By: Dr Alex Robber

Although the severity of symptoms may vary, the condition is long-term. There may be times when there are mild symptoms and times when there are serious symptoms.

According to professionals, fibromyalgia may grow because of modifications in the manner the brain operates and acknowledges pain. Although not everything about the situation is fully clear so, changes in certain brain chemicals may result in a chemical imbalance.

Widespread pain is one of the primary symptoms of fibromyalgia. Doctors have recognized certain regions or points on the body that seem to be tender for individuals with the disorder.

Tender points

Tender points can include the back of the head and the tops of the shoulders for individuals with fibromyalgia. Therefore, Tender points are delicate places in body that, when pressure is applied, become painful. Sometimes tender points are also called trigger points, but they are not the same thing.

Trigger points are components of the body that trigger pain when pressure is applied in another place of the body. For example, a person may feel the pain in their hand if pressure is applied to the elbow. Some individuals with fibromyalgia have tender points as well as trigger points.

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The fibromyalgia-related tender points happen on both sides of the body and include the following regions:

  • Upper side of chest
  • Back of the head side
  • Portion of outer elbows
  • Area of knees
  • Area of hips
  • Tops of the shoulders

An individual suffering from fibromyalgia may not have permanent pain. The pain may come and go and migrate to various parts of the body.

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Due to other medical circumstances such as polymyalgia, tender points may also happen. But the pain experienced by individuals with fibromyalgia tends to be more serious and common.

Different rheumatic diseases and regional syndromes of pain may also cause symptoms such as fibromyalgia. Conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, and Lyme disease, lupus, all may involve widespread pain and tender areas.

In the past, physicians would diagnose fibromyalgia based on a set of criteria that recognized 18 points of tender on the body. So individual had to experience tenderness in 11 of the 18 tender points to be diagnosed.

The criteria for tender points have not been so commonly used in latest years. New criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia were created by the American College of Rheumatology. These criteria, together with extra symptoms, include extensive pain. Some physicians may determine whether there is tenderness to rule out certain circumstances. 

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