In 2010 and 2011, the American College of Rheumatology and the Association of the Medical Scientific Societies in Germany each proposed modifying the criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia. They argued that many physicians don't complete the tender point examination (to determine areas on the body that are tender when pressed), which means that their patients can't be given a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. In addition, which tender points are positive -- and how tender they are -- may change on any given day. It is therefore possible that on some days you might have more positive tender points than on others, and on other days you might not have the 11 required tender points. As a result, some people with fibromyalgia may not be diagnosed properly.
The two new sets of criteria have added other common symptoms besides pain to help make a diagnosis. Therefore, you might be diagnosed with fibromyalgia even if your doctor doesn't test your tender points, or you don't have the needed 11 tender points on a given day. Regardless of which criteria are used, your doctor needs to complete a thorough examination before the fibromyalgia diagnosis is made to make certain your symptoms are not caused by other health conditions.
More Answers from Dawn Marcus