I have always experienced quite a bit of pain when my blood pressure has been taken but I always assumed that it was like that for everyone. I just never thought anything about it, but I never complained to the doctor about it either. I just assumed that’s the way it was. Then last night I read an article on Chronic Pain Connection titled Could A Blood Pressure Test Help Diagnose Fibromyalgia?
Karen Lee Richards, a Fibromyalgia patient and contributor to the site, says that she always dreads having her blood pressure taken because of the pain and a nurse even called her a wimp one time. Another time she had a more compassionate nurse who suggested using the larger blood pressure cuff to help alleviate the pain.
According to a 2006 study, approximately 69% of Fibromyalgia experience pain from an inflated blood pressure cuff during testing.
The study entitled Sphygmomanometry-Evoked Allodynia A Simple Bedside Test Indicative of Fibromyalgia: A Multicenter Developmental Study was published in the December 2006 issue of the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology.
Sphygmomanometry The standard blood pressure test everyone receives at the doctors office.
Allodynia A condition in which pain results from a stimulus that does not normally evoke pain.
As part of the study, participants included 20 Fibromyalgia patients, 20 rheumatoid arthritis patients, 20 osteoarthritis patients and 20 healthy individuals in each of three public rheumatology outpatient services. Each participant was asked to answer the question, When I take your blood pressure, tell me if the cuffs pressure brings forth pain.
The results showed that 69% of Fibromyalgia patients experienced sphygmomanometry-evoked allodynia. But surprisingly only 10% of rheumatoid arthritis patients, 5% of OA patients and 2 healthy participants did.
In this study there was a strong association between pain experienced during blood pressure testing and the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. Sphygmomanometry is a simple test and a universally standard clinical procedure that may be useful in recognizing FM patients. Based on the results of this study, the researchers suggest looking for other FM features in anyone who has sphygmomanometry-evoked allodynia.