Peripheral nerve stimulation for fibromyalgia

Prog Neurol Surg. 2011:24:133-146. doi: 10.1159/000323046. Epub 2011 Mar 21.


Fibromyalgia is a condition marked by widespread chronic pain, accompanied by a variety of other symptoms, including sleep and fatigue disorders, headaches, disorders of the autonomic nervous system, as well as cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. It occurs predominantly in women and is often associated with other systemic or autoimmune diseases. Despite its serious socio economical burden, the treatment options remain poor. In this chapter, the authors discuss the possibilities of using greater occipital nerve stimulation as a treatment for fibromyalgia, based on available clinical studies. Greater occipital nerve stimulation has already been used successfully to treat occipital neuralgia and various primary headache syndromes. Testable hypothetical working mechanisms are proposed to explain the surprising effect of this treatment on widespread bodily pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / trends
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Fibromyalgia / physiopathology*
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Occipital Lobe / physiology
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology*
  • Spinal Nerves / physiology
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation / methods*
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation / trends