What are the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia?

Updated: Nov 14, 2018
  • Author: Chad S Boomershine, MD, PhD, CPI, CPT; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

In addition to chronic, widespread pain and tenderness, the 2010 diagnostic criteria require that fibromyalgia patients have significant symptoms of fatigue, unrefreshed sleep, and cognitive dysfunction (difficulties with thinking and remembering), along with numerous somatic symptoms. However, fibromyalgia is a diagnosis of exclusion and patients must be thoroughly evaluated for the presence of other disorders that could be the cause of symptoms before a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is made.

For this reason, all patients require a thorough history, physical examination, and laboratory evaluation before they are diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Approximately one third of patients identify a specific event (eg, illness, stress or injury) that precipitated the development of fibromyalgia. However, most patients spontaneously develop symptoms without an identifiable stressor. In addition, while some patients have a history of childhood trauma, the majority do not and it should not be assumed that all fibromyalgia patients have a history of abuse.


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