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Fibromyalgia Tender Points

Fibromyalgia tender points

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:

  • At the back of the neck behind the ear, where the neck muscles attach to the base of the skull.
  • About halfway between the base of the neck and the tip of the shoulder.
  • At the spot where the back muscles attach to the shoulder blade.
  • On the front of the neck above the collarbone.
  • Just to the right and left of the breastbone (sternum) about 2 in. (5 cm) below the collarbone.
  • On each forearm just below and to the outside of the crease of the elbow.
  • Just above and to the outside of each buttock.
  • On the outer upper leg just behind the bony part of the hip (this point is easier to find when standing).
  • On the inside of each knee.

Experts call these tender points, but you may also hear them called trigger points.

Current as of: August 4, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:

Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine

Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine

Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

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