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.
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKarin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology