The Truth About Fibromyalgia Tender Points

The phrase “tender points” isn’t something you hear every day. But if you have fibromyalgia, you may be familiar with those words. In fact, your doctor may have used tender points to diagnose you.

What Are Tender Points?

In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) introduced criteria for diagnosing people with fibromyalgia. Part of the criteria included 18 possible tender points throughout the body. Tender points are small spots located around your neck, shoulders, chest, hips, knees, and elbows. 

To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, patients had to experience pain in at least 11 of those 18 sites when their doctor pressed firmly on them. In addition to tender points, you had to have pain in all four quadrants of your body (left side; right side, above the waist; below the waist) lasting longer than three months. 

Click Here to Visit the Store and find Much More….

The Problem With Tender Points

A lot has changed since the original ACR criteria for diagnosis were released. A 2010 study found that approximately 25% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia didn’t satisfy the ACR’s criteria for having the disease, even though their doctors believed they had fibromyalgia based on their other symptoms

Tender points posed a significant issue for doctors and patients alike. For example, if a person experiences improvement and no longer has as many tender points, does that mean he or she no longer has fibromyalgia, even if the person still has other symptoms like widespread pain? The pain is often described as a dull, constant pain in the muscles. 

New Ways of Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

In 2010, the ACR updated its criteria for diagnosing people with fibromyalgia. Among several changes, it removed tender points from the criteria. Today, diagnosis relies more on patients’ self-reported symptoms than a doctor’s physical examination of the tender points. 

In addition to pain, doctors consider symptoms that weren’t included in the original criteria, such as fatigue, sleep problems, and cognitive issues like trouble concentrating. They also use a tool called the symptom severity scale. The scale acknowledges that with a chronic pain condition like fibromyalgia, your symptoms may change with time. Pain can be more or less severe under different circumstances, such as how tired you are, your stress level, and your level of physical activity

As a result, making a diagnosis no longer relies on a fixed set of criteria, such as tender points, and gives more weight to your personal experience with the condition. The symptoms of fibromyalgia resemble other chronic pain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. For this reason, doctors may use specific blood tests and other evaluations to rule out these conditions before making a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Click Here to Visit the Store and find Much More….

For More Information Related to Fibromyalgia Visit below sites:


Fibromyalgia Contact Us Directly

Click here to Contact us Directly on Inbox

Official Fibromyalgia Blogs

Click here to Get the latest Chronic illness Updates

Fibromyalgia Stores

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Store

1 Comment

  1. faith benditc

    “Your blog post on fibromyalgia was a lifesaver. I’ve been struggling to find reliable information about this condition, and your post provided me with exactly what I needed. Your thorough exploration of symptoms and treatment options left no stone unturned. I appreciated your emphasis on the importance of self-care and mental health support, as these aspects are often overlooked in discussions about fibromyalgia. Thank you for providing such a comprehensive and compassionate resource for those affected by this challenging condition.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *