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Fibromyalgia - Ultimately a Disease of Amplified Pain

  [ 502 votes ]   [ 25 Comments ]
By Mark J. Pellegrino, MD* • www.ProHealth.com • May 26, 2008


Many conditions can lead to permanent changes in the pain transmission mechanism and result in chronic pain that overwhelms the body’s pain defense mechanisms. One such condition is Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia may not cause destruction along the pain pathways as other conditions I have mentioned can [rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, shingles, multiple sclerosis, for example]. However, Fibromyalgia does cause chronic abnormal changes along all the pathway components and this results in chronic pain via both peripheral (from skin, muscles and nerves) and central (from spinal cord and brain) neurological mechanisms.

The end result of Fibromyalgia’s abnormal changes appears to be a state of pain amplification that causes severe generalized pain. Fibromyalgia is ultimately a disease of amplified pain.

Dr. Robert Bennett has written and presented excellent information that explains why we hurt with Fibromyalgia (e.g., “Emerging Concepts in the Neurobiology of Chronic Pain: Evidence of Abnormal Sensory Processing in Fibromyalgia,” Mayo Clinic Proceedings). If we trace the pain signals through the various parts of the pain pathway (from the nociceptors - or specialized pain nerve endings – to the nerves to the spinal cord to the brain) in people with Fibromyalgia, we find various abnormalities along the way. Many studies have shed light on different points along the complete pain pathway.

I want to briefly summarize some of these different abnormalities and possible problems encountered by Fibromyalgia pain signals on the path to the brain.

NOCICEPTORS - Pain originates from the nociceptors

Trauma is a common trigger of Fibromyalgia. Tissue injury - damage to the muscles and soft tissues – activates the nociceptors. Some studies have suggested that microscopic injury occurs in specific parts of the muscles (for those who want the medical names: muscle spindles, intrafusal fibers, and calcium pumps).

Localized tissue injury probably activates arachidonic acid (a biological protein), which turns into “bad” prostaglandans (called Cox-II prostaglandins), and cause inflammation and pain.

In addition to trauma, autoimmune factors may be another pain nerve activator. Perhaps autoimmune processes create compounds which act as irritants and activate the nociceptors chronically to the point where they become “permanently” sensitized and irritated. As a result, biochemical, hormonal, and red blood cell changes occur that interfere with the cells’ ability to receive adequate supplies of oxygen, glucose, and other nutrients. Blood flow, energy formation, and the cells’ electrical and neurological harmonies are all disrupted.

Since the nociceptors remain “faulty,” the electrical and neurological balance remains abnormal, and nociceptors continue to be activated. Pain-producing neurotransmitters are released and accumulate as long as the nociceptors stay activated at the peripheral level (skin and muscles, especially).

These persistent pain signals we experience may be interpreted as an itching, burning, swelling, or tingling at one end of the spectrum, or – at the other end – knife-stabbing, burning, or throbbing. One nociceptor can signal different pain signals and sensations depending on its level of irritation – the more irritated it is, the more severe the pain.

These changes can become permanent and cause the nerves to become sensitized to the point where they are easily activated to send pain, even in the absence of any noxious stimulus.

In other words, persistent pain signals can spontaneously arise from peripheral nerve endings and bombard the rest of the pain pathway. So, instead of waiting for outside stimulation such as trauma, pressure, temperature, or touch to signal the nociceptors, these nociceptors send pain signals on their own, without any outside help. This “spontaneous” pain is what we complain about the most!

NERVES

The nerves, especially the sensory nerves and the autonomic nerves, “wonder what is happening” because they are getting bombarded by all of these signals from the nociceptors. At first, they try to diminish these painful signals by using accommodation and gate mechanisms.

However, the signals persist and they, too, undergo a sensitization process. They become hypersensitized and react with an exaggerated response instead of a normal or diminishing response (accommodation). Now we get even more pain, numbness, swelling, burning, and other sensations.

Some of the hypersensitization may be mediated by nerve growth factor, which has been found in higher levels in Fibromyalgia. A high nerve growth factor may indicate the nerves are trying to regenerate or repair themselves. But instead of repairing the nerves so they act normal again, the opposite seems to happen. Nerve growth factor is probably enhancing the nerves’ abilities to transmit pain to the spinal cord. More pain results, not less.

