FIBROMYALGIA tender points are an important part of diagnosing the condition. These are areas of the body that tend to hurt when pressed with a finger. While it’s best your GP tests these during an examination, pain felt in these specific places could help give you a better idea whether or not you have the condition.
Fibromyalgia symptoms tend to be experienced by the sufferer between the ages of 20 and 60, though the condition is more common with increasing age.
It is a long-term chronic disorder, but its exact cause is unknown.
The condition causes widespread pain in the body, but discomfort can vary depending on the person.
The pain may be worse at some times than others, and can feel like a deep ache in your muscles, like a burning or throbbing, or intense, persistent pain.
An important part of diagnosing fibromyalgia is assessing pain when a number of the body’s tender points are pressed. So which areas of the body does this involve?
According to Boots WebMD, the tender points are located at various places on the body, and to get a medical diagnosis of fibromyalgia, at least 11 of 18 tender point sites must be painful when pressed.
In addition, for a diagnosis of the condition, the symptom of widespread pain must have been present for at least three months.
The tender points can be found on the back of the neck, where the base of the skull and the neck meet, on the forearms, near the crease of each elbow toward the outer side of the arm, and the front of the neck, well above the collarbone, on either side of the larynx.
Tender points can also be experienced near where the bottom muscles curve to join the thighs, at the very top of the bottom, right at the bottom of the lower back, and inside each knee pad.
On the upper back, tender points can be found where tendons and muscles meet, and where the back muscles connect to the shoulder blades.
Some people with fibromyalgia may also have tender points just above the shoulders, halfway between the edge of the shoulder the bottom of the neck.
Either side of sternum, a few inches below the collarbone, near the second rib, can also be tender.
According to Fibromyalgia Syndrome, fibromyalgia can be identified as a disability and Personal Independence Payment may apply to you.
Like Disability Living Allowance, the benefit is given to individuals who cannot work and find it difficult to cope by themselves. It is then split into three levels and each level is representative of the nature of the condition.
The site explains: “In order to qualify you must complete a medical assessment which is carried out by an independent doctor once your application has been received and processed.
“This examination will determine whether or not the information you have provided in your application is correct and will also assess at what level you may qualify for assistance.”
But, fibromyalgia can affect people in different ways, and is a difficult illness to diagnose, meaning it may take some time before your doctor reaches a diagnosis.
The site adds: “You should expect a lengthy wait as – although Personal Independence Payment does cover this illness – there are more rigorous assessments to undergo before agreement is reached.”