Fibromyalgia and Dizziness

 

Timothy C. Hain, MD

Last edited: 1/28/2000. Please read our disclaimer.

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Fibromyalgia is an uncommon condition characterized by sleep disturbance, chronic fatigue, and painful nodules in the neck or other muscles. The origin of fibromyalgia is presently unclear, although many authors feel that it is a disorder of the immune system. Others attribute it to psychiatric disorders and others, to chronic viral syndromes. To the extent that it is autoimmune, fibromyalgia might overlap with autoimmune inner ear disease. It has recently been suggested that fibromyalgia is related to the Chiari malformation, and an MRI scan of the head may be worthwhile in some instances.. Treatment of fibromyalgia is presently controversial, but commonly involves use of tricyclic antidepressants.

Persons with fibromyalgia can experience dizziness, and some reports (e.g. Rosenhall et al), find dizziness to be a very common symptom, occuring in roughly 2/3 of all persons. ABR testing, oculomotor testing (pursuit and saccades) and ENG testing have all been reported abnormal to some extent (30-60%) in fibromyalgia by Rosenhall et al. These abnormalities are nonspecific however, and do not prove that a person has fibromyalgia associated dizziness.

References

Rosenhall U, Et al. Otoneurologic and audiologic findings in FMS. Scand J. Rehab Med 28:225-232, 1996