Fibromyalgia Often Occurs With Painful Neck And Jaw Conditions

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A study from the University of Heidelberg in Germany indicates the pain-related conditions of craniomandibular disorder (CMD), craniocervical disorder (CCD), and fibromyalgia are somehow linked. CMD, and CCD are musculoskeletal issues affecting the jaw and neck.

Though it is unknown whether fibromyalgia triggers the other two conditions, or if CMD and CCD cause fibromyalgia, the study findings suggest a multidisciplinary diagnostic approach would benefit patients complaining of head and jaw pain.

To reach their conclusions, the researchers reviewed the medical records of 555 patients with chronic CCD and CMD, looking for any symptoms of fibromyalgia. They found that 63 percent (351) of the patients analyzed satisfied fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria.

Of the patients studied, the average age was 45, and 70 percent were women. Nearly all the patients experienced pain for more than half a year, and nearly three-fourths reported pain over a large area of the body.

The patients meeting the fibromyalgia criteria had more widespread physical pain, greater symptom severity, fatigue, trouble sleeping, cognitive impairments, heart issues, and dizziness than the patients without fibromyalgia symptoms. Many of the fibromyalgia patients (83 percent) also had facial scoliosis, or facial asymmetry, a condition that develops with longterm CMD.

The researchers believe the association between CMD, CCD, and fibromyalgia highlights the complexity of diagnosing these pain-related conditions, and why a multidisciplinary approach is best.

The Heidelberg findings build on earlier research studies that observed connections between neck, and jaw pain, and fibromyalgia. The current research team notes that treating CMD and CCD in patients with co-occurring fibromyalgia may have a positive effect on the fibromyalgia symptoms, improving their quality of life.

Source: Fibromyalgia News Today; NCBI
Photo credit: Simon James


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Fibromyalgia is a prevalent condition that affects many people in the United States. Approximately 3.7 million Americans have Fibromyalgia. That is 1 in every 73 people.

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