This question will seem strange to many. But it is in fact very applicable. What we meant is really this: is your fibromyalgia triggered by an unknown cause (therefore primary), or did it evolved from a former medical condition (hence, secondary)?
Based on research done till date, fibromyalgia can manifest from other medical condition especially those which are pain related illnesses. For example, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), myofascial pain syndrome (MPS), multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Experts explain that the constant pain experience in these pain conditions can cause changes in the how our brain and nervous system perceive pain, eventually leading to increased central sensitivity.
The reason why you need to know if your fibromyalgia is primary or secondary because it can determine the direction of your treatment. For instance, if you were suffering from myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) prior to being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, treating the symptoms of your primary medical condition, in this case, trigger points, may help you alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms. If your fibromyalgia is secondary and the primary medical condition is MPS, acupuncture or stretching therapy can work exceptionally well for you. However, a fibromyalgia patient with rheumatoid arthritisc(RA) as their primary medical condition may not see results from the same two treatments. Instead, treating the characteristic inflammation of RA with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could work the best for the latter. The above example could also explain why people with fibromyalgia respond to different treatments or drugs differently.