Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal condition that causes widespread chronic pain, among other symptoms. Although fibromyalgia is not a rare condition, it is not well-understood and often misdiagnosed. Some of its symptoms mimic those of other conditions, further complicating the diagnostic process.
The most common and distinctive symptom of fibromyalgia is muscle pain that manifests as a persistent, dull ache, possibly lasting for several weeks or even months. In some cases, the pain is similar to the sensation of a pulled muscle or the overall muscle soreness one might feel after an intense workout. For this nature of chronic pain to be diagnosed as fibromyalgia, it needs to occur on both sides of the body, both above and below the waist, in certain spots called tender points. The American College of Rheumatology guidelines for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia explain that patients must feel pain in at least 11 tender points out of 18, in response to simple pressure, to qualify for the diagnosis.
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