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The symptoms of fibromyalgia are highly variable, in some cases they are severe, while they are less intense in others. Generally, the syndrome evolves with fluctuations, that is, alternating periods of improving and worsening symptoms.
Patients will not necessarily develop all the symptoms, nor will they appear at the same time or with the same intensity.
Signs of Fibromyalgia
The most relevant finding is the detection of a pathologically low pain threshold for different stimuli, although in clinical practice mechanical stimulation is used through the testing and quantification of tender points. In many patients, simple palpation of the skin can identify painful areas (allodynia), especially when something rubs against the skin (dynamically), which the patient reports as a burning sensation and is commonly observed in the region of the trapezius muscle and the upper arms.
The pain is often triggered in either the neck or lumbar region when stretching to the side. Most patients suffer limited mobility due to joint pain, for example in the shoulders, hips or spine, coupled with cutaneous hyperaemia (increased blood flow to an organ or area), the presence of fibrocystic nodules (muscle nodules with a fatty component) or positive skin rolling, reticular skin discolouration similar to livedo reticularis, joint hypermobility and changes like those seen in Raynaud’s phenomenon.
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Substantiated information by:
Ana Arias GassolOccupational therapistRheumatology Service
Antonio Collado CruzRheumatologistRheumatology Department
José Pérez RuizRheumatologistRheumatology Department
Xavier Torres MataPsycologistService of Psychiatry and Psychology
Ángel Fernández LópezPhysiotherapistRheumatology Department
Published: 28 December 2018
Updated: 28 December 2018
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