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Description: MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT:

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that affects at least 5 million Americans, mostly women. It's characterized by non-restorative sleep and muscle aches and stiffness that may last all day, pain in all four quadrants of the body, and the presence of specific tender points. While fibromyalgia pain can vary in intensity, sufferers often describe it as a deep, persistent ache, or a stabbing or shooting muscular pain. Other common symptoms include incapacitating fatigue, insomnia, joint pain, leg cramps, headaches, and concentration and memory problems, known as fibro fog. Because there is no lab test or x-ray to confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, some patients were once led to believe this pain was all in their heads. Today, many researchers think the brain and spinal cord process pain messages incorrectly causing fibromyalgia patients to feel pain more intensely. One of the unique aspects of fibromyalgia is the presence of tender points in specific locations on the body. When these points are pressed, people with fibromyalgia feel pain while people without the syndrome only feel pressure. To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia a patient must be sensitive in at least 11 of the 18 possible tender points and experience widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body.

Last Updated: Apr 1st, 2020

 
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