Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia

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Fibromyalgia is diagnosed according to criteria established in 1990 and 2010 by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

Radiography of a woman

Absence of radiographic or laboratory abnormalities.

Widespread pain over time

History of chronic widespread pain of more than 3 months which affects, at least, three of the four quadrants of the body.

Low back pain

Axial skeletal pain (the 80 bones forming the central axis of the human body) and pain in 11 of the 18 tender points upon palpation.

And also incorporat a symptom severity scale to take into account the presence and severity of the somatic clinical symptoms of fibromyalgia:

Fatigued woman sweating


Person sleeping in bed

Waking unrefreshed.

Person with symbols above the head indicating cognitive impairment

Cognitive symptoms.

Pain in the middle of the hand

Areas of pain.

The patient must have these symptoms for at least 3 months and must not have any other disorders that could explain the pain.

Tests used to diagnose fibromyalgia

There is currently no specific medical or laboratory test to detect the presence of fibromyalgia or to make an automatic diagnosis.

It is important to perform a multidisciplinary assessment of each patient including:

Blood collection tube

Clinical examination. A clinical assessment and examination by a rheumatologist (laboratory tests and/or complementary tests to rule out other diseases that may produce similar symptoms, the history of the pain should be recorded and a physical examination performed).

Doctor with a report carrying out an interview or anamnesis

Psychological assessment.

Document with a physical assessment

Physical assessment.

Form with ticked boxes in a folder

Functional/occupational assessment. An analysis of the patient’s activity with respect to activities of daily living around the home, in the workplace and leisure activity.

Substantiated information by:

Ana Arias Gassol
Antonio Collado Cruz
José Pérez Ruiz
Xavier Torres Mata
Ángel Fernández López

Published: 28 December 2018
Updated: 28 December 2018

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