Fibromyalgia (FM) is a common chronic widespread pain disorder. Our understanding of FM has increased substantially in recent years with extensive research. Those who study fibromyalgia hope this will legitimize a condition that physicians . “In the scientific literature, there is strong support for exercise as a way to. Read the latest medical research on fibromyalgia and find out about new by researchers, a potential breakthrough for future clinical diagnosis read more.
Studies on Fibromyalgia Scientific
A third study , led by Jordi Serra, MC Mutual, Barcelona, Spain, and Neuroscience Technologies, London, UK, measured dysfunctional nerve activity in the peripheral nerves of fibromyalgia patients and showed that it mimicked nerve activity seen in patients with SFPN but not healthy controls. Together, these reports suggest that, somehow, damage to or dysfunction of peripheral nerves is a contributing factor in many cases of what has been diagnosed as fibromyalgia.
But many questions remain about the link between neuropathy and fibromyalgia. Most cases of SFPN can be traced to potentially treatable conditions including diabetes, chemotherapy for cancer, an autoimmune reaction, or—rarely—a genetic abnormality; some cases of SFPN remain mysterious in origin. Oaklander says that many of her patients with neuropathies have improved with treatment of these underlying conditions rather than relying on a standard course of treatment with painkillers.
But for patients, a diagnosis—or even treatment—of SFPN may not be sufficient to halt fibromyalgia. There are multiple mechanisms underlying fibromyalgia, and there may be several going on at once.
Is it a real thing? For example, years ago, people with epilepsy were regarded as crazy, or possessed by the devil. Only when electroencephalography EEG came along—a test that records brain activity using electrodes attached to the scalp—did doctors realize that the disease was rooted in abnormal brain activity.
But back then, it was impossible to convince doctors it was a real disease. That dismissal can make patients feel crazy, even though they know their pain is very real.
While the new findings of peripheral nerve damage in fibromyalgia patients may not offer a cure or even an immediate treatment, they represent the first objective, physical evidence of dysfunction linked to their illness.
Peripheral nerves, Serra says, are incredibly sensitive to slight changes in their surroundings, which can alter their activity. For example, a pain nerve fiber might be spontaneously active, but once the patient relaxes, that activity stops.
This finding, he explains, also fits with the relationship between stress and pain. Stress and trauma have long been known as contributing factors in fibromyalgia, but researchers are still struggling to find out how they increase risk. Stress is so important. The top contenders include stress hormones and inflammatory molecules released by immune cells in the brain or body.
End of the line? Many researchers agree that what is now called fibromyalgia—characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and cognitive and emotional disturbances—may be the final station on the chronic pain track. Staud went further, saying that everyone might be at risk for chronic pain.
How can people build up this protection to stave off chronic pain? Staud says there are four concrete steps to take in order to minimize risk, whether an individual already has chronic pain or not. First, prevention of injuries or other traumatic events that can lead to pain is important. Of course, this is not always possible, but for someone with fibromyalgia, it might mean avoiding stressful situations that could trigger a pain episode.
Second, Staud says, physical exercise seems to condition the body against pain. Third, sleep is also protective, so getting as much high-quality sleep as possible will help.
Finally, psychological coping skills are protective against pain. Cognitive-behavioral therapy CBT , mindfulness, and supportive social interactions can all help build this resilience.
The majority of the population does not. Staud stresses that all of these recommendations require tremendous effort on the part of the patient—effort they might not be able to expend. But, for those who are able to exercise, Sluka says the research shows that physical activity is perhaps the single most effective approach to alleviate chronic pain. Inactivity, she says, which is common in fibromyalgia patients, might contribute to or even cause some symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Exercise does wonderful things. Sluka also says it is important that patients play an active role in setting the course for their treatment, though this does place an additional encumbrance on patients already bearing the burden of chronic pain.
And second, by gaining a sense of control, patients can reduce their stress and pain. Finding a doctor who recognizes fibromyalgia and is willing to try different approaches is also crucial. Patients have to embrace the fact that there are things they have to do to get better.
We will begin to make sense of this disease soon. Stephani Sutherland, PhD, is a neuroscientist, yogi, and freelance journalist in Southern California.
The anti-depressants commonly used to treat fibromyalgia include duloxetine Cymbalta , milnacipran Savella , and velafaxin Effexor. It is important to note that when these medications are halted, especially Cymbalta, it can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. A paper published Jan. The impact fibromyalgia has on quality of life can be isolating.
According to a study released in early that examined the quality of life issues of a Turkish geriatric population, as the severity of the disorder increased, so did the social isolation of the patient. In fact, a third of the older patients who were diagnosed with the disorder suffered severely with social isolation and emotional instability, even across gender lines. As new scientific evidence is revealed, fibromyalgia is moving from a stigmatized and misunderstood syndrome once dismissed as purely a psychological disorder to a true disease with its own pathology.
Studies linking dysfunctional brain processing to fibromyalgia will help erase the stigma from sufferers. For example, studies are finding that fibromyalgia sufferers are sensitive to more than just touch and movement, and that they also may have trouble processing sight, sound, and touch. Researchers are proposing using neurostimulation treatments in the visual and auditory regions of the brain to treat these symptoms in fibromyalgia patients.
Managing pain levels is paramount to survival and quality of life issues for fibromyalgia sufferers. The first task is to gain a level of comfort for everyday living, and that means pain management. Research physicians are suggesting that fibromyalgia patients who are advised to work through the pain and engage in activities such as aerobic exercise, stretching such as yoga and cognitive-behavioral therapy will benefit from it. Alternative therapies also have proved to work with pain levels such as lymphatic massage, acupuncture, herbal supplements, meditation and relaxation practices, according to treatment records.
Mainstream medical science agrees with naturopathic doctors that diet along with supplementation of vitamin D and magnesium may also impact fibromyalgia pain levels. Other research has shown that fibromyalgia patients benefit from goal setting and detailed communication with their physicians.
Physicians also need to be aware that they are treating multiple symptoms of a singular disease, and that problems will present themselves at varying times and with differing intensities. Therefore, communication between patient and physician and a lifestyle as well as pharmaceutical approach can lead to better quality of life for those who suffer from fibromyalgia.
Obviously FM is still stigmatized as a psychological disorder. That is why the leading drugs prescribed for fibro are antidepressants!!! Most patients agree that these antidepressants are woefully ineffective in treating the pain! Who in their right mind treats chronic pain with antidepressants? As patients we are still treated like hysterical women.
Fibromyalgia: Cracking the Case
A study has documented for the first time widespread inflammation in the brains of patients with the poorly understood condition called fibromyalgia. a potential breakthrough for future clinical diagnosis and treatment of the. – Dan Heffez, MD, “Clinical evidence of cervical myelop thy due to Chiari malformation and spinal stenosis in a non-randomized group of patients with the . "The fact that scientific research is able to demonstrate objective aberrations in the brains of people with fibromyalgia will hopefully mitigate the.