get the proper diagnosis. Of course, this is often harder than it sounds.

You deserve to not have to live with the physical and emotional pain that fibromyalgia causes.

It’s time you seek help.

Native Formulas is a place where you can come and feel comfortable trying to figure out all the myths and truths about fibromyalgia.

We are well-versed in the intricate issues surrounding fibromyalgia and will help you get the much-needed information you need to find your own path toward healing.

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You’ll find helpful resources on our website as well as testimonials from people who have run into the same roadblocks that you have in their attempts to find the proper help for their fibromyalgia symptoms.

You will also learn about some of the newest research that’s being done to help relieve pain and begin discovering a healthier roadmap toward healing.

Our website offers a free downloadable Biofilm Buster Action Plan to help get you started on your wellness journey and discover how thousands of people before you have finally learned to live their life to the fullest.

Don’t let fibromyalgia rob you of what you deserve. Find out how you can reclaim the life that you want.