While such fibromyalgia tests as a tender point count physical exam have been useful in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome, a new fibromyalgia test is being used to identify whether an individual experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms such as fatigue and cognitive impairment truly has fibromyalgia. The test is based in part on the most common of the symptoms of fibromyalgia: pain. A recent study that tested blood pressure (BP) discovered that participants with fibromyalgia were 69% more likely to experience pain during a routine BP test than those who did not have fibromyalgia.
Using A Blood Pressure Test to Diagnose FMS
The study found that while fibromyalgia patients experienced discomfort while undergoing a blood pressure test (or a sphygmomanometer), only 20% of the study participants that did not have the condition did so. Therefore, experts believe that a blood pressure test can be a useful tool in fibromyalgia diagnosis.
Allodynia is the term given to the condition in which an individual experiences pain and discomfort in reaction to a stimulus that typically does not result in such responses.
The study participants with FMS experienced pains at levels less than 210 Hg. Pressure was sustained for a maximum time of 30 seconds or less.
Participants were tested on their dominant arm, although participants reported that pain was experienced on both arms.
In addition, findings have shown that a BP test is more reliable than a tender point count that is part of a typical physical exam in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. In such a test, a variety of areas sensitive to pain (known as fibromyalgia tender points or fibromyalgia pressure points) are examined for their response to pain.
Blood pressure tests are typically used to evaluate cardiovascular health. A blood pressure test includes wrapping a cuff around the arm. The cuff is then inflated, causing a large artery in the arm to compress and blood in the arm to stop flowing.
When the cuff is released, blood flows once more, producing sound. Your doctor listens to this sound in order to check that your blood pressure is healthy.
Blood Pressure Tests: A New Fibromyalgia Diagnosis and How It Affects Treating Fibromyalgia
These findings suggest a new ray of hope for fibromyalgia sufferers. Because of the believed accuracy of a blood pressure test in fibromyalgia diagnosis, those whose lives are being affected by common fibromyalgia symptoms, such as chest discomfort, anxiety and vision problems, can be directed to fibromyalgia treatment sooner by their health care providers.