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What are Fibromyalgia Tender Points and How Can They Help With My Diagnosis?

A lady experiencing neck pain

Anyone struggling with the symptoms of fibromyalgia has probably become pretty familiar with this term…

Tender points.

But, you are probably trying to determine what exactly this term means, where are your tender points and how you can communicate to others why acknowledging tender points is a crucial part of your fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia is one of the most challenging parts for those who live daily with this horrific disease.

Check out our Restore 3 Fibromyalgia, Candida, and Gut Biofilm Program

Someone in a state of discomfort

And trying to get others, such as your healthcare providers and family and friends to understand what you’re going through can be almost as difficult when some even question is fibromyalgia real.

At Native Formulas, we are working hard to help you better understand what steps you need to take when diagnosing fibromyalgia and how to best treat your fibromyalgia pain.

What Does the Term Tender Points Mean?

For a fibromyalgia patient, the term “tender points” is widely used but oftentimes misunderstood.

Tender points are specific spots on your body that have been carefully researched and are now understood to be more painful for a fibromyalgia sufferer than a common person.

Most of us feel pain when certain areas of our body are injured or compromised.

For a fibromyalgia patient, these spots on the body will feel an increased level of pain that is uncommon for the extent of the injury. Even a gentle bump can raise the level of pain to an almost excruciating level for someone who lives with fibromyalgia.

Why do these patients feel such an increased level of pain over someone else who may receive the same bump or bang or injury?

It’s believed that a person who is suffering from fibromyalgia tender points has a lower threshold of pain and therefore experiences it in a much more intense way.

Because their sensitivity is greatly heightened, that bump or bang that someone else barely notices is going to bring severe pain to someone with fibromyalgia.

And – even though years of research have shown us that fibromyalgia is a disease that causes a person to experience high levels and feel widespread pain, these tender points will cause more than just a constant discomfort…they will, at times, bring a person to feel an acute pain in addition to their widespread pain that can be more than just uncomfortable…it can be excruciating.

Where Are My Tender Points Located?

It’s taken years of research, but we finally have a much better idea today of where exactly these various tender points are located on a person’s body and how they differ from the widespread pain so many fibromyalgia patients experience in their everyday lives.

There are 18 places on a person’s body that have been identified as being tender point pain areas.

When a healthcare provider knows where these spots are, they can do a full widespread pain index test to determine whether or not the person in front of them is experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms or possibly something else.

Neck pain

Again, chronic widespread pain is common for people with fibromyalgia. But identifying at least 12 of the 18 tender points that are present in a person’s body will help solidify a diagnosis.

Your healthcare professional will need to establish these tender points criteria in order to come up with a true diagnosis for your fibromyalgia.

These 18 tender points will present in various places across your body.

Starting with your neck, there are two tender points just above your collarbones.

The next two are present on each side of your upper breast.

Your elbows each have another tender point as do the tops of your knees.

Your hip bones and the back part of your upper buttock are also very common tender points that many fibromyalgia sufferers have.

And finally, on the backside of your body, there are a number of tender points as well, starting with the base of your head, the back of your neck, and on each side of both of your shoulder blades.

Do you have to be experiencing pain in each of these areas? No, not at all.

But – most experts believe that a true diagnosis can be confirmed if at least twelve of these eighteen areas are painful when pressure is applied to them. There is still not enough data to understand why these are the spots that tend to hurt more than others for a person with fibromyalgia.

Check out our Restore 3 Fibromyalgia, Candida, and Gut Biofilm Program

Some believe it has something to do with the oxygen in the blood and its inability to get to these areas as easily as other parts of your body.

Others feel that – since fibromyalgia affects our bodies in a similar way as arthritis – perhaps once the joints in these areas are inflamed, the pressure around them is so severe that it causes a more acute pain than the widespread pain a fibromyalgia patient experiences on a more regular basis.

There may also be a correlation between some of the biofilms that are found in our body and our inability to release those biofilms naturally, thus causing this tender point pain.

