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Fibromyalgia Tender Points

Fibromyalgia is derived from the Greek words fibro meaning fibrous tissue, myo meaning muscle and algia meaning pain. Fibromyalgia tender points are those points in the body which can help doctors diagnose the syndrome. These tender points are very sensitive to touch and can cause a lot of pain in the patient suffering. There are 18 tender points in the body associated with this syndrome. Let us study in detail.
Fibromyalgia Tender Points

What is Fibromyalgia?

It is a rheumatic disorder which affects the soft tissues in the body. Luckily, unlike other forms of arthritis this does not lead to any kind of joint deformities but causes severe muscle pains and tenderness at several points in the body.

Fibromyalgia Tender Points

The exact cause of these tender points is not known, but it is important to note that all the people who suffer from fibromyalgia possess tenderness in exactly the same points and muscles. It is the predictability of these points that can help diagnose the syndrome.

These tender points do not affect the muscles on the whole but actually exist around the joints’ adjacent areas. These areas are very sensitive to touch and cause severe pain even upon placing a finger.

There are 9 bilateral muscle locations in the body where these points exist. They are:

  • Low Cervical Region – at the base of the skull beside the spinal column
  • Second Rib – at the base of the neck in the back
  • Occiput – on the top of the shoulder toward the back
  • Trapezius Muscle – on the breastbone
  • Suprapinatus Muscle – on the outer edge of the forearm about 2 cm below the elbow
  • Lateral Epicondyle – over the shoulder blade
  • Gluteal – at the top of the hip
  • Greater Trochanter – on the outside of the hip
  • Knee – on the fat pad over the knee

There exist a total 18 specific fibromyalgia tender points in these various regions of the body and if a person experiences tenderness to touch in at least 11 such points, he/she is diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia tender points should be tested along with other symptoms like depression, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and sleep problems.

Resources:

http://arthritis.about.com/od/fibromyalgia/g/tenderpoints.htm

http://www.mwilliamson.com/tndr-pts.htm

 

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