Can physical trauma cause fibromyalgia?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Some scientists believe that physical trauma may cause biochemical changes in the brain that trigger fibromyalgia. For example, accidents, injuries, or sudden trauma to the central nervous system (CNS) may result in the different symptoms of severe muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, depression, and other conditions associated with fibromyalgia.
A typical injury like after a car accident is commonly described but any accident or injury may precipitate or trigger fibromyalgia
Jacob Teitelbaum
Integrative Medicine
Absolutely. Post-traumatic fibromyalgia is a common cause of this disease. It can occur after traumatic brain injury to the head, a severe accident, or even a mild fender bender if it disrupts sleep. Research shows that a whiplash type injury is much more likely to trigger fibromyalgia than a broken leg.
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.

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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.