Fibromyalgia: Diagnostic Criteria and the Danger of Misdiagnosis
Fibromyalgia is a complex chronic pain disorder that affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. and an estimated three to six percent of the world population. The disorder causes widespread pain and tenderness to touch that can occur body-wide or migrate over the body. The most common symptoms include pain and stiffness all over the body, fatigue and tiredness, depression and anxiety, sleep problems, problems with thinking, memory, concentration and headaches, including migraines.
This widespread chronic pain disorder, however, is often overlooked by generalist doctors, and even medical specialists, who have relatively poor knowledge of the American College of Rheumatology 1990 and 2010 fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria. According to an observational survey conducted in Canada, many physicians do not have adequate and homogeneous knowledge of the fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria and approximately half of physicians involved in the study did not adhere to the criteria.
Delays in diagnosis and misdiagnoses may occur as a result of subpar knowledge and lack of adherence to the established criteria, which in turn, can result in unnecessary medical treatment, substandard patient outcomes and excessive healthcare costs. With such a looming danger regarding misdiagnosis of fibromyalgia, how can one be sure that he or she is receiving the proper diagnosis and optimal care for his or her chronic pain condition? The answer: a medical second opinion from a top-ranked research or academic hospital.
WorldCare’s new medical second opinion service, WorldCare Pain Management, provides an in-depth, multi-layer, multi-disciplinary review of both a member’s underlying medical condition and their current pain management plan by leading medical and pain experts at the top-ranked WorldCare Consortium® facilities. WorldCare Pain Management confirms or modifies a patient’s diagnosis and makes optimal treatment plan recommendations based on the latest scientific research and medical information. A leading team of medical and pain specialists at one of the top-ranked hospitals in the United States looks carefully at a member’s complete medical history of chronic pain, including any necessary diagnostic material such as radiology scans and pathology slides, in order to provide the correct diagnosis and most efficacious treatment recommendations.