While it’s not yet fully understood, research shows a strong connection between fibromyalgia and migraine symptoms.
In 2021, chronic pain affected
Both fibromyalgia and migraine episodes can cause chronic pain that makes it difficult to function from day to day. And for people who have both conditions, research suggests that fibromyalgia may even make migraine symptoms worse and more frequent.
Below, we’ll explore what science says about the relationship between fibromyalgia and migraine, including what treatment options are available for both.
The following studies demonstrated a connection:
- In one
study from 2019, researchers found that migraine symptoms were twice as prevalent in people with fibromyalgia versus those without. And in study participants who experienced migraine episodes, the risk of fibromyalgia was up to 1.5 times higher.
- A similar study found that over 30% of participants with migraine symptoms also had fibromyalgia, with the condition being more prevalent in those with chronic migraine and migraine episodes with auras.
- Several studies also found that fibromyalgia may affect migraine frequency and severity. In one
study from 2018, fibromyalgia was associated with higher headache severity and higher migraine-related disability. Another studyfrom that same year found that participants with both migraine and fibromyalgia experienced more frequent and painful migraine episodes, as well as lower quality of life.
Most of the studies on fibromyalgia and migraine don’t distinguish between different migraine types, such as complex or ocular migraine. However, some of the
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Fibromyalgia is a chronic health condition that’s characterized by body-wide pain and tenderness, chronic fatigue, and difficulty sleeping.
First-line treatment for fibromyalgia and migraine generally involves medications that reduce pain.
While there’s no cure for fibromyalgia, there are
Migraine treatment also involves a combination of pain medications and other medications that may be helpful for reducing migraine frequency. Medications for migraine include both preventive and acute episode medications.
Preventive medications include:
Acute migraine episode medications include:
If you have both fibromyalgia and migraine, a combination of medications may help reduce your symptoms. However, you and your doctor will work closely together to decide which treatment options work best for you.
Complementary and integrative treatments may also be helpful in reducing pain and improving the quality of life in people living with fibromyalgia and migraine episodes.
Other complementary treatments that may be helpful for chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia and migraine include therapeutic massage, mindfulness, and certain supplements. However, researchers are still exploring just how effective these approaches can be for these conditions.
Living with fibromyalgia
Research shows that fibromyalgia and migraine commonly occur together and that having one of these conditions may increase the risk of having the other.
Studies also show that for people who experience migraine episodes, fibromyalgia may affect the frequency and severity of those episodes.
Medication is the most common treatment approach for helping manage pain in both fibromyalgia and migraine. However, several other complementary approaches could be beneficial for reducing chronic pain levels and improving the quality of life in people with both conditions.