I had no idea this was from FM; I've been having excruciating pain everytime they take my BP at the doctor's. A simple test for fibromyalgia? Posted: 08 Dec 2006 02:48 PM CST A study was just published that investigates the pain fibromyalgia patients associate with having their blood pressure taken and its usefulness as a diagnostic tool. Sphygmomanometry-evoked allodynia - a simple bedside test indicative of fibromyalgia: a multicenter developmental study was published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology (2006 Dec;12(6):272-4). The term "allodynia" refers to pain from stimuli which aren't normally painful, or pain which occurs in locations other than the area that is stimulated. For instance, a person with allodynia might perceive extremely light touch as painful, while a person without allodynia would not. One of the classification criteria for fibromyalgia is the presence of tender points on specific areas of the body. "It has been established that these tender points reflect a state of generalized allodynia (defined as pain resulting from a stimulus that does not normally provoke pain)," write the researchers. "Patients with [fibromyalgia] often describe pain elicitation during blood pressure testing." The researchers studied 20 fibromyalgia patients, 20 rheumatoid arthritis patients, 20 osteoarthritis patients, and 20 healthy individuals. They asked patients to let them know if the inflation of the blood pressure cuff caused them pain. The blood pressure cuff was inflated at a rate of "10 mm Hg per second up to 180 mm Hg or to the point when pain was elicited." The results indicated that fibromyalgia patients experience far more pain from the inflation of the blood pressure cuff. 69% of fibromyalgia patients had sphygmomanometry-evoked allodynia in contrast to 10% of patients with osteoarthritis, 5% with rheumatoid arthritis, and 2% of healthy individuals. The mean blood pressure value at which allodynia was elicited was lower in patients with [fibromyalgia]... when compared with the other 3 groups... In patients with [fibromyalgia] there was a significant negative correlation between the blood pressure value at which allodynia developed and total Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) score, number of tender points, and the FIQ visual analog scales for pain intensity and fatigue. The study concludes that "the generation of pain during blood pressure testing was strongly associated with the diagnosis of [fibromyalgia]." They described the link as "robust" and explain that the specific tender points of fibromyalgia reflect "a state of generalized mechanical allodynia that can be locally elicited by the cuff pressure during blood pressure testing." They further conclude that blood pressure testing is a simple bedside test that may be useful in the recognition of patients with fibromyalgia, since it is both an effective evaluation tool and a readily available procedure in a clinical environment. They recommend that anyone who experiences allodynia (pain, as opposed to just discomfort from pressure) from having their blood pressure tested be evaluated for fibromyalgia.