Tender points are specific sites on the body that cause pain when pressed. The pain may spread when a tender point is pressed and causes pain in a larger area (for example, down the leg, arm, or back).
There are 9 pairs of tender points. Each pair has one point on each side of the body, for a total of 18 points. These pairs are located:
For a clear diagnosis of fibromyalgia, according to the American College of Rheumatology guidelines, a person must have pain at 11 or more of the 18 tender points. In practice, though, many people with fibromyalgia have fewer than 11 tender points.
Experts call these tender points, but you may also hear them called trigger points.
Last Revised: October 20, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology
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