What are the diagnosis criteria for fibromyalgia?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

According to established criteria, a doctor should consider a diagnosis of fibromyalgia in a patient who has the following symptoms that aren't explained by another illness:

  • widespread muscle pain that has lasted for longer than three months
  • pain that occurs on both sides of the body and above and below the waist

A person with fibromyalgia will usually have a pattern of “tender points” on the body. These tender points occur at up to 18 specific sites, from the neck to the knees, in people with fibromyalgia.

Other signs and symptoms a doctor will look for when diagnosing fibromyalgia include fatigue, insomnia, morning stiffness, headaches, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, memory loss or difficulty concentrating (sometimes called “fibro fog”), and anxiety or other mood problems.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.