How Trauma or Stress can Trigger Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Trauma and or early childhood stress is often a common denominator for those who go on to develop fibromyalgia. Whether it’s physical trauma, PTSD, emotional trauma or childhood trauma, there seems to be a link with the onset of fibromyalgia. One thing is clear however, for those who suffer from fibromyalgia, the areas in the brain that are responsible for reaction to pain is very different than for those who do not have fibromyalgia. In those patients who suffer from fibromyalgia there appears to be a decrease in the opioid receptors in the brain that can affect the emotional aspect of pain.

Fibromyalgia essentially may be a change in the central nervous system that causes a heightened response to pain, or essentially, pain reception or response in the brain gets thrown out of balance, which may be attributed now to trauma or injury.

Dr. Aimee Apigian is a board-certified trauma specialist who joined me for an interview for my May 2022 Fibromyalgia Summit.

Check out my interview with Dr. Apigian on how trauma or stress can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms:


2 replies
  1. Lara
    Lara says:

    Thank you so much for this. So much of this applies to me. It made me reflect on all of the cumulative traumas I experienced as an adult. Until now I didn’t think of it that way. I just knew I had childhood trauma which I know contributed to my fibro. Now I realise that each event was maintaining that freeze state and ultimately led to a fibro diagnosis. I also found what you said about shame very interesting. Thanks again

  2. Mark Sprague
    Mark Sprague says:

    I’ve been telling people for years that fibromyalgia is caused by a trauma, or long-term stress. Now what we need is a cure of some sort. People have tried everything under the roof but I haven’t found anything yet that works to reverse this condition.


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