FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 more open access pages.

The exact aetilogy of fibromyalgia is unknown. The following factors are thought to be responsible:

  • altered central pain processing - fibromyalgia patients develop a lower threshold of pain perception in the brain.
  • dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis
  • sleep disturbances -healing of muscle microtrauma may be impaired. Disturbed  fourth phase of sleep results in a deficit of GH and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) which are involved in muscle microtrauma repair
  • genetic factors
  • immune system - fibromyalgia is common in patients affected by autoimmune diseases
  • psychiatric aspect - psychiatric conditions are more prevalent in  fibromyalgia than among subjects complaining of other rheumatic diseases, depression is more frequently associated with fibromyalgia than with other musculoskeletal diseases (1)
  • trigger factors - infections, physical trauma, chemical substances etc may act as trigger factors in fibromyalgia (1)


Last reviewed 01/2018