July 30, 2016
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Fibromyalgia Facts (cont.)

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How do physicians diagnose fibromyalgia?

Physicians diagnose fibromyalgia based on the patient's symptoms, primarily widespread pain. Chronic widespread pain in the muscles and joints, in combination with fatigue and poor sleep, lead to the consideration of fibromyalgia. A physician will perform a thorough history and physical exam to exclude other illnesses presenting with similar symptoms.

There is no widely accepted blood test or X-ray test for fibromyalgia at this time. Any testing is done to exclude another condition. Tests for inflammation are generally normal in isolated fibromyalgia.

Usually multiple soft-tissue areas ("fibromyalgia tender points") are tender to palpation. However, not all patients are tender at the tender points. In general, females are more likely to be tender at the classic fibromyalgia tender points than males.

The American College of Rheumatology developed new guidelines to help diagnose patients with fibromyalgia. The new guidelines no longer require a certain number of tender points to be present to be confident that a patient has fibromyalgia. The new guidelines use pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia to aid diagnosis. Patient questionnaires to assist in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be found online.

What specialties of doctors treat fibromyalgia?

Rheumatologists, internists, family medicine doctors, pain-management doctors, physical-medicine and rehabilitation doctors, and primary-care providers all treat fibromyalgia. Health-care practitioners other than physicians are also frequently involved in the treatment of fibromyalgia, including clinical psychologists, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/18/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/fibromyalgia_facts/article.htm

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