Posttraumatic stress disorder, tenderness & fibromyalgia (FM)

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.

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