Tender Points in body to Diagnose Fibromyalgia

According to American Family Physician, Fibromyalgia is a “Fibromyalgia is an idiopathic, chronic, monoarticular pain syndrome defined by widespread musculoskeletal pain and generalized tender points”.

Diagnosis of fibromyalgia is not easy. Pain is not same in every person. Most of the time peoples presenting complains pain at multiple sites, fatigue, poor sleep, a burning or gnawing soreness, stiffness which improves as the day progresses.

According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) diagnostic criteria required tenderness on pressure in at least 11 out of 18 specifies sites with the presence of widespread pain. The points are as follows.

  • Back of the Neck
  • Elbows
  • Front of the Neck
  • Hips
  • Lower Back
  • Knees
  • Upper Back
  • Shoulders
  • Chest

There’s a chronic widespread pain condition called myofascial pain syndrome. It involves chronic trigger point pain. Myofascial pain syndrome can coexist with fibromyalgia. A study in The Journal of Pain, the official journal of The American Pain Society, found that most tender points are also myofascial trigger points.

Triger points injections helps fibromyalgia

Trigger point injections (TPI) are done by introducing a needle with anesthetic (lidocaine or corticosteroid) into the center of the trigger point in order to release the tightness and pain.  After the injection, the pain is eliminated because the pain cannot be processed.  Injections are given in a doctor’s office and are a quick and relatively painless process.  This treatment can be done on several locations of the body during one visit.

TPI is used to treat different muscle groups including arms, legs, lower back and neck.  TPI is often used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches.  It is also used to help treat myofascial pain syndrome.

Not all trigger points need to be injected, as some will respond instead to physical therapy, massage, or stretching.  But for those that are chronic trigger points, TPI is a option that can alleviate pain and pressure.

Trigger point injections are ideal for patients who have active trigger points and are suffering from fibromyalgia or other muscle pains.

Accupunture Treatment

An acupuncurist will insert needles into a person’s body at certain points to relieve pain.

While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medial treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders.The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:

  • Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
  • Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
  • Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
  • Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.

Massage at Trigger Points

A study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics suggested that two types of massage therapy significantly help women with fibromyalgia.

Manual lymph drainage therapy is a massage technique that moves fluid away from areas where lymph vessels are blocked or damaged. Connective tissue massage is an intense massage technique that focuses on manipulating myofascial tissue. Researchers suggest that both techniques lessen pain, improve quality of life, and increase pain thresholds.

Not all massages are created equal, so don’t expect the best results from your local spa. You might want to start by asking for recommendations from friends, your family physician, or your fibromyalgia specialist.

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