Fibromyalgia Definition

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According to the diagnostic criteria for Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) published by the 1990 American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Fibromyalgia patients must have:



Widespread pain in all four quadrants of their body for a minimum of three months.

At least 11 of the 18 specific tender points

Although the above criteria, created for research purposes, focuses on tender point count, a recent consensus of 35 FMS experts has determined that a person does not need to have the required 11 tender points to be diagnosed and treated for FMS.



Many people who have less than 11 of the required tender points may still be diagnosed with FMS as long as they have widespread pain and many of the common symptoms associated with FMS. Commonly associated symptoms include:



Fatigue

Sleep disorder (or sleep that is unrefreshing)

Jaw pain (TMJ dysfunction

Post-exertion malaise and muscle pain

Numbness and tingling

Skin sensitivities

Morning stiffness

Irritable bowel

Chronic headaches (tension type or migraines)

Cognitive or memory impairment

Menstrual cramping and PMS

Dizziness or impaired coordination.



Reprinted from Arthritis and Rheumatism Journal, © 1990.

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