The diagnosis of fibromyalgia include:
• Body-wide pain in all four parts of the body for at least three months
• A minimum of 11 out of the 18 known tender points
Unlike other symptoms which can manifest itself in varying degrees, tender points is the only constant symptom across all fibromyalgia patients.
Diagnosing fibromyalgia from tender points
To determine the number of tender points a patient has, a doctor can perform a tender point test on a patient. During the test a patient would be asked to describe the exact pain spots. The doctor would check all the 18 tender points and also non-tender points to ensure that patients do not react to these points too.
On top of the tender point test, patients are also required to describe all of the symptoms of fibromyalgia that they experience, such as muscle pain, depression, fatigue, disturbed sleep, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.
How to treat tender points?
A combination of tender points such as OTC painkillers, prescription drugs such as muscle relaxants and antidepressants and certain self-help techniques help treat the tender points of fibromyalgia.