Specific Points of Pain

Fibromyalgia can cause pain that echoes throughout your body. But many people with the condition feel pain most acutely at 18 specific “tender points.” When your doctor evaluates you for fibromyalgia, he or she may put pressure on these points. In fact, until recently, being diagnosed with fibromyalgia required feeling tenderness on examination in at least 11 of the 18 points.

Medically Reviewed By: Cindy Haines, MD | Last Review Date: Aug 1, 2013

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Medical References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/fibromyalgia.htm); National Pain Foundation (http://www.nationalpainfoundation.org/dis.../FMS%20Tender%20Points.pdf); National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/default.asp); National Library of Medicine (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000427.htm); National Library of Medicine (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/9758.htm); American College of Rheumatology (http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/fibromyalgia.asp); Office on Women's Health (http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/fibromyalgia.cfm);
“Fibromyalgia diagnosis and diagnostic criteria.” F. Wolfe and W. Häuser. Annals of Medicine. July 19, 2011, epub ahead of print.; “Fibromyalgia: a primer for the anesthesia community.” C. M. Brummett and D. J. Clauw. Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology. July 27, 2011, Epub ahead of print.; “How to use the new American College of Rheumatology fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria.” F. Wolfe. Arthritis Care & Research. July 2011, vol. 63, no. 7, pp 1073–4.; “The American College of Rheumatology Preliminary Diagnostic Criteria for Fibromyalgia and Measurement of Symptom Severity.” F. Wolfe, et al. Arthritis Care & Research. May 2010, vol. 62, no. 5, pp 600–610;


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