The truth is that you could be suffering from fibromyalgia at this very moment and you wouldn’t even know about it. This is because this condition features symptoms that could very easily be mistaken for something else.
Fibromyalgia is usually characterized by chronic musculoskeletal pain. For the most part, measuring the severity of pain or discomfort felt by the patient is very subjective, which makes it difficult for doctors to have a precise gauge for it. There is no test to specifically determine the pain level, and consistency of its manifestation is also often an issue.
Because the condition is not properly diagnosed, treatment becomes evasive or unsatisfactory. As a consequence, the patient continues to suffer from it and, frustratingly, without any seeming clear solution in the near future.
The MRI Alternative
This is precisely why news of being possibly able to diagnose fibromyalgia with a scan sent excitement all over the medical community. According to the study published in the Pain journal, a simple MRI scan can possibly identify a different brain response to pain and non-pain stimuli among patients suffering from fibromyalgia.
In the study, the researchers engaged the participation of 37 fibromyalgia patients and 35 control patients. The researchers then studied the brain activity of the participants with fMRI scans. Their efforts showed immense promise such that the researchers are now hopeful this process can be used to diagnose the condition.
By using MRI scans, the plan is to establish some sort of neurological map to the patient’s brain activity in order to ascertain the presence of the condition. From there, then hopefully they can also better understand how it develops and, consequently, how it can be more effectively treated.
There’s still a long way to go as to officially coming up with a method to precisely make the diagnosis, but this study involving the use of MRI scans most definitely raise the hopes that one day—and soon—we just might find the ability to properly diagnose and treat fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia: Causes, Trigger Points, Treatment, and More. Healthline.