Can Trauma Cause Fibromyalgia?

trauma and fibromyalgia

A lot of those who are suffering from fibromyalgia would trace their symptoms to a certain traumatic event in their life. Understanding the link of this condition to trauma might help to give you some relief.

Traumatic Events Could Lead to Fibromyalgia

The usual thinking is that if you’re a genetically predisposed individual, then a trauma on the head or neck could precipitate the onset of fibromyalgia. Moreover, people whose symptoms of fibromyalgia begins with trauma might be able to re-develop the condition at a later time. Patients who fall in these category often have a family history of chronic pain.

Although most medical experts would link the symptoms of fibromyalgia to injury that affects the neck and head, traumatic triggers of this condition are much more widespread.  Any kind of stressful or traumatic event, such as a major surgical procedure, certain severe body infections, experience in war, and other events, may trigger fibromyalgia and most of these cases are not directly associated with any kind of trauma to the spine.

Traumatic Experiences that Can Lead to Fibromyalgia

The traumatic experiences that are usually correlated with fibromyalgia are the following:

  • Certain types of viruses like Hepatitis C and HIV
  • Childhood separation from parents that lasts more than six months.
  • Emotional Trauma
  • Living through a war.

Linking Trauma to Relief

For some patients, knowing the traumatic triggers of their fibromyalgia can lead to a hope of relief.  For instance, a patient who has had a traumatic experience of almost getting hit by a vehicle would often complain about body pains that seem to be coming from forearms and femurs. The pain would radiate through his bones, yet no doctor could explain rationally how the experience could lead to this pain. After a year however, the patient received a diagnosis.

Intensive Program of Exercises

Some medical experts have developed intensive program of exercises to somehow help deal with fibromyalgia. The exercises  include traction, that’s intended to correct the body’s response. The program also comes with personalized dietary and lifestyle changes, like giving up carbonated soda.

Patients who have undergone the program has reported that they have significant relief from the symptoms an would find that they feel worse on days where they will not follow the program.

Unfortunately, not all whose fibromyalgia have been triggered by trauma could find relief in the same process. Those who have this condition should be cautious when it comes to claims about quick and easy relief from any trauma that can lead to chronic pain. The doctor further advises asking for evidence, like results of clinical studies before and after the X-ray, which could support the patient’s claims.

Doctors further note that although several medical experts are increasingly aware of the correlation between traumatic events and fibromyalgia, there are also others who are not. But if you think a traumatic event may have triggered your pain, then it is worth taking further investigation.


  • I grew up in an extremely violent home, instigated by the biological “father”. I have no memories of ANY childhood. It was nothing but terror, and horror. Shortly after my fibromyalgia diagnosis, at age 42, my Dr, out of the blue, asked about my childhood. I never talked about it. So, I told him, only gave him the details of a couple of incidents. His response was this, “No wonder you are sick. You have been pumping adrenaline your entire life.” I am now 62, still sick, worse even. Anyway, I will never forget that day, and that question. Just curious if anyone else out there suffering with this awful malady, grew up in similar circumstances?

    • Debra, I have similar childhood memories or lack there of except a few violent incidents involving my biological raging alcoholic Father. I feel fairly certain that my body having produced adrenaline at an unhealthy consistent rate throughout my childhood and then in a stressful toxic marriage contributed greatly to my Fibromyalgia and ME.

    • I also wanted to include that I also had an accident while on rollerblades. I collided with a “runaway ” biker. I had a mild concussion and a black eye. My Fibromyalgia began shortly after this incident. I was also on Accutain for adult acne for 5 months just prior to the Fibromyalgia onset.
      I believe that all stress to the body both physical and emotional involves the mind and brain trauma, increased and over production of adrenaline which contributes to the onset of Fibromyalgia and ME.
      1) walked on egg shells throughout childhood with abuse
      2) toxic and stressful, oppressive marriage
      3) Collision accident with concussion
      4) Accutane wiped out all the good bacteria in my gut.

      I believe that all of these factors contributed to my debilitating illness.

  • I’ve had many traumatic experiences since childhood. Not just physical abuses,but pretty much every form of abuse. Even into my adulthood by various people. In 2007 I was injured at,work. So, a combination of these;I believe. Has caused fibromialgia.