SPINAL CORD – Amplification, wind-up, allodynia, Substance P, generalization

At the spinal cord level, the Fibromyalgia begins to take control.

It is here that additional changes occur to perpetuate the pain and spread it to different levels. When pain generators first start firing, the spinal cord pain processing centers may act at first like a dry sponge and easily soak up all the signals. Our bodies may have many pain generators at any given time, but if they are slowly and intermittently firing, drug sponges can soak up the signals and not cause any bothersome symptoms.

From time to time there may be an acute exacerbation of a problem leading to a lot of pain signals being generated, and if a lot of pain signals are dumped at once into the spinal cord sponge, only a little bit gets absorbed and a lot gets passed through and perceived as acute pain.

In Fibromyalgia, however, the different pain generators continue to send signals and eventually the dry sponges becomes a wet sponge and it can’t soak up any more. The additional oncoming continuous signals will spill over the wet sponge, and this leads to persistent pain.

The two main changes that occur at the spinal cord include:

  • Pain amplification (by specialized nerves called NMDA receptors)

  • And loss of pain filtering (by the diffuse noxious inhibitory control system).
  • Spinal cord nerves are bombarded by continuous stimulation from the peripheral nerves, causing a progressive increase in electrical signals to be sent up to the brain. This phenomenon is called “wind-up,” and is the neurological mechanism for the amplification of pain.

    Once this wind-up phenomenon occurs, a central sensitization results in which various types of sensory signals - not just pain - will arrive in the spinal cord, become amplified, and be sent to the brain as pain. The spinal cord becomes more sensitized to sending pain, lots of it. Once this happens, the spinal cord is not able to properly sort out and filter various sensory signals.

    As a result, different sensory signals such as touch, pressure, temperature, and joint movement all become amplified and sent up the pain pathways, resulting in pain signals instead of the appropriate touch, pressure, temperature, or joint motion signals.

    This defect in pain transmission where there is increased sensitivity to all stimuli – even those which normally do not evoke pain – is called allodynia. Unfortunately for the person with Fibromyalgia, the spinal cord is now “wired” to interpret nearly all sensory signals as pain – severe pain! We can still appreciate touch, pressure, temperature, joint movement, and other non-pain signals, but pain contaminates these signals, and we feel the pain.

    Another key change at the spinal cord level is an increased formation of Substance P and other neurotransmitters.

    Substance P’s primary role at the spinal cord level is to transmit pain signals and to sensitize the spinal cord so it is readily available to transmit pain. When Substance P reaches high concentrations (as it does in Fibromyalgia), it can migrate up and down the spinal cord, away from the initial location of the pain signal. As a result, multiple levels of the spinal cord undergo sensitization and send increased pain signals, leading to a “generalization” of the Fibromyalgia.

    This spreading of pain explains how one can develop generalized Fibromyalgia from an initial regional area of pain. A common example of this occurs following a motor vehicle accident where a particular body part, such as the neck, was injured. Over time, the pain begins to involve the mid-back, low back, and ultimately the whole body, even though these areas were never injured. The Substance P-induced spinal cord changes can explain this migration of pain from the neck to the entire body.

    BRAIN

    Our poor brains have no chance, do they? Any pain memory stored in the past will be re-awakened by this process. Fibromyalgia is notorious for causing previously injured areas to hurt more once it develops. This previously injured area may have settled down and become essentially pain-free, but the pain memories remained, although inactive. Thanks to the Fibromyalgia pain amplification process, the inactive memories are reactivated.

    The pain centers of our brain, the limbic system and the cerebral cortex, are continuously fed these amplified signals from the spinal cord. Changes occur:

  • Serotonin levels decrease,

  • Brain waves change,

  • Sleep stages are affected,

  • Blood flow and glucose [blood sugar] metabolism are affected.
  • The brain gets overwhelmed with these pain signals and spends a lot of attention and energy monitoring the pain. Fibrofog occurs. Emotional components are “attached” to pain, including fear, depression, anxiety, anger, hopelessness, and helplessness, which can further amplify the pain.

