Chronic pain and fibromyalgia

What is chronic pain and fibromyalgia?

Pain complaints are common in trauma patients, with greater frequency or severity of overall pain reported when compared to people without PTSD. Fibromyalgia is 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.

Moderate to low quality evidence found evidence of bidirectional associations between pain and PTSD symptoms within six months post-trauma, whereas unidirectional patterns were found after six months, either from pain to PTSD symptoms or from PTSD symptoms to pain.

Moderate to low quality evidence finds medium-sized increased rates of fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain in people previously exposed to any trauma, regardless of whether they have a PTSD diagnosis.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 2:37 am, 3rd August 2021
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