The frequency of fibromyalgia is significantly higher among patients who have chronic migraine headaches than in patients who have chronic tension-type headaches, and patients with chronic migraines experience more severe symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Patients with chronic migraine headaches and fibromyalgia have significantly more anxiety, depression, and insomnia than those with chronic migraine headaches alone.
Soo-Jin Cho and fellow researchers in South Korea pointed out that both fibromyalgia and chronic migraine headaches are relatively rare in the general population such that a link between them may suggest a common pathophysiological mechanism.
Recent updates to diagnostic criteria for chronic migraines have made it easier to distinguish between these headaches and chronic tension-type headaches, allowing researchers to better examine the prevalence of fibromyalgia among patients who have chronic migraines.
The authors sought to determine the symptoms of fibromyalgia among patients with chronic migraine and tension-type headaches, the frequency of fibromyalgia with both types of headaches, and the clinical presentation of both types of headaches among those with fibromyalgia. They presented their findings in a recent Headache article.
The authors conducted a multicenter, prospective, cross-sectional study that looked at 171 patients with headaches, 136 with chronic migraine and 35 with chronic tension-type headaches.
• Subjects with chronic migraine experienced more frequent severe headaches (98.5% versus 80.0%, P < .001) and anxiety (77.2% versus 51.4%, P= 0.002) when compared with those who had chronic tension-type headaches.
• There was no significant difference between the headache groups with regard to the frequency of medication overuse headaches or restless leg syndrome.
• Feeling pain in at least 1 of 19 bodily areas in the prior week was reported by 98.2% of subjects.
• Fatigue, waking unrefreshed, and cognitive and somatic symptoms were overwhelmingly common in study subjects.
Cho SJ, Sohn JH, Seok Bae JS, Chu MK. “Fibromyalgia Among Patients With Chronic Migraine and Chronic Tension-Type Headache: A Multicenter Prospective Cross-Sectional Study.” Headache. 2017 Nov;57(10):1583-1592. doi: 10.1111/head.13191. Epub 2017 Sep 22.