There are no specific tests that can
confirm a diagnosis of
fibromyalgia. It often is diagnosed when other
disorders with similar symptoms of chronic pain have been ruled out with
lab tests. Your doctor will also ask questions about your
medical history and do a
The formal criteria used
to diagnose fibromyalgia include:
- Widespread pain that has been present for at
least 3 months. Pain is considered to be widespread if it is above and below
your waist and on the right and left sides of your body.
- Pain and
tenderness at 11 or more of 18 specific spots, usually occurring only when the
areas are pressed. Experts call these
tender points. But you may also hear them called trigger points. (Some people
may have fewer than 11 tender points but still may have fibromyalgia.)
Other symptoms typical of fibromyalgia include stiffness,
fatigue, headaches, painful menstrual periods, and sleep difficulties. These
may get worse with increased stress, anxiety, or exertion or with changes in the
A person may not meet these criteria but may still
have fibromyalgia. That is why diagnosis can be so difficult.
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