It can take a long time to receive a correct diagnosis of fibromyalgia which should only be carried out by a doctor or healthcare professional. There are currently no specific tests or x-rays that are able to identify the condition. It is often misdiagnosed as the symptoms are also symptoms that relate to other conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome or arthritis. Research into the condition has meant that we can now feel confident saying that unlike arthritis, fibromyalgia is not an inflammatory or degenerative disease even though people living with the condition may feel their muscles are tender and sore. In 2010 guidelines for healthcare practitioners stated that the following areas should be considered in diagnosing fibromyalgia:
- chronic, widespread pain lasting more than three months
- chronic fatigue
- an individual’s cognitive functioning, the ability to think clearly and/or a poor memory
Currently there is no known cure for fibromyalgia and so the best we can aim to do is to manage the symptoms.