How to Self-Diagnose Fibromyalgia

How to Self-Diagnose Fibromyalgia

Have you ever experienced consistent, recurring pain alongside fatigue and sensitivity to touch? You may be facing a condition known all too well as fibromyalgia and self-diagnosis may be the starting point for getting help. Identifying symptoms of fibromyalgia is the first step in understanding medical signs that something may be wrong in the body and require additional, escalated medical treatment.

9 Fibromyalgia Tender Points: How to Self-Diagnose Fibromyalgia

symptoms of fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is an interesting condition and being aware of self-diagnosis is important because even physicians are not fully aware of its causes. Since there are no medical tests to confirm a fibromyalgia diagnosis, it will be very valuable to identify and acknowledge tender points throughout the body that present themselves in this condition.


The front of the neck on either side of the larynx is an area to check for fibromyalgia. Pain in the front area of the neck is a beginning point for assessing additional tender points and helping self-diagnose such a medical disorder.

Base of the skull, rear neck area

In the area where the neck meets the back of the skull, there are two additional tender points. When suffering from fibromyalgia, these points can feel like neck strain and cause tremendous discomfort when practicing poor posture or sleeping in an improper position.


symptoms of fibromyalgia

In addition to the neck and upper back areas, pain in the shoulders can specifically indicate fibromyalgia when tender points are located between the edge of the shoulder and the base of the neck. In fibromyalgia patients, individuals experience body aches and stiffness that may progress and become worse at night, while others have consistent pain all day long.


Forearm tenderness starting where the elbow bends and below towards the outer area of the arm may be confused with other conditions like tendinitis or muscle strain. However, because symptoms of fibromyalgia can overlap, it’s important not to ignore this one.

Knees and feet

symptoms of fibromyalgia

The inside of the knee area is a tender point for those with fibromyalgia. The tender points specific to this medical condition may feel like a deep ache. They can also present as a shooting, burning pain. Since the joints themselves are not affected, the pain can be confused and feel like it is radiating from the joints when, in fact, it’s not coming from there at all. Fibromyalgia is painful, but it does not actually damage the body’s tissues. You may also experience paraesthesia which is a numbness, tingling, or swelling sensation. Paraesthesia can occur in upper and lower limbs but especially affects the feet. For some fibromyalgia sufferers, the pain lasts only minutes but for others, it can last for hours or even days.

Upper back

Back pain altogether is a common tender point and source of considerable pain for many individuals. Upper back pain that is specifically tender where the back muscles connect beneath the shoulder blades is an indicator of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia may also become worse with tension and contribute to migraine headaches as well as cause numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.

Keep Reading: Best Food for Fibromyalgia Sufferers

Lower back

Pain and discomfort in the lower back area are one of the most prevalent areas that fibromyalgia will present. In individuals that have fibromyalgia, lower back pain differs from general lower back pain because the sensitive tender points will be located at the very top of the buttocks area, at the bottom of the lower back exclusively. Fibromyalgia can also cause irritable bowel syndrome.


symptoms of fibromyalgia

Individuals who suffer from fibromyalgia will experience tender areas on either side of their sternum beneath the collarbone, nearest the second rib area. Tender points that are located in the soft tissue throughout the body can become worse with activity, climate changes, and any situations that result in stress or anxiety.


Tenderness at the point near the rear hip area where the buttock muscles curve into the thigh area is an indication of fibromyalgia-specific pain. Hip tender points can result in reduced exercise and activity ability by the individual and lead to difficulty coping with pain that impacts regularly enjoyable activities.

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition often generalized as pain throughout the body. Since pain is unique to each individual, testing tender points throughout the body is an excellent method of self-diagnosing and evaluating symptoms of fibromyalgia. The above listed nine sets of points over the body helps individuals and physicians assess fibromyalgia when pain is present in eleven of the total eighteen tender point areas.

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