    In patients with Fibromyalgia, functional reorganization (brain plasticity) in both sensory and motor portions of the brain has been observed, and appears directly related to the chronicity of the pain (Dr. H. Flor, 2003). These brain changes may be viewed as pain memories that influence how painful and non-painful signals affect the body’s sensory and motor responses. The brain makes these changes to enhance its ability to perceive pain – brain amplified pain.

    This type of abnormal brain plasticity can be measured. Doctors Richard H. Gracely, Richard A. Harris, Daniel J. Clauw, et al. at the University of Michigan Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center have published studies which demonstrated abnormal “hyperactive” areas of the brains and abnormal “quiet” areas of the brains in Fibromyalgia test subjects who underwent functional MRIs. This provides objective evidence to support brain plasticity with both hypersensitive amplified pain, and turning off the ability to inhibit pain.

    FIBROMYALGIA PAIN SUMMARY

    To summarize, Fibromyalgia changes our pain pathways. It may start off as a peripheral irritant, but eventually it becomes a self-perpetuating process that affects the entire pathway from the nociceptors to the brain. The main problem, in a nutshell, is amplified pain.

    The amplified pain is the result of our nervous system gaining the ability to magnify pain and losing the ability to inhibit pain. What comes in at a signal of a “1” does not end up in the brain as a signal of a “1” as it would in people without Fibromyalgia. Our pain signal of a “1” gets amplified and magnified, and by the time it reaches our brain, it is a “10”!

    Other non-painful signals get thrown into this pain amplification pathway and arrive at our brain as pain signals. Even tiny subconscious pain signals can get amplified, or the nerve pathways can automatically “fire away” without any obvious noxious stimulus to cause spontaneous pain.

    These are not your everyday aches and pains, these are severe pains that cannot be ignored. This severe, chronic pain can completely disrupt one’s life. And by the way, while all of this is happening, we continue to look completely normal on the outside.

    ___

    * Dr. Pellegrino, a fibromyalgia patient himself, has seen more than 20,000 FM patients in his practice at the Ohio Rehab Center. This article is reproduced with his permission from Chapter 9 of Fibromyalgia: Up Close & Personal by Mark J. Pellegrino, MD. © Anadem Publishing, Inc. and Mark Pellegrino, MD, 2005, all rights reserved. To purchase a copy, call Dr. Pellegrino's staff at the Ohio Rehab Center (800-529-7500).

    Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any illness, condition, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your personal healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.



    Please Discuss This Article:   Post a Comment 

    Fibromyalgia-Amplified Pain
    Posted by: locra419
    May 28, 2008
    It is great to know where pain originates from. I have been suffering from this disease for about five years now. There are certain ...ceptors I've known about but not really nociceptors. Are they part of the nerve system? Pain who actually should have been a (1) becomes (10). Its so unusual on how that works. Living with the pain is unbearable and it is hard not to get stressed about it because it's there and you're right. I look at myself in the mirror and I see no change and yet, I'm feeling this pain inside that makes me want to just run through a wall sometimes and then experience how that would hurt. What can be done about the way pain is released? It seems like there is no way out except to continue these medications or that it's a "done deal" in our bodies. Thank you for the information.
    Reply Reply

    this article
    Posted by: hilarymck
    May 28, 2008
    I really liked this article, it helped alot. I especially appreciated it because it explains how you feel to other people. The appearance of being normal is frustrating at times, if you say that you hurt, you look like you are making it up, because you look so NORMAL. I sometimes feel that I am living this whole other life of pain, that noone knows about, and sometimes I have to remind myself of that when I am feeling less than energized. It is like having this secret, that really isn't a secret, but it acts like one, and looks like one, and noone really knows what to say about it. If my leg was in a cast, it would be a simple thing for people to accept and comment on, and it would be easy to accommodate. But this thing called fibromyalgia is another entity. Hilary
    Reply Reply

