Fibromyalgia Pain: Linked into Spinal Cord Dysfunction

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?

Fibromyalgia Pain Linked into Spinal Cord Dysfunction

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.

5 Comments

  • I find this very interesting as when I had my second laminectomy my spinal column was nicked and I leaked fluid for a week before I was believed, they said I was weeing in the bed! I’ve asked my doc and he says it has nothing to do with it but, knowing 1st had that they can make mistakes I still wonder!

  • I like some of these options to help control pain but as I would love to soak in a hot bath I can’t get in the tub besides having fibro I also have had 6 failed back surgery’s to name a few health issues. I take lyrica cymbalta and a few other meds and still am in so much pain I can hardly get out of bed

  • I have had fibromyalgia since 1999.I also have many other health issues,some started at age 29.Dr.s have tried many things. Lyrica I cannot take had allergic reaction to it. Cymbalta I took 4 years did not help at all. Neurontin I took for many years highest dose possible did not work. I also have anxiety panic disorder. I’m on coumadin for blood clots and past PE. I have osteoarthritis. Both knees are pretty bad and spinal stenosis and back with the fracture in my L1 and stenosis in my left side of my neck. My bone density is bad so doctors have me on 50,000 mg of vitamin D for life now. I don’t know if I could take some of these medications that you guys are recommending do to some of my health risk. Could you please answer this question for me.?

  • I have done a lot of research into fibromyalgia, as I’ve always been somewhat OCD and now the only now the only thing I can do is find a somewhat comfortable position with my smart phone and research everything I can get my hands on. I’ve been diagnosed with epilepsy and migraine long before fibromyalgia, so that doesn’t help matters. I was initially diagnosed by a rheumatologist with RA and fibromyalgia. Now different doctors are saying I don’t have RA. Some are saying I might just be in remission. Others are saying my tests are screwed up because I’m on so much anti-inflammatory meds. At least, if not more, 800mg advil a day. Plus fioricet for migraine. But, I’ve always told them my pain also felt like someone was drilling into my bones. The pain gets so bad that I throw up. Most doctors agree it’s associated with the nervous system, but I came across a moronic internist the other day that demanded it was muscular. I informed him of his mistake. He then did a evaluation on me that would have made the activists march and riot. I ended up in the er. My normal doctor gives me savella, low dose naltrexone, methocarbomal, tizanidine and baclofan. They don’t do much. The pa gave me watch she initially said was valium, but turned out to be Ativan and then , obviously, zofran for the vomiting. That worked. She said it was a benzodiazepine. Just like my clonazepam. I used to have 2 mg for my sleep, panic attacks and seizures, but ever since the ‘opioid epidemic’ I’m not allowed anymore than .5 mg. I remember when I had the higher dose I was able to get by with hardly anything. I did need an anti-spam med because my hands would sometimes give me problems as would my eyes, but nothing like now. And it was only irritating, not excruciating like now. I never put that together until now. Why is it that that we can’t get the meds we needs to take at night so we can actually be normal people and maybe at least do part time work? Is it because we’re women and don’t matter? I have double to triple the diagnosis that usually gets one on disability, and because of my age they’re saying I have to jump through more hoops. I’ve been going through this for four years, but my best friend (who’s the same age as I am, but a man) didn’t even have an actual diagnosis because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him and he got approved. And he only had something wrong with his ears, which is actually a symptom of fibromyalgia, by the way. I’ve come across it in my research, and it has to do with the nerve in your head causing pressure in your ears (amongst other things) so I actually thing he just has a weird version of fibromyalgia.

  • I have had fibro since 2002. I’ve now been through a 5 level cervical neck fusion 3 disc 4 part. corpectomies. Lover back is done from L1 -S1 and is said to need a 360 surgery with rods and cages though out. My cervical fusion has broken x 2 so I have 3 sections of a fusion moving around my spinal cord just waiting to do me in I suppose. Now C-3 is herniated as well. Leaves C2 and 1. Not much to work with as Vit D won’t stay up with 100,000 iu a week and DHEA has been flat lined in the low 20’s since 2008. Supplimentation since that time hasn’t changed it. I have no receptors to morphine at all so post op pain control is a major issue. This is genetic on receptors and not tolerance. Never worked now 5th generation. My father, my brother and myself, my son and now my eight year old grandson. I did everything I was supposed to do including my own work to find bone resorption. Immediatly after much study post 12 mos without fusion I found I should have been on my bio identical hormones regiment of past to get progesterone to promote bone growth. Yes ladies estrogen protects somewhat bone loss, however it progesterone that promotes it. ( Spine Med ). Seems it did the trick at first. 18mos post I was told I was finally fused. The excruciating pain never stopped. It seems while we only we looking at fibro 2009 neck issues left previous scar tissue through mylen sheath of spinal cord and exiting nerve branches. Round two finished it with permanent nerve damage. I’ll sigh up for any spinal cord trials. Not much to lose.

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