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Where are the 18 fibromyalgia tender points located?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
In order to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you must experience discomfort in at least 11 of 18 tender points designated by the American College of Rheumatology. There are 8 tender points on the front of the body and 10 on the back. They occur symmetrically down the body. On the front of the body they are located at the bottom of the neck just above the collarbone, just below the center of each collarbone, on the crease inside each elbow, and lastly on the inside of each knee. On the back of the body they are located at the bottom of the neck, above each shoulder blade, just inside each shoulder blade, at the top of the butt on either side of the lower spine, and lastly just underneath the butt on the outer part of each hamstring.
Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
Fibromyalgia tender points are often, but not always, paired (the same on both sides of the body). The American College of Rheumatology has identified nine pairs of tender points that commonly occur in people with fibromyalgia. These pairs are located on both the right and left sides of the body and may affect the neck, shoulders, chest, elbows, waist, hips, and knees. No one knows why these tender points are often paired. A doctor may diagnose fibromyalgia in people who do not have these paired tender points.

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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.