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Can an old trauma lead to fibromyalgia?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Physical trauma, such as a car or motorcycle crash, can trigger fibromyalgia. As many as 20 or 25 percent of people with fibro report that they had an accident that occurred right before their symptoms showed up. Car crashes, especially whiplash injuries, are associated with fibro. So are repetitive motion injuries that can occur in some jobs. Whether the injuries directly cause fibromyalgia, or create a high stress experience that triggers fibro symptoms, isn't known yet.
For many people, physical or emotional trauma may act as a trigger for fibromyalgia, a chronic (ongoing) pain condition.

Studies have found high rates of physical or sexual abuse during childhood among adults who have fibromyalgia. Car accidents, post-traumatic stress disorder, repetitive injuries, viral illnesses and certain diseases have also been associated with the onset of fibromyalgia. Such stressors may change the way the nervous system sends and receives pain signals, so that someone with fibromyalgia may feel pain from something that wouldn't bother someone who didn't have fibromyalgia. More research is needed to understand the role that trauma may play in bringing on fibromyalgia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.