Fibromyalgia Diagnostic Criteria

“Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain & tenderness. The pain and tenderness tend to come & go, & move about the body. It is usually associated with poor sleep & is strongly associated with migraine & irritable bowel syndrome. Moreover, Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be difficult, as there’s no specific test to diagnose the condition”[1], so to that end, the smart move is to ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis & a state-of-the-art Holistic Personalised Treatment Plan (comprising both conventional treatment and cutting-edge innovations & therapies), by consulting a Pain Doctor who specialises in Fibromyalgia

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

A Fibromyalgia Pain Consultant will first review your medical history, and then go through the following elements:

• Asking you how your symptoms are impacting your daily life (to that end, it is a good idea to keep a ‘Pain Dairy,’ which you can show to your Pain Specialist on your in-person or online appointment)
• Conducting a physical examination including checking for any visible signs of other conditions (such as swollen joints which could imply that you have arthritis as opposed to fibromyalgia)
• History of your long-term (more than 3 months) widespread (generalised) pain
• Musculoskeletal pain (both above and below your waist) on both sides of your body
• X-rays and other scans [1,2]
• Determining specific scores to facilitate the diagnosis. These comprise: “(Sensitivity 86% Specificity 90%) using the Widespread Pain Index (WPI) Z 7; and the Symptom Severity Scale (SSS) score Z 5, or the Widespread Pain Index of 4–6 and SSS score Z 9 [2].
“Basic screening Tests: FBC, U&Es, LFTs, CRP, calcium, TSH, glucose, B12, Folate Urine Dip (normal in Fibromyalgia)” [2].

Did You Know?

“The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary from person to person and are similar to those of several other conditions” [1]

Discussing Associated Symptoms

Your Pain Consultant will ask you whether you suffer from any of the following symptoms: headaches, irritable bladder, irritable bowel syndrome, poor concentration/memory, tingling sensations, numbness, mood disturbance, sleep disturbance, and fatigue.

Accessing the Palpations of Muscular Tender Points

While this element is not used by all Pain Doctors, many of them administer this particular form of fibromyalgia testing in order to assist in the diagnosis validation. Known as the ’18 tender points of fibromyalgia testing,’ the Pain Specialist will: “apply sufficiently hard enough pressure for their nail bed to blanch; pain (or lack thereof) should be immediate” [2].


[1]. NHS (2022). Diagnosis: Fibromyalgia.

NHS Royal United Hospital Bath (2020).

Contact us
close slider

    I give consent to London Pain Clinic processing data about myself and my medication condition. To review our privacy policy please click here.