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Fibromyalgia - Exams and Tests

There are no specific tests that can confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. You will likely have lab tests to make sure that you don't have another condition causing your symptoms. Your doctor will also ask questions about your medical history and do a physical exam.

Doctors use a set of criteria to diagnose fibromyalgia. These include:

  • Widespread pain. Pain is considered to be widespread if it is above and below your waist and on the right and left sides of your body.
  • Other symptoms such as fatigue, trouble sleeping or feeling unrefreshed in the morning, and trouble thinking. If these symptoms are severe, widespread pain may not be as important in the diagnosis.
  • Symptoms that have lasted for at least 3 months.
  • No other medical explanation for why you feel this way (for example, another health condition or disease).

Fibromyalgia is sometimes diagnosed or described using pain and tenderness at 18 specific spots on the body, or tender points camera.gif. You may also hear these called trigger points.

A person may not meet these criteria but may still have fibromyalgia. That is why diagnosis can be so difficult.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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