Chronic pain and fibromyalgia

What is chronic pain, fibromyalgia and PTSD?

Pain is common in trauma patients, with greater frequency and severity of pain found when compared to people without PTSD. Fibromyalgia is also commonly reported, which is a centralised pain syndrome characterised by the presence of chronic widespread pain in association with fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive dysfunction.

What is the evidence for chronic pain in people with PTSD?

Moderate to high quality evidence finds a small association between increased PTSD symptoms and increased chronic widespread pain. Lower quality evidence found a bidirectional associations between pain and PTSD symptoms within six months post-trauma. There were unidirectional patterns found after six months, either from pain to PTSD symptoms or from PTSD symptoms to pain. Moderate to low quality evidence finds medium-sized increases in fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain in people previously exposed to any trauma, regardless of a PTSD diagnosis.

August 2021

Image: ©Feodora –

Last updated at: 12:37 am, 26th October 2021
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary
Tags:  Chronic pain

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.