Healthy Living

Understanding the Fibromyalgia Diagnosis Process

Testing for Tender Points

The American College of Rheumatology (ARC) has set up guidelines and specific physical tests for diagnosing FM. The baseline for testing is a persistent widespread pain all over the body for at least three months, which should include both sides of the body as well as above and below the waist. Waking up tired and having trouble thinking, as well as not having any other disorders or diseases that may cause the underlying symptoms.

Testing of tender points is also a requirement, that is applying pressure to parts of the body to elicit a reaction. Eighteen tender points have been linked to FM and are located in all four quadrants of the body. The points tested are on the front and back of the neck, mid to upper back of the shoulders, knees, hips, elbows, upper chest, upper buttocks, in testing a patient must display a reaction to pain in at least eleven of the sites.