    Amplified Pain
    Posted by: jaguarsky
    May 28, 2008
    This is a great article. I was an active, athletic person until a C-section at age 26. Even at the time of my surgery I used no pain meds because I wanted to breast feed. My docs, friends and family all wondered at my ability to tolorate the pain and discomfort. I simply "worked through it". But within a few months, things began to go awry. I would wake with horrible pain in my legs, back or shoulders and no amount of medication would help. This went on for nearly 10 years. Long before I was diagnosed, I suspected that my pregnancy/surgery had something to do with the pain and others difficulties I was experiencing. It seems that finally medical wisdom is catching up with what so many of us knew instinctivley for so many years. Now that there is a glimmer of understanding of this DD, perhaps a viable treatment is not far down the road.
    Reply Reply

    Excellent Article
    Posted by: cpspa
    May 28, 2008
    I love to read Dr. Pellegrino's articles. He is so insightful and really understands the whole Fibro thing. He makes sense. I literally got the "ah-hah" thing going while reading this article.
    Reply Reply

    Amplified pain
    Posted by: Grandmommy
    May 28, 2008
    Thanks so much for this very informative article. I look forward to reading your newsletter each time it comes out. The question now is who is working on changing these faulty pathways? We all need help. I look forward to reading about new research that deals with this information.
    Reply Reply

    Good article
    Posted by: katiebug61
    May 28, 2008
    It is so good to hear that my pain is justified. Like others, people want to dismiss the pain I feel as just normal aches and pains. FM is NOT normal, but people think you are faking. I had a family member say that FM is just a catch-all disease and that it isn't real. It is hard to stay positive with attitudes like that. Today is a pain day for me. I've had some really good days since starting the Lyrica. This article really helps to describe how FM affects your body and why we feel the pain. Now if they can just come up with a Rx that will totally help get rid of the pain and fatigue. Keep up the great articles!
    Reply Reply

    Great Article
    Posted by: ksmabba
    May 28, 2008
    Dr Pellegrino once again spells out in simple terms that still manage to convey the complex issue of fibromyalgia. The benefit is that it is all stated in a way almost anyone can follow and understand. This helps underscore the validity of our disabling condition. But I echo grandmommy's question: When will all of this knowledge be applied to efforts to break this pattern? Over the years I have suffered increasing disability from the pain and have progressed through the various levels of pain medications. I haven't really many options left to me and I'm becoming worried since I'm only 54. I keep wondering how many new pain control options are really being pursued by the medical community. Any idea?
    Reply Reply

    Fibromyalgia.
    Posted by: bluenoser100
    May 29, 2008
    I have fibromyalgia as well as myfascial pain syndrome, CFIDS ,Chronic pain syndrome, hypothroid, osteoporosis, osteoartheritis now polyarthalgia, pernicious annemia, iron deficency annemia, raynauds, IBS, GERD, fuch's corneal dystrophy, scolosis, orthostatic hypotension, low rbc, low wbc, bad hearing, constant alergies,sinus, Positive ANA homygenious pattern, I lean to the right and my spine is 90 percent fixed so range of motion very limited. I'm still being turned down for SSi and don't have enough work credits for SSDI.I go to several doctors who all they they are not treating me for anythink as actually none of then are because they are told to evaluate and treat but they say they don't know whats wrong and why do I walk like that leaned over way down on right side. They will not say I can't work as they were not asked that so have no opinion. I just went to a rehab center who said I didn't have fibromyalgia but have several doctors and physical theripists who say I have severe Fibromyalgia but can't figure why I'm all bent over and my spine is fixeed and flattened with the curve in the middle back inverting, I have regurtation in mitral and triscupids valves and moderate insufficency in plumonic valve. I havd my dad and two of his brothers die from their hearts beating really fast and stoping and they dropped dead two at age 48 and dad at 51 the age I'm now. I don't know where to turn and can't believe the rehab centre actually said fibromyalgia didn't exist. I have a sister fighting similar problems as of a couple of years ago and she has been diagnoised with sorgens and fibro. My other sister has RA and hypothroid and pernicious annemia. We were all in a car accident thas was really bad when I was 12 they were 14 , 16. I had broken pelvis and broken clavicale. My left side is two inches shorter then the right that has an lot to do with my severe none stop low back pain. my lower back has schmol's nole L3-L4, ans scolosis in lower spinwe and neck. I am so glad to read an article like this God bless you please keep avocating for others like me fighting to keep from being giving up and keeping moving. Gerbapentin helped some with the pain but made me severely depressed and blurry eyes severe headaches which TMJ plays a big bart in. Thanks I loved the article and hope someone will read this and keep hoping that hope is out there and if we keep going we will find someone who belives our pain and lack of life as we knew it and just want it back. Thanks, Barbara
    Reply Reply

     
    Same problems
    Posted by: ghm2
    Aug 16, 2014
    Barbara,
    If you took out the heart problems, and sign my name at the bottom, we could be twins.

