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Exams and Tests
No simple blood test or X-ray can tell you if you have fibromyalgia. The diagnosis is made solely by taking a history and doing a physical exam. Your doctor may still want to do blood tests or X-rays to rule out illnesses that mimic fibromyalgia.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, before the diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be made, the muscle pain must be present for longer than three months. Also, pain must occur at specific sites on the body called tender points. There are 18 of these sensitive spots. Most are located on the neck and back.
Your doctor makes the diagnosis by applying mild pressure to the tender points. If discomfort occurs at 11 or more of these points, then the physical exam is positive for fibromyalgia.
Frederick B Gaupp, MD
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Fibromyalgia (FM) typically presents in young or middle-aged females as persistent widespread pain, stiffness, fatigue, disrupted unrefreshing sleep, and cognitive difficulties, often accompanied by multiple other unexplained symptoms, anxiety and/or depression, and functional impairment of daily living activities.