Is an Early Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia Correct or a Cop Out?
Is an early diagnosis of fibromyalgia correct or is it a way of saying I don’t know why you’re in pain so I give up but here’s a label for your troubles?!
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia, broken down means fibro (fibrous tissue) my (muscles) & algia (pain). It is classed as widespread pain that affects the soft tissue. Symptoms include; muscle soreness, fatigue, sleep problems, tender points to name a few. It is poorly understood by the medical world.
Because it is poorly understood in a weird way it kind of gives the medical world the licence to throw it around very easy… I’ll explain.
A diagnosis of fibro is based on the American College of Rheumatology guidelines. One of the criteria is widespread pain throughout the body for 3months or more.
The assessments are mechanically/structurally based, while the MRI’s and X-ray’s do check for tissue damage. However, none of the tests are tailored to each individual.
So here’s my question, does this mean that anybody that has widespread pain for three months or more potentially has fibromyalgia? It is a very broad diagnosis if you ask me. Or could it possibly mean that a conclusion of fibro is thrown prematurely because they don’t know why the person is in pain? My point is when a person is given a diagnosis like that it is almost like the towel has been thrown in.
Well, in this case, that’s not always a bad idea. It’s time to take your body into your own hands and not depend on others.
If you feel you are one of the individuals, ask yourself these questions:
1. When did things start to go downhill?
2. What was going on in your life around then?
3. How have you coped mentally with the initial trauma/injury?
4. Have you developed any fears?
5. How has your exercise been affected?
6. How has your self-esteem suffered?
7. Has your diet suffered?
In my experience, many people have been diagnosed prematurely. If the right questions were asked there could be a different outcome. Chronic widespread pain can start with an initial trauma, physical or psychological. Then layers or other problems stemming from that build up, thus creating one major global issue.
Think about when things started to go downhill. Take a look at what is going on around you and see if your body is responding to anything past or present. Analyze what could be contributing to your pain i.e. Do you exercise? How’s your diet? Have you addressed the initial trauma? Have you made lifestyle changes? Can you manage your stress better? Then try and make subtle changes to them and see if there is a response.
Because if you are sitting at home waiting for a magic pill to solve all your problems you’re in for a long wait.
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