     


    AWESOME ARTICLE!!!!
    Posted by: geekygranny
    Jun 1, 2008
    I always figured that since I had my baby from C-section nearly 34 years ago, something else was going on. I'm a very positive upbeat person and tried to not let aches and pain slow me down. But I got a lot of headaches and found myself eating a lot of Excedrin. One day I had a real bad headache and was up in the mountains in a small town. We were at their flea market and someone was selling those wraparound sunglasses. I bought a pair and put them on and my headache dropped about 50%!!!! So I know my eyes are super sensitive to light. Years later, my sister-in-later was told she had FM. So I looked it up on the internet to understand what she was going through.... imagine what I was thinking. I had the a lot of the same symptoms! I always had lower back problems and don't anyone squeeze my knees or I'll kill them!!!! AUGGH! I told my doctor about the pain levels and such and he told me he had just returned from a FM seminar for doctors and said from his exam, I have FM. BUT he didn't prescribe anything to help me with the pain. Later that day at home I called and said that my sister-in-law was given a muscle relaxant for hers. Well, I argued with the nurse about it and could hear the doctor in the background say "give it to her!!" The nurse was trying to control the doctor. For many reasons, we severed our relationship with that doctor. But now I have a great Rheumy who has been keeping tabs on my FM, osteoarthritis, and now RA. God, I'm falling apart. I'm without a job so I keep busy now by trying to help others. This is a great article to point others to. I have been put in charge of the local FM Support Group. I'm involved with The Disability Digest that helps people win SSDI. And I help promote a product that works wonders on my pain, O24Fibromyalgia! Be Peace Mary ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Earth is my home and animals are my family. Life is my religion and love is my example. Peace and freedom belong to us all.
    Reply Reply

     
    Fibro Plus
    Posted by: Squeak1111
    Oct 2, 2008
    I had taken the drug Accutane twice, once sometime in the mid to late 80's and couldn't afford to take it full term and again in 1993 when I took it full term for acne. When people started the class action law suits up against this drug (and other names it's under) as I was reading their claims on the side effects from the drug I started wondering if this drug caused my health problems I am dealing with?

    After the first time on the medicine I ended up with IBS and migraines. After the second time on it, I ended up with Positive ANA and a year later after suffering with chronic pain for four years previous and over nine doctors later, I was diagnosed with Mono (by a ND) in the cancer range. My pain became worst with an auto accident in 2006, that I could of been killed in when a man in a V8 Dodge Ram truck ran the red light going 50 plus and hit my friend who was driving brand new Jeep Wrangler that I was a passenger in. If I didn't noticed ahead of time he was appearing to run it as he was nearing my door I wouldn't be writing this! I ended up with back and neck injuries because of it and that is when I noticed I wasn't right something besides these injuries where wrong. I went to a RA because of my hands and they were ignored and they concentrated on the pain I was having that is when I was diagnosed with the Fibromyalgia. I ended up going to another RA about my hands (arthritis turning fingers) and they were ignored again and I was diagnosed again with Fibromyalgia. I still want a doctor to look at my hands!

    I have found with all the tests I have had ran through the years that they are not accurate.

    I am a stranger to you all that suffer from "illness" and/or "diseases" but I do feel for you!

    Here's to hoping we all are heard, believed and get the proper help we deserve.

