Current Rheumatology Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 365–370

The role of life stress in fibromyalgia


  • Boudewijn Van Houdenhove
    • Department of Liaison PsychiatryUniversity Hospital Gasthuisberg
  • Ulrich Egle
  • Patrick Luyten

DOI: 10.1007/s11926-005-0021-z

Cite this article as:
Van Houdenhove, B., Egle, U. & Luyten, P. Curr Rheumatol Rep (2005) 7: 365. doi:10.1007/s11926-005-0021-z


This paper focuses on recent evidence of etiopathogenetic links between fibromyalgia and life stress. From an etiologic point of view, studies concerning the role of adverse life events, personality and lifestyle factors, post-traumatic stress, and negative childhood experiences are reviewed. From a pathogenetic point of view, neurobiologic links between stress and fibromyalgia symptoms, notably chronic pain and fatigue are highlighted. Finally, several method-ologic issues with regard to stress research on fibromyalgia, as well as the clinical relevance of the stress concept for fibromyalgia are discussed.

Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2005