How Do You Get Tested For Fibromyalgia?

How Do You Get Tested For Fibromyalgia?

There no tests to detect fibromyalgia. An experienced doctor will observe the group of symptoms you explain to them and diagnose the problem. ACR guidelines or American College for Rheumatology guidelines for fibromyalgia diagnosis include complete pain throughout your body which includes severe pain on both sides of the body as well as above and below the waist region. This pain must be there for at least 3 months to diagnose fibromyalgia.

Your doctor may also diagnose fibromyalgia by applying pressure on the 18 tender fibromyalgia pain points. Upon applying pressure on these points there is additional pain in these regions. If 11 out of 18 points check out then you may be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This tender point test will take 2 days’ time.

Other way to diagnose includes having signs of severe tiredness after getting up from sleep, problems in thinking. This way of diagnosis has to make sure that there are no other diseases such as neurological problems, depression, anxiety, rheumatic diseases exist.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a heath condition in which patient suffers severe musculoskeletal pain along with fatigue, mood swings, temporary memory loss, sleepless nights and so on. Experts say that fibromyalgia is a condition that amplifies the pain sensation in individuals by affecting the way human brain reacts on the pain signals. Symptoms of the problem are usually visible either after a surgery, infection or after a physical trauma experienced by the patient. In some rare cases, symptoms does not show up instantly; instead, they accumulate over a period of time and the bust off suddenly.

Research reveals that compared to men, women are more prone to develop fibromyalgia. Patients suffering from fibromyalgia also face following health problems such as:

Till date no sure short treatment for fibromyalgia is identified but there are some medications available in the market that can effectively control the painful symptoms of the problem. In addition to medication, mild exercise, meditation and relaxation can be of great help.


Some of the common symptoms of fibromyalgia are:

Fatigue: This is one of the very common symptoms experienced by fibromyalgia patients. They often complaint about waking up tired even after sleeping for hours. This usually happens because patient fails to enjoy smooth sleep due to constant pain in various parts of the body.

Cognitive Difficulties: Fibro fog is a very common symptom, in which patients fails to pay due attention on any task and also lose focus.

Widespread Pain: Unbearable pain associated with fibromyalgia is described as a dull ache and it lasts for almost few months. The pain is considered widespread only when it occurs on both sides of the body and also on both sides of the waist.

The condition of fibromyalgia also exhibits some other symptoms like: Severe headache or Migraine, Temporo mandibular joint disorders, IBS i.e. irritable bowel syndrome and Painful bladder syndrome.


Till date doctors are not aware of the exact cause of fibromyalgia but there are various factors that works together to cause this problem. Some of the prime causes of fibromyalgia include the following:

Genetics: The problem of fibromyalgia is a genetic problem, which is passed from one generation to another. So people who have family history of fibromyalgia are more prone to suffer from this painful problem.

Infections: The problem can be a side effect of some other illnesses that may trigger fibromyalgia.

Trauma: Although it is rare but in some patients, Fibromyalgia occurs because of either physical trauma caused because of big accident or any other physical misfortune. It can also be triggered because of emotional trauma.

Why Fibromyalgia is Painful?

Studies have revealed that constant stimulation in brain lead to change in fibromyalgia. This change actually leads to drastic and unexpected increase in the level of some special chemicals in brain, which ultimately triggers pain. Further, the pain receptors present in brain develop a memory of pain and become highly sensitive to pain and diverts the way brain reacts to different pain signals.

Risk Factors

Various risk factors that are associated with fibromyalgia are as follows:

Family History: Individuals who have a strong family history of fibromyalgia are more likely to develop this problem.

Sex: The problem of Fibromyalgia is found more in women as compared to men patients.

Other Disorders: People who are suffering from arthritis/lupus or osteoarthritis are also highly prone to develop fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a very painful musculoskeletal problem that can occur in the people of different age groups. There is no single cause of the problem, instead; there are a series of factors that work together for causing fibromyalgia. There are ways by which this problem can be treated, the symptoms are pretty prominent and if identified at an early stage then the symptoms can be managed more effectively in limited time frame.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 15, 2018

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