     


    GREAT ARTICLE
    Posted by: dwink
    Jun 13, 2008
    I think this is a very good article. It gives FM validity. I was diagnosed with FM in 1987. Since then Research on FM and CFS has come a long way. I truly believe they are on the way to finding the cause and if not the cure, a way to manage the symptoms so that we can lead better quality lives. What Dr. Pellegrino says about past injuries being painful even after they have healed is true. I have an injury to my neck and back from falling down the steps inside my home. And about 3 months ago I rolled my left foot inward and badly sprained my foot and tore ligaments and pulled tendons and had an Avulsion fracture at the fifth metatarsal. Yes, it hurt. I still have pain in my foot and my ankle sometimes when I walk on it and other times, just sitting and relaxing it will start to ache. My back problem is in the SI joint areas, same thing there. But,honestly, this is the best article I have read yet on the probable cause of Fibromyalgia. Hopefully the Research will go on and they will find a way to better treat or control this awful disease.
    Reply Reply

    herpes zoster & fm
    Posted by: kmegit
    Jun 14, 2008
    really wierd that this was a topic i had mono as a teenager and shingles twice by 25 and i have been living with fm for about 8 1/2 years. 8 of which were undetected. it really does make since nice to hear someone else say it too:)
    Reply Reply

    question
    Posted by: jonlyd
    Jun 19, 2008
    Wonderful article. Can FM cause lack of appetite? My mom is in the hospital dying (literally) of pain and lack of eating. We are forcing Ensure and even that is hard. She has had about 100 calories a day for weeks on end. She was in bed at home for weeks with pain, headache, lack of appetite. She told me less than a year ago she has fibromyalgia. She has searched along time to put a correct name to her 50 year illness. When I was younger she thought it was RA, later she thought Lupus, then Porphyria, now FM. She has a cyst or tumor in her brain and the neurologist says that it is not causing the appetite problem. One of the doctors started her yesterday on a FM medicine (I don't yet know which one) and she tolerated being touched and helped up out of bed today , and dad got a whole bowl of cream of wheat down her. She just turned 76 and has always been sick but at the same time a fireball and very active. She is a antiques dealer and lifts heavy boxes. It's been so bad this past week, that I started writing her obiturary yesterday.
    Reply Reply

    this article
    Posted by: fibromumartist
    Jul 30, 2008
    I am copying this article to take to my initial consultation at the Sydney Pain Management Centre on Friday. If only more doctors would do even some of the reading/research that I have done recently during another flare of this dreaded condition. No wonder so many of us get depressed when we have such a debilitating condition when we get fobbed-off by family, friends and supposed medical professionals! I am 45 now and have suffered to varying degrees with FMS for 18yrs. At least now there seems to be some serious research happening and drug therapies being trialled. I so don't want to end up like the other poor lady who's now 70 and had it for 50yrs - what a nightmare! Anyway, I still have hope and will hopefully get some better pain managment soon.
    Reply Reply

    Milnacipran
    Posted by: fibromumartist
    Jul 30, 2008
    Is anyone on, or has anyone tried Milnacipran for Fibromyalgia. Sorry if this isn't the right place to ask, but it is the only place I could find. I am in Sydney, Australia and it is even harder to get good information.
    Reply Reply

     
    use of milnacipran
    Posted by: fkerab
    Jan 2, 2010
    i live in the us and i did try milnacipran also called savella. unfortunately, after trying it my depression got really worse. it actually did help me with my pain a little bit and i believe that if i could have stayed on this med for longer than 45 days then i might have had better results. so you might want to give it a try and see how it affects you. if you are on any meds for depression, then you might want to discuss how to continue your current meds with a lower dose and also take savella. i was taken off of zoloft completely within a 45 days after which i started savella. i believe i should have stayed with a lower dosage of zoloft for sometime till my body got used to savella. so i am not sure if the increase in my depression was because of savella or it was because of going off of zoloft. check with your doctor and try it under the name savella to see if you could find it in your country. otherwise you might want to explore ways of obtaining it in the US. by the way the price of 30 tablets is about $75-125. good luck

     


