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When people talk about fibromyalgia, they sometimes use the terms tender points and trigger points interchangeably. In actuality, they have quite different meanings. All accurately diagnosed FM patients have tender points; some may also have trigger points. Tender Points Tender points are used to help diagnosis fibromyalgia. They are extremely sensitive spots on the body that elicit pain when four kilograms (or about 10 lbs.) of pressure are applied. There are 18 specific tender points located at nine bilateral locations. Tender points occur on both the right and left sides of the body at these nine locations: Occiput: bilateral, at the suboccipital muscle insertions. (Where the neck muscles attach at the base of the skull) Low cervical: bilateral, at the anterior aspects of the intertransverse spaces at C5-C7. (Front lower neck) Trapezius: bilateral, at the midpoint of the upper border. (Midway between the neck and shoulder) Supraspinatus: bilateral, at origins, above t...
When I read articles or hear people talk about fibromyalgia, I often see the terms tender points and trigger points used interchangeably. Sometimes even medical professionals will mix them up. The fact is, tender points and trigger points are two very different things. If you have fibromyalgia, you probably know that tender points are used in diagnosing FM. But then what are trigger points?
To learn what each is and how to differentiate between them, read: The Difference Between Tender Points and Trigger Points
In this study, researchers report how experts diagnose myofascial trigger point (MTrP) pain syndrome. Trigger points are hyperirritable spots within a tight band of muscle or in the fascia over the muscle. Many people suffer from this painful muscle condition. Accurate diagnosis helps guide treatment. To find out what criteria experts use in the diagnosis, the authors reviewed 93 studies on the subject. They found 19 different ways health care providers assess and diagnose MTrPs. Four factors were used most often: Tender points in the muscle Patient report of pain pattern Typical pattern of pain expected from specific MTrPs Local twitch reponse The local twitch response is the visible contraction of tense muscle fibers when pressed.About half the studies used tender points and expected pain pattern as their criteria. Eleven studies didn't report any method used to diagnose MTrPs.
The authors point out that there isn't a consistent way to define or diagnose MTrPs among researchers. Studies ...
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