Pain points: How can you self-assess if you may be suffering from fibromyalgia

Pain points: How can you self-assess if you may be suffering from fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a painful, long-term condition where patients sometimes experience severe pain and fatigue, though nothing can be seen on X-rays or detected with lab tests. No organs are affected, neither are the joints. But people living with fibromyalgia experience a lot of difficulties because their physical activity and day-to-day life is severely hampered due to the pain.

Pain points: a characteristic of fibromyalgia
A characteristic feature of fibromyalgia is the presence of specific pain points at defined places all over the body. If you press these points, most people only experience pressure but those with fibromyalgia experience pain.

The pain assessment quiz*
If you have identified with the points mentioned in this article, take this assessment quiz to see how you score. Remember, only your physician can confirm a fibromyalgia diagnosis.
Answer “0” if “no pain” and “1” if you experience pain at these points in the last week

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The extra stretch: Knowing how your muscles work and what could make them painful

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Part II
For the each of the three questions below, write down the number that best describes how severe your symptoms have been in the last week

0 = no problem
1 = slight or mild problems, generally mild or intermittent
2 = moderate, considerable problems, often present and/or at a moderate level
3 = severe: pervasive, continuous, life-disturbing problems

The Questions are



Have you felt fatigue?


Do you wake up in the morning feeling unrefreshed?


Do you have any cognitive (related to mind, memory) symptoms?


Total your score


In addition, your doctor will answer one more question on how severe your overall symptoms have been

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
The maximum score in Part I is 19
The maximum score in Part II is 12 (including your doctor’s score)

A diagnosis of fibromyalgia is made when:

  • The part I score is ≥7 and Part II is ≥5 or Part I is between 3 - 6 and Part II is ≥9.
  • The patient is not suffering from any other condition that would explain the symptoms
  • The symptoms have been seen for at least 3 months

Remember, your doctor is the only person qualified to make a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. However, you can discuss this score with him at your next visit if you have been experiencing persistent pain at specific points for at least the last three months.

*The assessment quiz has been adapted from the 2010 Fibromyalgia Diagnostic Criteria available online at the website of the American College of Rheumatology.