In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology, established the following criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia:
1. History of widespread pain of at least three months' duration. Pain must be present in all four quadrants of the body, that is, on both the left and right side of the body and above and below the waist. Axial skeletal pain (cervical spine, anterior chest, thoracic spine, or low back) must also be present.
2. Pain, and not just tenderness on physical examination (digital palpation with an approximate force of four kg), in at least 11 of 18 tender points in muscles, tendons, or bones.
Diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires fulfillment of all three major criteria and four or more minor criteria listed below.
1. Generalized aches or stiffness of at least three anatomical sites for at least three months
For a description of the tender points or trigger
points, go here.
1. Generalized fatigue
Fibromyalgia is much more common in females than in males, and most often begins in young adulthood. In most cases, symptoms come on gradually and slowly increase in intensity.
The course of fibromyalgia is unpredictable. Some cases clear up on their own, some become chronic, and some go through cycles of flare-ups alternating with periods of apparent remission.
Related Topic: Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
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