Is Fibromyalgia Hereditary?

As any Fibro Doctor will tell you: “Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition which features abnormal types of pain, extreme fatigue, disturbed sleep, cognitive dysfunction, & dozens of other possible symptoms” [1]

Did You Know?

Some research indicates that around 50% of one’s susceptibility to fibromyalgia, derives from genetic factors” [2].

Putting a Spotlight on the Research

Continual research is vital, and leaders in the field of fibromyalgia, that is to say, the Fibro Specialists, are always at the cutting-edge of the latest research on various aspects of the condition, as well as solutions in the form of innovative treatments and therapies. Thus far, a number of research studies into hereditary links to fibromyalgia, have shown that familial patterns exist. Take-always include:

•Sufferers having a genetic predisposition (susceptibility) to fibromyalgia
•A link between fibromyalgia and multiple genetic abnormalities
•The likelihood that a combination of genetics and other causal factors trigger fibromyalgia
•Sufferers who have “a close relative (parent, sibling, child) with fibromyalgia, are 8.5 times more likely to get it than if they have a close relative with rheumatoid arthritis” [2]

In 2017, a substantial review of scientific literature on fibromyalgia, was undertaken by a team of researchers. When this was completed, it indicated that there is credible evidence to support the theory that genetics do play a causal role in fibromyalgia [2].

One study indicated that 52% of parents and siblings of a fibromyalgia sufferer: showed some clinical evidence of fibromyalgia. This was regardless of the fact that none of them had previously been diagnosed with the condition. Moreover, a further 22% who did not show any apparent fibromyalgia symptoms: were found to have abnormal muscle consistency on a par with that found in fibromyalgia sufferers. This equates to approximately three-quarters of the relatives having either early symptoms, or physical signs of susceptibility [2]. This show how crucial it is to receive an accurate diagnosis from a Fibromyalgia Doctor.

Moreover, research into children who had mothers suffering with fibromyalgia, determined that: “28% of the offspring had fibromyalgia themselves” [2]. By comparing siblings, the researchers ascertained that the children’s high occurrence rate of fibromyalgia appeared to be due to genetics, rather than psychological factors or environmental exposures [2].

In a Nutshell

The aforementioned research implies that: with regard to fibromyalgia, the pattern of inheritance is autosomal-dominant. – The latter means that a sufferer only needs one of their parents to pass down the relevant genes for them to be susceptible. Conversely, with regard to autosomal-recessive inheritance, fibromyalgia sufferers must have a copy of the relevant genes from both parents. So to that end, this scenario is far rarer [2].

Many conditions that involve a genetic predisposition (including fibromyalgia): mean that if you inherit certain genes, it is probable that under specific conditions, you will develop fibromyalgia [2]. If you are concerned that you have a close relative who has fibromyalgia, and feel that you are susceptible, or if you are experiencing any of the common fibromyalgia symptoms, namely:

• An ache
• A sensation of burning
• A sharp stabbing pain
• Muscle stiffness
• Widespread pain. (The pain is likely to be perpetual. However, it might be better or more severe, at different times.)
• Fatigue
• Issues with mental processes (often referred to as ‘fibro-fog”’)
• Lack of concentration
• Memory issues
• Trouble sleeping
• Increased sensitivity to a number of sensations (including noise, temperature, light, and touch) [2]


[1]. Harvard Education (2019). “Is Fibromyalgia Hereditary?”

[2]. Dellwo, A. (2023). “Is Fibromyalgia Hereditary? A Possible Familial Risk.” Very Well Health.

Contact us
close slider

    I give consent to London Pain Clinic processing data about myself and my medication condition. To review our privacy policy please click here.