Pro-inflammatory diets may be associated with pain hypersensitivity in women with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), according to a study published in Pain Medicine.

The study included women diagnosed with FMS (n=95) and control individuals matched for menopause status (n=98). The researchers conducted 24-hour diet recall interviews to calculate the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII), and used algometry and the visual analog scale to assess the pressure pain thresholds at tender point sites and self-reported global pain levels, respectively. They also evaluated disease severity, fatigue, sleep anxiety, and central sensitization.

Pressure pain thresholds at tender point sites were found to be associated with DII score after adjusting for age, menopausal status, and global energy levels in the occiput (P =.036), trapezius (P =.007), zygapophyseal joint (P =.035), second rib (P =.006), gluteus (P =.017), greater trochanter (P =.041), and knee (P =.011).

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No association was established between DII scores and the remaining clinical symptoms in either group.

Study limitations include its cross-sectional design, and that the 24-hour diet recall interview may not accurately reflect the patient’s normal diet.

“Strategies to promote anti-inflammatory diets should be considered to improve pain hypersensitivity in women with FMS,” noted the researchers.


Correa-Rodríguez M, Casas-Barragán A, González-Jimémez E, et al. Dietary inflammatory index scores are associated with pressure pain hypersensitivity in women with fibromyalgia [published online September 25, 2019]. Pain Med. doi:10.1093/pm/pnz238

This article originally appeared on Clinical Pain Advisor