Locating Fibromyalgia Tender Points or Pain Points?

Tatheer Zehra Zaidi   by Tatheer Zehra Zaidi, M. Pharma    Last updated on April 19, 2021,

What are fibromyalgia pain points or fibromyalgia trigger points or fibromyalgia tender points?

Diagnosing fibromyalgia is not easy. There is no defined pattern of fibromyalgia pain. One person may be hurt all over the body but another person may not necessarily feel the same. Therefore, doctors generally check for certain tender points or trigger points or pain points on the body of a patient while making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.


fibromyalgia pain points or fibromyalgia trigger points


Tender points are areas of pain around the joints, but not in the joints themselves. These regions hurt the most when you press on them. They’re located not deep areas of pain generally. But, they appear to be just under the surface of the skin.

The place that’s the most tender is generally very small. These tender spots are much more sensitive than other nearby areas. If you apply pressure on any of the tender points with a finger, it will cause pain.

There are 18 points (9 pairs) that tend to be painful when pressed, and may spread pain to other body parts. Doctors usually check for these 18 tender points on your body.

Guidelines developed by American College of Rheumatology suggest that people with fibromyalgia have pain in at least 11 of these tender points when a doctor applies a certain amount of pressure on them. You can try to find out if your pain is similar.

Back of the neck

If you have fibromyalgia condition, you may have tender points at the back of the neck. Neck pain however can also be caused by other condition such as injuries, arthritis, or activities that puts strain on the neck such as certain postures or sleeping positions etc.


Fibromyalgia patients may also feel tenderness on their forearms near each elbow. Other causes of elbow pain can be tendonitis or injuries.

Front of the neck

You may feel tenderness in the front region of the neck if it is fibromyalgia. These points are located the collarbone and on either side of the larynx.


People with fibromyalgia may have tender points at locations where the buttock muscles become round to join the thighs. Hip pain is a common condition and can occur due to other reasons also such as osteoarthritis.

Lower back

People with fibromyalgia may have pain points at the bottom of the lower back near the top region of the buttocks. This is the most common of all pain points due to fibromyalgia and other reasons.


This is another pair of tender points. The inside of each knee may feel tender to the touch.

Upper region of the back

These tender points are located where the back muscles meet the shoulders in the upper back.


Some people who have fibromyalgia may experience pain just above the back halfway between the edge of the shoulder and the bottom of the neck.


People with fibromyalgia may have trigger points on either side of the sternum, which is a few inches below the collarbone (near the second rib).

Tatheer Zehra Zaidi

Tatheer Zehra Zaidi is a clinical pharmacist and pharmacologist with a master’s degree in pharmacy practice. She aims to deliver a positive contribution in the field of healthcare and research. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Jamia Hamdard New Delhi and then joined Spirant Communication Private LTD as a Medical content writer.


Currently she is working at Maxinov Solutions Private LTD as a research associate and is associated with DiseaseFix as a medical content writer. Tatheer’s areas of interest include clinical research, clinical trial disclosure, and pharmacovigilance.

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