Video Q & A:

About FM Pain


How does the pain scale work?

Expert:   Kenya Beard , ACNP-BC, Hunter College »

Gauging your fibromyalgia pain on a scale may be a little tricky. Watch this to see how the different scales work.

Transcript: Pain and symptom scales are self-assessment tools that let YOU tell a healthcare provider about where and how often you feel pain, and about symptoms such as fatigue or fibro fog. In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology created criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia—establishing the requirement that a person experience tenderness on at least 11 of 18 designated tender spots distributed all over the body, along with the presence of WIDESPREAD PAIN. Because about a quarter of fibromyalgia patients do not satisfy this requirement, healthcare providers have started using the Widespread Pain Index, or WPI, and the Symptom Severity Scale, or SS, to also help diagnose fibromyalgia. The WPI is scored on a scale of 0 to 19 and is based on a patient’s self-rating of how MANY body parts have ached or been painful in the last week. The more body parts noted, the higher the score. The symptom severity scale asks you to rate from 0 to 3 how much trouble you have had with fatigue, walking, and concentration, and to identify any other symptoms from an extensive checklist of possible problems.Using these pain scales, you may be diagnosed with fibromyalgia --- * IF the widespread pain index score is 7 or greater and your symptom severity scale score is 5 or greater *OR IF you have a WPI of three to six and a SS scale score that’s greater than 9.*AND IF symptoms persist at a similar level for at least three months. *AND YOU DO NOT have another disorder that could otherwise explain the pain. More »

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