Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition marked by fatigue, widespread musculoskeletal pain, sleep problems, and stiffness. Fibromyalgia is also associated with other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, painful bladder syndrome, and migraines.
In this article, we explore one of those conditions in more detail: migraines. Migraine headaches cause throbbing head pain, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and sound sensitivity. Read on to learn how fibromyalgia can be associated with migraines, courtesy of our team at Wynn Over Pain.
Key facts and figures
According to an article published by the American Journal of Managed Care, the connection between fibromyalgia and migraines is a two-way street. Researchers shared the following statistics:
- As many as 36% of people with migraines also have fibromyalgia
- Up to 80% of people with fibromyalgia report headaches and migraines as a main symptom
- People who have migraines are 1.57 times more likely to have fibromyalgia than people who never have migraines
It’s clear that fibromyalgia and migraines are connected, and in the next section, we’ll explain what exactly that connection is.
How are migraines and fibromyalgia connected?
Certain disorders can overlap if they both affect the same physiological system. In the case of migraines and fibromyalgia, both conditions are linked to the hormone serotonin. Researchers have found people with fibromyalgia often have abnormally low levels of serotonin. They may also have low levels of noradrenaline and dopamine.
Serotonin is also involved in the onset of migraines. Serotonin is a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) that also acts as a hormone. It plays a vital role in helping with communication between nerve cells. However, if serotonin levels fluctuate, it can cause your blood vessels to narrow. As a result, changing serotonin levels can trigger a migraine.
In addition to low serotonin levels, both fibromyalgia and migraines may develop as the result of over-excitation of your nervous system, producing extreme sensitivity to external stimuli. This explains why both migraines and fibromyalgia can make you more sensitive to light and sound. Additionally, stress can be a trigger for both migraines and fibromyalgia.
Having both conditions at once can increase your risk of anxiety, depression, photophobia, and insomnia.
Finding relief from migraines and fibromyalgia
Independently, migraines and fibromyalgia can quickly zap your energy and your zeal for life, and make it nearly impossible to get through the day. But together? The combination of migraines and fibromyalgia is nothing short of miserable. That’s why Brenton Wynn, MD is so dedicated to helping those with both conditions find relief. We tackle chronic pain management from multiple angles to address all of your symptoms. Your chronic pain management plan may include any of the following:
- Physical therapy
- Daily exercise
- Lifestyle changes, such as stress management or improved sleep hygiene practices
In addition, Dr. Wynn can help you pinpoint your specific migraine triggers to help reduce flare-ups. If you’re struggling to manage fibromyalgia with migraines, know that help is just a call or click away. Call one of our offices 一 in National City or Chula Vista, California 一or book an appointment online and start exploring your pain management solutions.