Treating Fibromyalgia migraines

treating fibromyalgia migraines
Image thanks to to Nik Shuliahin

What is a migraine?
(scientifically speaking)

Migraine is a genetically determined recurrent pain syndrome accompanied by neurological and gastrointestinal features, involving interaction of external triggers and internal pathophysiology. Migraine is currently considered a complex interplay of different processes such as an alteration of pain and sensory input, increased sensitivity of the cortex leading to aura phenomena, central pain facilitation, neurogenic inflammation and brainstem nociceptor sensitisation. ~ Menken M, Munsat TL, Toole JF.

Migraine affects mainly the brainstem and diencephalon4 and is considered an abnormal amplification and sensitisation of pain pathways in these areas of the brain.

Fibromyalgia and migraines (the statistics)

Migraines are common in people with fibromyalgia. The frequency of migraine in patients with FM ranges from 45% to 80%. However, no explanations have been provided for the rate of co-occurrence.

According to the Rheumatology Network the frequency of fibromyalgia is significantly higher among patients who have chronic migraine headaches than in patients who have chronic tension-type headaches.  Also patients with chronic migraines experience more severe symptoms of fibromyalgia.

What fibro migraineurs want? 

People living with both fibromyalgia and migraines are living with severe and chronic pain. They do not particularly want explanations of migraines, or more research into the connection, or a bunch of statistics, unless it brings solutions to the problems they are living with. 

As a person living with these conditions, somedays I can barely take in any information let alone complex scientific diagrams and information. 

Processing is a part of the problem of FMS and having a migraine, however low grade makes it even more difficult. 

So what do I, and countless others want? We want simple easy to understand information told to us by someone we trust... someone who has done the research and found out what can help relieve our migraines symptoms. we want this information told to us by a person because this is the best way we can process information... hearing it from the lips of another person. 

If that cannot happen then we would like it written in simple to understand language, preferably in large font. That's why I am so pleased to present the information from The Migraine Trust. 

For over 50 years The Migraine Trust has been championing migraine research and supporting everyone affected by the condition. 

They have wonderful, helpful and thorough resources including:

  • Seeking medical adviceFrom diagnosis, to follow-up GP appointments and being referred to a specialist
  • Treatments: There are numerous migraine treatment options available from conventional medicines to supplements, herbs and other options.
  • Coping and managing: Information on coping and managing with migraine.
Best of all you can listen to expert doctors telling you ways to manage your migraines here 

I hope you find their site and their videos as helpful as I have. 

Fibromyalgia and migraines


Menken M, Munsat TL, Toole JF. The global burden of disease study: implications for neurology. Arch Neurol 2000;57:418–20.

Jacques Joubert MRCP, MD, FRACP, consultant neurologist, Epworth and Royal Melbourne Hospitals, Victoria, Australia. Migraine Diagnosis and treatment. PDF 

Penn I-W, Chuang E, Chuang T-Y, Lin CL, Kao CH. Bidirectional association between migraine and fibromyalgia: retrospective cohort analyses of two populations [published online April 8, 2019]. BMJ Open. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026581.


  1. For the past several months, I've had low grade "headache" all the time. My eyeballs hurt. Temples, forehead, and top of my head. As does either side of my neck from collar bone to my temple. Not really sure what to do other than what I've done.

    1. Thanks for taking time to comment Katie when you are living in chronic pain. I also live with this low grade headache so completeley understand the frustration. My neurologist made an off hand comment of doing botox into the scapl to relax the headaches but then never followed through because of other conditions I have. The pain in the neck, which I also have on the left side is a bit disconcerting to me beause it is new but also because mine is on the left side. When I told my GP recently he didn't even ask where the new pain actually was in the neck and he prescribed anti inflammatories. It seems yet again that we must be detectives and work out what is happening. There is no easy help when it comes to complex medical conditions. Keep in touch if we discover anything about these on going headaches. I feel like you in that I am doing what I can eg drink water, gentle exercise, eating healthy, keep moving, get outdoors, stay positive but just can't work out why the headache never goes away.

  2. I started having bad headaches a year ago, never been bothered with them before fibro, mine last 24/48hours,I need to stay in bed in the dark with a hot water bottle on the back of my head. Luckily most have happened on my days off but a few I've had to call in sick, I simply can't stand up, the pain and nausea are so bad, the first one I had I was taken by ambulance to hospital as they thought I was having a brain bleed, luckily not,I'm 54 and headaches are new to me, I think it's the worst part of fibromyalgia.


Thanks for your input