If so, you are not alone. Many people with chronic pain conditions (pain lasting more than 3 months) struggle to accurately describe their pain to their doctors. It’s not easy. The pain may be simultaneously located in multiple areas:
The pain may move around. Or it may seem like it is everywhere at once.
The intensity of the pain may also change from day to day. Some chronic pain sufferers describe their pain as:
It can be frustrating for those who have chronic pain all over. This is especially true if they don’t know the source of the pain.
Fibromyalgia is one of the most common types of chronic pain disorders. It is estimated that more than 5 million people in the United States have fibromyalgia. The defining problem is chronic widespread muscle pain.
Sufferers often have other fibromyalgia symptoms such as chronic fatigue, sleep disturbance, depression or anxiety, and concentration/memory problems.
Awareness of fibromyalgia has increased in just the last few years. Yet, for many, fibromyalgia continues to be a hard-to-diagnose condition. Research shows that 92% of fibromyalgia sufferers have talked about their symptoms with a doctor. But this discussion leads to diagnosis only 24% of the time.
Why does it tend to be so difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia? One reason is that your doctor can’t see it on an x-ray or do a blood test. Instead, he or she relies on your description of your symptoms and a physical exam. Also, many fibromyalgia symptoms occur together with other conditions. Your doctor may test you for these other conditions as well.
The Fibromyalgia Pain Assessment Tool may help you describe your personal experience with pain. This may lead to a better discussion with your doctor.
The information provided in this interactive tool is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by a professional health care provider and is not meant to be interpreted as treatment recommendations. Always seek the advice of your professional health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing a health condition.