Without the necessary ingredients to rid our bodies of those biofilms, they build up and thus cause the pressure that results in the pain associated with them.

discussing with physician

Whatever the reason that these tender points (or trigger points) are part of your constant discomfort, it’s imperative you try and find a way to rid your body of this intense pain, or at least decrease it to a level that you can live with.

Whatever the reason that these tender points (or trigger points) are part of your constant discomfort, it’s imperative you try and find a way to rid your body of this intense pain, or at least decrease it to a level that you can live with.

How Can I Make My Doctor Acknowledge My Tender Points?

Once you understand a bit more about what tender points are, and how to identify them, it’s going to be important that you spend some time with your healthcare provider.

You want to make it clear that you understand the research behind tender points and how to use that research to help with a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Be aware that many healthcare providers are not as helpful as they could be when it comes to diagnosing fibromyalgia.

Many of them don’t believe in the symptoms or don’t like the idea of alternative therapies to help with these types of health conditions.

Because people with fibromyalgia present with different symptoms and different levels of severity, many doctors seem hesitant to give a patient a fibromyalgia diagnosis, even when they have taken the time to rule everything else out.

There are a variety of diseases that present in ways that are quite similar to fibromyalgia. There are also tests for these conditions.

Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Crohn’s disease are all conditions that have cognitive symptoms, chronic pain, and other symptoms that are sometimes mistaken for fibromyalgia.

A patient having a discussion with her doctor

Until more healthcare professionals are on board with the criteria for determining a fibromyalgia diagnosis, it is going to continue to be a challenge for patients to receive the correct diagnosis – and ultimately – the correct care that they so desperately need and deserve.

Luckily, these diseases have tests and diagnostic criteria to be able to rule them out.

Since there is no cure to help diagnose fibromyalgia, and also no blood test that can determine whether or not a patient is being affected by it, sometime a doctor will need to test for the other possible diseases in order to get a better idea if fibromyalgia is the actual culprit.

Getting professional medical advice is going to be important for your fibromyalgia syndrome, but you may have to help your doctor or other healthcare professional to be able to diagnose your condition effectively.

One way to do this is to keep a journal of your symptoms for a period of time before you go to see your healthcare provider. By listing everything from your tender points to your muscle tension to your sleep issues and mental clarity, your doctor will be able to work with you to better understand how all your symptoms are related.

Your fibromyalgia tender points are not the only symptom that is going to be important to acknowledge.

Remember – fibromyalgia syndrome is a complex and complicated condition and you will need to advocate for yourself in order to help your doctor understand exactly what it is you are experiencing.

Another option is to ask your doctor to conduct a symptom severity scale test in order to pinpoint the areas where your pain is the most intense.

All this will entail is that your doctor spends time during the physical exam identifying each of those tender trigger points and noting which ones are sensitive to pressing and which ones aren’t.

Again…if more than 12 of those trigger points cause you to react to the pressure, then it is easy to assume you are definitely experiencing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

A lady massaging her back

This type of test can serve as important diagnostic criteria in your overall health plan and course of action.

By doing a symptom severity scale test, your doctor will be able to see that your pain is acute in certain places and therefore makes it probable that this tender point pain is one of your many fibromyalgia symptoms.

When You are Ready to Relieve Pain, We Are Here to Help

Native Formulas was founded by people who have experienced the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia firsthand.

From patients to parents, to well-researched health advocates, we all have witnessed what this disease does to people and we are dedicated to changing that.

Spend some time checking out the vast amount of information we have on our website, as well as some of the Products that we have available.

We know there is no cure for fibromyalgia. But – until there is – we want to help everyone suffering from this disease to relieve pain and find a way to begin to live their lives again.

People with fibromyalgia should not have to suffer the way they are. But until more research is done, and a cure is found, we at Native Formulas want to do what we can to help.

Let us help you start down a path of wellness, recovery, and a pain-free life.

Check out our Restore 3 Fibromyalgia, Candida, and Gut Biofilm Program

Reach out to us and let us know how we can help.

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