  • I believe my fibromyalgia was caused by traumatic experience of both separation from parents from a young age over 6 months as well as physical and emotional abuse.

  • If the Fibromyalgia is caused from trauma what does it matter? Yes, mine is from trauma….. now what? The dis-ease is still there!

  • I have been saying this for years. Being a Body Psychotherapy client and having trained as such myself, it is ‘painfully’ obvious to me that trauma is at the root of my FMS Sometimes I go into my therapy session, allow tears to flow and walk out at the end of the session with diminished pain levels by 80%….. it’s not rocket science but it does require the person suffering with this disorder, to face it head on and be willing and open to looking at things from another angle.

  • I honestly believe Fibromyalgia is caused by injury to the body. I was completely healthy before I got into a car accident that herniated disc on my lower spine. I then had back surgery. After a few months, I started feeling pain all over my body. I take pain medicine and it only helps the pain in my back and not the pain I feel everywhere else. One Dr said the pain could be caused by the pain meds and once I get off of them the pain everywhere else will go away. When I try to take less pain med I then can barely walk because of the back pain. Surgery did not help and actually made it worse. My father has herniated disc and pain but not so excruciating that he has to take pain meds and he has had 7 heart attacks and never takes pain meds, so I don’t believe that pain has a family connection. I find by taking Magnesium, B12 and Vit D helps a little. I try to walk as much as I can before the pain gets too bad. If I just lay in bed all the time the pain is worse so I try to keep moving.

  • I believe mine was brought on by a car accident. A truck t-boned my car. I also believe that my Fibromyalgia peaked when my husband and I split up. After we separated the pain all over my body was excruciating!!

  • My Fibromyalgia was caused by a car accident. It was a very foggy morning. We were at a stop sign and got rear ended by a larger vehicle driven by someone who was going 20 miles over the speed limit and could not see the stop sign or our car through the dense fog. The impact completed obliterated the rear passenger compartment. My head got bashed up against the dashboard and shattered my eyeglasses. Glass from the front windshield went up my nose and lodged in my nasal sinuses. Shortly after the accident I started to develop a tremor, speech difficulties, upper chest, upper back, neck and shoulder pains, sleep problems. A doctor diagnosed me with costochondritis. During additional physical exams, a different doctor diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia.

  • I believe now that mine was brought on by the sexual abuse from my father from as a baby and then physical abuse from partners, trauma to the head and body.

  • I believe it surfaces due a number of things. I had never heard of it until I saw a Chiropractor many years ago and believed this to be my problem. He asked about my past injuries and past emotional experiences. I have endured a severe physical trauma along with the loss of a child. It all just seemed to fit, but since moving 30 miles away from his office, I have had to find other providers. Most of them have accepted this diagnosis, due to explanation and paperwork I have provided. I agree with a previous comment……yes, it’s Fibro, now what can I do to make it feel better? I am so sorry to hear these posts, and what you all have been through. Some days, crying is all we can do and hide from the world.

  • I had pancreatitis in 1995. A near death experience! I have not seen many days without pain from fibro since 1996.

  • my childhood wasn’t that bad i wouldn’t say it was traumatic my fm started after I had the epidural with as they said a bit to much with the top ups I was in full labour for 27 hours and my daughter was a natural birth she was 7lb 10oz and was double breech bum first I was 20 in the September she was due originally in October but didn’t give birth till the middle of November she was that swollen she looked like a boy in the private parts her eyes were swelled and her skin and nails were peeling off also her skin colour was part deep red part yellow she was horrible to look at that was 32 years ago but since ive had a family member commit suicide aged 17 and my dad passing away but me and him didnt get on we didnt speak for years due to a few good smacks i recieved when i was a young adult so I don’t know what mine is I’ve also been diagnosed with C.O.P.D CAD osteoporosis osteoarthritis and possibly rhumatoid arthritis in my fingers and knees I have a lot of spasms in my fingers and hands I’ve also got mental health issues with suicide thoughts . I think mine’s inherited though as 2 of my older sister have fm aswell

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