By: Jessica White
The pain associated with fibromyalgia is unlike any other pain that a person has experienced. Those who have this pain not only feel as though they have pain in their muscles and joints, but they have the issue of having pain as soon as someone touches them.
It is not uncommon for a person to be touched in those pressure points on their bodies and physically flinch from the pain that this causes.
The one question that many fibromyalgia sufferers have is what is causing this pain throughout their body? Many people theorize they have extreme arthritis flare-ups.
Other people have theorized that this illness is often worse with certain activities and certain diets, which has been proven correct.
However, new studies are showcasing that the pain these fibromyalgia sufferers have could be linked into spinal cord dysfunction.
The Results of the Study
A recent study is what has everyone questioning the idea that the spinal cord could be responsible for the pain that is associated with fibromyalgia.
The study was entitled “Lengthened Cutaneous Silent Period in Sibromyaglia Suggesting Central Sensitization as a Pathogenesis”. The study was originally published in PLOS One.
The study is highlighted below:
- The study included 24 patients who were diagnosed with fibromyalgia defined by the 1990 American College of Rheumatology classification system
- Another 24 patients were included in the study that were healthy equals to those with fibromyalgia patients
- There were several points in which the two categories of people were compared at including the tender points in the body, along with the spinal reflex from the area between the wrist and the base of the thumb.
- Patients with fibromyalgia were given questionnaires as well about the pain in which they were dealing with
The idea with the study was to analyze the pain processing of each type of patient, those with fibromyalgia, those without this illness. The researchers termed this the cutaneous silent period or CSP, which is the spinal reflex that is seen.
More Pain for Fibromyalgia Patients
For fibromyalgia patients, researchers have initially found that there is a correlation between pain and the central nervous system in those with have this illness.
Basically, the study found that the CSP duration in the fibromyalgia patients was much longer than those patients who were not diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
For researchers, this has made them state that there could be a spinal dysfunction in fibromyalgia patients that is leading to the pain that they are feeling.
So, what does this mean for those people with fibromyalgia? It means that the whole cause of fibromyalgia could be neuropathic in nature.
This changes the mindset that was seen years ago, in which many people believed that fibromyalgia was a disorder of the joints, and many people believed that this was an issue simply associated with the ligaments and muscles of the body. So, what could these changes mean for treating fibromyalgia?
Treating Fibromyalgia with These Results
With these results in hand, it could mean that the treatment options are going to change dramatically for those who suffer with fibromyalgia! This is good news for those who are suffering with this illness. What changes could be seen?
With this illness being more neurological, it could mean a change in what prescription medications are given to patients.
Many doctors were already speculating that this illness was neurological, and in turn were giving antidepressants and antiepileptic’s to help with the pain and other ailments associated with fibromyalgia.
However, with the results of this recent study, it could mean that doctors start looking at giving patients:
- Sodium channel blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibits (SNRI)
- NMDA receptor antagonists
- Nerve growth factor inhibitors (NGF)
These drugs could go a long way in helping with the pain that the person feels, along with other issues such as anxiety or nervous issues associated with this illness.
Other Treatment Options
There are several other treatment options that fibromyalgia patients are utilizing to deal with the pain that the body is going through.
Since this is largely considered a neurological disorder now, some of the treatments deal with this pain in this method.
However, other methods are still attacking the pain in the muscle and body to help gain strength and perhaps lower the intensity of the pain being felt.
A few ideas for those who are dealing with fibromyalgia:
1- Hypnotic therapy is being used more and more for those with fibromyalgia. It is not meant to relieve the pain completely. However, initially people are finding that this hypnosis is helping to deal with the pain to get this to a level that is going to be easily managed!
2- Pilates is one physical exercise that can help with strengthening the muscles and improving the flexibility of the person. In turn, the person finds that the pain is often decreased in intensity with the use of this exercise.
3- Consider massage as a great option for dealing with the pain. While the pressure points in the body can make massage a bit painful.
There are many patients who find that this can help them to feel better as it increases the blood flow to several areas of the body that are in pain due to this illness. The key is to find a massage therapist that is trained in dealing with fibromyalgia patients.
4- Take warm baths to soak these muscles and help relieve the pain that is seen.While this is just a temporary fix for the pain that is being felt, it is one that has high success rates. Many fibromyalgia patients enjoy tubs with jets in them for an added massage benefit for their pain.
5- Learn ways to take your mind off the pain. Many fibromyalgia patients find that doing a mental activity can help in doing this and it can prove rather successful.
With the latest studies that showcase just how fibromyalgia could be associated with a spinal cord dysfunction, it could open several great treatment alternatives for patients.
However, studies will still need to be done to prove these points and to ensure that this is the case for all patients suffering with this illness.