Fibromyalgia: The Dots on the Image
Welcome to my Fibromyalgia blog. The topics discussed will also apply to many other pain conditions, such as myofascial pain, arthritis and chronic fatigue. The topics discussed are a result of years of interacting with you, the patient. For each lesson taught, there is a lesson learned. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to interact with so many wonderful patients. Thank you for teaching me along the way. As you read this blog, I hope you find something that you can apply to the management of your condition and improve the quality of your life.
What do all of those dots in the picture mean?
Pick up any reference material about fibromyalgia and you will see this picture of a body with multiple dots scattered over all four extremities as well as the trunk.
Are these the only spots that can hurt? What if I have other areas that hurt but aren’t on the chart? Is something else wrong?
Here is the scoop. In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology published the criteria for the classification of fibromyalgia based on a multicenter study. For the purpose of this study, the points listed on the picture were used as part of the diagnostic criteria, since they were common areas that are found to be tender in patients with fibromyalgia.
Since fibromyalgia is a syndrome of increased sensitivity, any area on the body can be tender. These points may change in intensity and location from day to day or hour to hour. This is a normal occurrence in patients with fibromyalgia.
With the help of your medical team, you can develop strategies to better control the intensity and variation of your symptoms.