Overview of Fibromyalgia
There are no laboratory tests, blood work, or x-rays
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Hello, I'm Dr. Robert Fenell, founder of HandAndFootClinicsOfAmerica.com and I'm here today on behalf of About.com to talk to you about fibromyalgia.Fibromyalgia is a chronic, widespread pain syndrome that affects the entire body, both above and below the waistline, as well as on both sides of the body. Fibromyalgia is very unpredictable and patients often become frustrated because of the limitations their bodies go through in their typical, daily life activities. It can affect the arms, the legs and many different joints, muscles and tendons throughout the entire body. Unlike autoimmune or inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, fibromyalgia does not affect the organs and it does not affect other parts of the body. It simply affects the muscles, joints, tendons and soft tissues.In addition to the widespread body pain, patients will also commonly experience chronic fatigue, memory problems, mood swings, sleep problems, anxiety, depression and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The symptoms with fibromyalgia may present gradually with no known cause or apparent reason, or they can also be the result of some type of blunt trauma or injury, surgery, infection or severe psychological distress.There are many different treatment options available for fibromyalgia patients, including: prescription medications, stress management, natural supplementation, massage therapy, gentle range of motion exercises, joint manipulation, and acupuncture or acupressure. Fibromyalgia most commonly affects middle-aged women between the ages of 35 to 55 years old, and it less commonly affects men, children and the elderly.If you've experienced symptoms of chronic fatigue, achiness or joint pain, you should probably check with your doctor to be diagnosed to see if you have fibromyalgia or another similar condition. The diagnosis for fibromyalgia is made by stimulating 18 different pain points over the body. The doctor will test these different points, and if at least 11 of the 18 are painful upon pressure, then that is positive for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. There are no laboratory tests, blood work, or x-rays that can diagnose fibromyalgia. Rather, it is strictly based on the patient's history, symptoms and the physical examination findings.Thank you for watching this video today. If you would like to learn more, find us online at About.com.