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Study On Vets With Ptsd And Fibromygalia

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Guest Berta


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Fibromyalgia

In this study, researchers assessed the tenderness, sensitivity to

pain, and distribution of fibromyalgia syndrome (FS)-related

symptoms (such as pain sensitivity, sleep disturbances, headaches,

etc.) in 29 post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients as

compared to a control group of 37 healthy subjects. The goal was to

determine the prevalence of FS in patients with PTSD, and to compare

the differences between PTSD patients with and without FS.

Predictably, the PTSD patients reported higher levels of tenderness,

a lower quality of life, and a higher rate of physical impairment.

PTSD subjects also reported a significantly higher percentage of FS-

related symptoms than their matched controls.

The researchers found that 20% of the PTSD subjects met the

diagnostic criteria for FS. Patients with both conditions did not

differ from those with only PTSD in terms of the core PTSD symptoms

(i.e. intrusion and avoidance), but patients with both conditions

had significantly higher scores on the SCL-90R. Those areas with

particularly high scores were paranoia, phobia, anxiety, and


The authors explore the relationship between the two conditions:

"The prevalence of 20% fibromyalgia syndrome found here is far

greater than in the general population (2%)…The finding that there

is a correlation between pain and PTSD is in accordance with earlier

studies. Kuch et al. found that, among 60 patients treated for

fibromyalgia syndrome in a pain clinic, the prevalence of phobias

and PTSD were 3.2 times more common in victims of minor road vehicle

accidents than in subjects with non-vehicular-related onset of pain…

The present study indicates that fibromyalgia syndrome has a

substantial overlap with PTSD, which supports the psychological

background of the disorder."

"The results of our study raise the question of whether fibromyalgia

syndrome is, in fact, a stress-related disease. Goldenberg states

that fibromyalgia syndrome is not a psychiatric disease, however, he

emphasizes the relationship to psychological stress."

Amir M, Kaplan Z, Neumann L, Sharabani R, Shani N, and Buskila D.

Posttraumatic stress disorder, tenderness, and fibromyalgia. Journal

of Psychosomatic Research 1997;42(6):607-613.


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