- Fibromyalgia Overview Slideshow
- Take the Fibromyalgia Quiz
- Fibromyalgia: 12 Tips for Coping Slideshow
- Fibromyalgia FAQs
- Patient Comments: Fibromyalgia - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Fibromyalgia - Treatment
- Patient Comments: Fibromyalgia - Diet and Lifestyle Changes
- Find a local Rheumatologist in your town
- Fibromyalgia facts
- What is fibromyalgia?
- What causes fibromyalgia?
- Is fibromyalgia hereditary?
- What are risk factors for fibromyalgia?
- What are fibromyalgia symptoms and signs? What are fibromyalgia tender points?
- How do physicians diagnose fibromyalgia?
- What specialties of doctors treat fibromyalgia?
- What is the treatment for fibromyalgia?
- Are there any home remedies for fibromyalgia?
- What is the prognosis of fibromyalgia?
- Is it possible to prevent fibromyalgia?
- Are there support groups for fibromyalgia?
- What is the latest research on fibromyalgia?
Quick GuideFibromyalgia Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
How do physicians diagnose fibromyalgia?
Physicians diagnose fibromyalgia based on the patient's symptoms, primarily widespread pain. Chronic widespread pain in the muscles and joints, in combination with fatigue and poor sleep, lead to the consideration of fibromyalgia. A physician will perform a thorough history and physical exam to exclude other illnesses presenting with similar symptoms.
There is no widely accepted blood test or X-ray test for fibromyalgia at this time. Any testing is done to exclude another condition. Tests for inflammation are generally normal in isolated fibromyalgia.
Usually multiple soft-tissue areas ("fibromyalgia tender points") are tender to palpation. However, not all patients are tender at the tender points. In general, females are more likely to be tender at the classic fibromyalgia tender points than males.
The American College of Rheumatology developed new guidelines to help diagnose patients with fibromyalgia. The new guidelines no longer require a certain number of tender points to be present to be confident that a patient has fibromyalgia. The new guidelines use pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia to aid diagnosis. Patient questionnaires to assist in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be found online.
What specialties of doctors treat fibromyalgia?
Rheumatologists, internists, family medicine doctors, pain-management doctors, physical-medicine and rehabilitation doctors, and primary-care providers all treat fibromyalgia. Health-care practitioners other than physicians are also frequently involved in the treatment of fibromyalgia, including clinical psychologists, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.