Self-monitoring With a Personal Mechanical Algometer
Monitoring is simply remeasuring then comparing. Monitoring is one of the most basic tools of medical care because it allows a patient or caregiver to know if the patient has done something that is helping or interfering and it can warn if they are developing a more serious problem.
Patients can easily use a standard hand-held algometer. While they cannot reach all the 18 tender points by themselves, this is not necessary to monitor progress.
This can often clarify their personal tender point aggravating and relieving factors. They can try to avoid these factors. They can easily learn the effects of getting mad or of a bad night of sleep.
It can also help motivate them to improve their self-control over these factors i.e. maximize the relieving factors and minimize the aggravating factors. This makes the device an educational tool for themselves. Hopefully this could help them. Likely results would take months for severe cases. See appendices for a list.
It can also be used as a biofeedback device. For example, if someone wanted to use a relaxation or meditation technique, after 20 minutes they could retest themselves.
There are no known studies on home self-monitoring algometry or feedback as of 2021. This tool as potential and deserves formal study. As of 2021 there was shortage of options to buy affordable hand-held mechanical algometer’s on the market. More expensive electronic ones are not necessary for home monitoring. There was however one affordable option called the “Baseline Dolorimeter with Circular Probe, Pound Sensitivity” which sold for $155.00 Canadian or about 123 USD. Since fibromyalgia is tested with forces of up to 4 kg, the patient should purchase the 10-pound capacity version (which can also be read in kilograms). The manufacturer is FAB, at https://www.fab-ent.com/evaluation/sensation/baseline-dolorimeters/. The item number is 12-1444.. The tip size is 1.52 cm2 and consists of a flat circular probe that is pushed against subject until pain threshold is reached. The dimensions are: 6" x 2" x 4, weight: 1 lbs, UPC: 714905026606. It has been available through Walmart. Baseline dolorimeter (10 pound sensitivity) with circular probe - Walmart.com