Fibromyalgia Tender Points

Fibromyalgia Tender Points

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that causes a wide range of symptoms. Its causes and triggers have long eluded doctors and frustrated patients. Fibromyalgia pain may be bodywide or centered in specific tender points in the muscles and joints. Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common disorder characterized by multiple tender points, widespread deep muscle pain, fatigue, and depression.

Tender Points in our Body

Tender points are pain points or localized areas of tenderness around joints, but not the joints themselves. These tender points hurt when pressed with a finger. Tender points are often not deep areas of pain. Instead, they are superficial areas seemingly under the surface of the skin, such as the area over the elbow or shoulder.Tender points are specific places on the body (18 specific points at 9 bilateral locations).

Tender points of fibromyalgia exist at these nine bilateral muscle locations:

Low Cervical Region: (front neck area) at anterior aspect of the interspaces between the transverse processes of C5-C7.

Second Rib: (front chest area) at second costochondral junctions.
Occiput: (back of the neck) at suboccipital muscle insertions.
Trapezius Muscle: (back shoulder area) at midpoint of the upper border.
Supraspinatus Muscle: (shoulder blade area) above the medial border of the scapular spine.
Lateral Epicondyle: (elbow area) 2 cm distal to the lateral epicondyle.
Gluteal: (rear end) at upper outer quadrant of the buttocks.
Greater Trochanter: (rear hip) posterior to the greater trochanteric prominence.
Knee: (knee area) at the medial fat pad proximal to the joint line.

Factors that make fibromyalgia symptoms and tender point pain worse

A number of factors can make fibromyalgia symptoms worse. They include:

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in weather, for example cold or humidity
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Hormonal fluctuations such as PMS or menopause
  • Infections
  • Lack of sleep or restless sleep
  • Periods of emotional stress
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Treatment & Care

Learn which fibromyalgia treatments work best, including treatments that target muscle pain and trigger points, treatments that help with sleep problems and depression, and treatments that help manage stress and anxiety.


Medications– Fibromyalgia medications treat symptoms, such as the deep muscle pain, sleep problems, anxiety, and depression. Learn more to find out which medication might be right for you.
Physical Therapy– ABC Physical Therapists help people to ease fibromyalgia pain and teach self-management skills. Learn more about the different types of physical therapy for fibromyalgia.