- The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is difficult
- How is fibromyalgia detected?
- The therapy for fibromyalgia
The symptoms of fibromyalgia often start on the arms or legs – a feeling like sore muscles. Over the years, the signs and symptoms become more severe and spreading – more than two million people in Germany suffer from fibromyalgia(muscle fiber pain), over one and a half million of them are women. The incurable disease usually begins at the end of the second decade of life. The chronic pain affects the back, neck and chest, and especially the joints in the arms and legs. Typical of fibromyalgia are also permanent, often leaden fatigue and fatigue to severe fatigue, the so-called fatigue syndrome.
The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is difficult
General practitioners are finding it difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia because the disease is not detectable by laboratory tests, X-rays or computed tomography (CT). If someone comes into the practice with persistent symptoms, the doctor should first perform a complete physical examination. Basically, it has to be clarified whether chronic inflammations such as rheumatism, metabolic diseases (for example diabetes) or side effects of medications are the reason for the symptoms. If the examinations and laboratory values show no abnormalities, the family doctor should refer his patients to a specialized specialist, usually a rheumatologist.
How is fibromyalgia detected?
The specialist first asks the affected persons in detail about their complaints and the health history. Then the doctor checks the sensitivity to pain specifically on certain parts of the body. For this he presses with his fingers on 18 special points (so-called tender points). They are usually close to the joints of the tendon-muscle approaches. If eleven or more of them are painful in the test, there is a suspicion of fibromyalgia .
The therapy for fibromyalgia
Once the disease is recognized, many patients are relieved – at last they know what torments them. And they learn that fibromyalgiais safe in itself, because there is no danger, sometime to rely on the wheelchair. The treatment consists of a combination therapy. The basis is movement. For each one must be decided individually, which sport is good in which dosage. Often, water gymnastics, swimming or training on the bicycle ergometer is helpful. Many also benefit from warm baths or treatments in infrared cabins. It usually makes sense to find the right combination in rehabilitation centers. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, Qigong or autogenic training often bring relief. If someone also suffers from depression or anxiety, they need to be treated. Because if a patient is mentally stable, he can better handle his pain. These gentle measures do not relieve the pain, Doctors rely on medication support, especially so-called pain modulators such as antidepressants or anticonvulsants. The goal is to maintain the quality of life.