Waddell's signs? :/

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Waddell's signs? :/

Postby Hazelcat » Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:38 pm


I have received a copy of the letter that the pain management doctor has sent to my GP. It surmises that his impression is that I have fibromyalgia syndrome, and that I have "tested positive for widespread pain points all over the body". However I am concerned as also added in the letter is that I have "tested positive for Waddell's signs, mainly initiating neck pain". As he pushed down on the top of my head, which caused pain in my neck, of which I informed him. He has concluded the letter saying he thinks I have fibromyalgia and the further treatment that he has suggested.
I have since looked up Waddell's sign and it has made me feel extremely concerned that he must think that I am exaggerating/faking the pain, which affects me daily and causes me difficulty doing simple tasks.
Has anyone else had experience of this? Will it now effect the treatment I receive?
Thank you for reading and I am sorry my post is very long winded!
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Re: Waddell's signs? :/

Postby AlisonL » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:12 pm

Interesting post. I had not heard of Waddel's signs, but have just read it up in wiki and assume he was referring to axial loading - pressing down on your head which, according to Waddell, shouldn't hurt. I'm not sure how I would handle this.
I suppose it depends on how well you get on with your GP. If you get on well, you could challenge the finding and say what you think caused the pain - he wiggled your head, or you tensed your shoulders, or whatever you think produced this result. Maybe experiment gently on yourself and try and identify what happened.
If you have a good relationship with your GP, share your fears that you think he was trying to show you as having "depression, hysteria [or] hypochondriasis" (I'm quoting wiki here) and that you fear this might impact on your treatment.
If you don't get a good response you might consider changing your GP.
On the other hand, you say the letter also makes suggestions for treatment, and if these are sound you might prefer to just let it ride, and reflect that being a specialist does not automatically mean having empathy or even up-to-date thinking.
Good Luck
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Re: Waddell's signs? :/

Postby FluppyPuffy » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:23 pm

I hadn't heard about Waddell's Signs, so asked Dr Googly, who consulted the Book Of Pills, Potions & Pawleynesses and found this linky about Waddell's Signs.

What stood out to me as I was reading was the part I have highlighted in bold and italics :~
In 2010, a neuroanatomical basis of Waddell's signs has been proposed which argues that since the brain is organic, and even society is composed of a group of organic beings, the term "nonorganic" should be replaced by a term put forward by Chris Spanswick in 1997, "behavioral responses to physical examination." With the possible exception of cogwheel rigidity, these are best understood as neuroanatomical maladaptations to long-continued pain and, as Waddell and colleagues have stressed, do not indicate faking or malingering but rather that there are psychosocial issues that mitigate against successfully treating low back pain by lumbar discectomy, and which in themselves require other treatment.[9]

Based on that, in theory, it shouldn't have any effect on the treatment you receive. To be absolutely certain tho, and hopefully to put your mind at ease, talk to your GP about the contents of the letter and what it means to you and your specific situation xx
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