The aims of the present study were to inquire into the
prevalence of fibromyalgia syndrome, to assess nonarticular
tenderness, to measure fibromyalgia syndrome-related symptoms,
quality of life, and functional impairment among posttraumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) patients as compared with control
subjects. Furthermore, the differences between the PTSD
patients with and without fibromyalgia syndrome were studied.
Twenty-nine PTSD patients and 37 control subjects were
assessed as to the diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome
according to the American College of Rheumatology. Tenderness
was assessed manually and with a dolorimeter. Fibromyalgia
syndrome-related symptoms, quality of life, physical
functioning, PTSD symptomatology, and psychiatric features
were assessed by valid and reliable self-report inventories.
Results showed that the prevalence of fibromyalgia syndrome in
the PTSD group was 21% vs. 0% in the control group.
Furthermore, the PTSD group was more tender than the control
group. PTSD subjects suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome were
more tender, reported more pain, lower quality of life, higher
functional impairment and suffered more psychological distress
than the PTSD patients not having fibromyalgia syndrome. It is
suggested that previous reports on diffuse pain in PTSD in
fact described undiagnosed fibromyalgia syndrome. The link
between psychological stress and pain syndromes is emphasized.