Tender points, depressive & functional symptoms: comparison between fibromyalgia (FM) & major depression

The degree of symptomatic overlap between fibromyalgia and major
depression should be estimated by assessing the amount of
local tenderness and the frequency and severity of depressive
and functional symptoms. Tender points were assessed by
palpation and symptoms by psychometric scales in 30 patients
with fibromyalgia and 26 patients with major depression. The
patients with fibromyalgia had markedly more tender points
(16.5) than the depressive patients (1.3). In contrast,
depressive and functional symptoms were present in both
groups of patients, and some depressive patients (26%) also
suffered from clinical pain. An increased sensitivity to
pressure pain clearly distinguishes fibromyalgia from
depression even if there is an overlap of other symptoms.

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