    Fibromyalgia, Amplified Pain..Nothing normal!
    Posted by: rcch4
    May 15, 2009
    Hilary got it right! The appearance of being normal is frustrating, people give me an odd look when I need help doing simple tasks, If I were in a body cast or wheelchair, I could get the help I need. Even loved ones want me to be normal again. I’m asked “how are you?” I say So-so,” O’ do you have the flu/ getting a cold?” When I say I’m in pain they respond with,“anyway I just wanted to see if you would … for me?” “You can do it for a little while that should be okay, right.” TMJ, IBS, Back pain, Vision change, chronic fatigue, Migraines,Hypersensitive sense, Tissue pain, Joint pain, just to name a few.. This FM is NOT nice & I AM ALLERGIC TO MOST EDICATIONS. Thank you for this website and the comments! This article really was helpful and informational. Cindy
    Reply Reply

    Pain CONUNDRUM
    Posted by: watergirlhawaii
    Mar 12, 2010
    I am too sick/weak with FM/CFS/ME to detail now, but I must post this in hopes it will call DOCTORS & RESEARCHERS ATTENTION to these facts: Yes, FM Pain is amplified... but I can slam my hand in the car door and it does not hurt me like FM pain does. I also had my figer tips caught in closed/locked car door, and it was almost nothing compared to my FM pains. I do not even cry from regular bad pain like broke bones! I broke my ankle and walked around in much pain for months because it is not near as bad as FM pain, so I though it was a twisted ankle. And then I fell again an cracked my skull too, and it is not so bad as FM pain in my neck! I am a superwoman in tollerating these serious normal pains above, I was world record athelete (ocean sailor) and lived with much pain daily with much discomfort but with little coping problem (and no meds)... but I become a weak worm with FM pain, it is not "normal" amplified pain! No, I am never hurting myself intentionlly, I just get so weak, with sometimes sudden onset, I have accidents. Some days I cannot hold coffee cup to drink, or hairbrush, toothbrush! Sometime I cannot depart from car, instead I fall out, to the ground with muscle weakness/pain. I cracked all my teeth from clenching from FM pain, but not from normal pain. I will volunteer for one year of ongoing torture test to prove my pain tollerance to normal pain, if you can help the people with FM pain. Sincerely!
    Reply Reply

    Good article
    Posted by: meowee
    Oct 6, 2010
    I also thought the info in this article was helpful and easy to understand. After 30 years of FM/CFS, I pray for a cure. Please PLEASE keep looking.
    Reply Reply

    Great Article But...
    Posted by: SunflowerJRT
    Oct 6, 2010
    I thought this article sort of left me hanging. I've had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with limited Fibromyalgia until the past few years where now it gets worse (more excruciating and lasts longer) which would make sense reading the information here whereby the pain memories are stored. That would mean that as more time goes on, the memories from the past FMS episodes would also be stored!! YIKES! So where are the treatments? What is one to do? I have been able (in the past) to treat it acutely but I've been on Lyrica and pain meds and Celebrex since May of this year this time, and whenever I try to wean down, I get zonked again!! This is NO FUN which anyone suffering from ANY kind of pain knows. But how is the best way to treat this? I have found my blood sugar levels feel all over the board but when testing they aren't, which explains to me that the insulin and possibly cortisol (or adrenaline) that affect insulin excretion are probably the culprit making me feel hungry, weak, shaky, etc. So how do I stabilize this time? I'm not really sure what to do as it seems it's so much worse now than it ever was in the past. A follow up article on effective treatments would be great. ;)
    Reply Reply

    fibro-amplified pain
    Posted by: Watermaiden
    Oct 7, 2010
    This article settled so many questions/conditions that are going on with my fibro now. I seem to be able to experience intense pain in places that are not nor have ever been injured! A recent flare sent me screaming to my doctor A)this was a before now never experienced situation B) the pain was to me life threatening not to be ignored. Now i know on a concious level, that there is no cause to the pain and it can happen! I am frustrated by the "it can just happen" aspect of the situation but at the same time a large part of my coping skills are holding the belief that this too shall pass. Now i know a "phantom pain" can cause just as much havoc as the real thing! unfortunatly learning to calm myself in this new situation is going to be a rough one to learn.
    Reply Reply

    Amplified pain
    Posted by: Svette_Palme
    Oct 10, 2010
    This article is one of the absolute BEST at describing the way I perceive my Fibro pains. It started a whole new line of thought for me and others.
    Reply Reply

    Amplified Pain - and link to another helpful article
    Posted by: dzin8
    Oct 18, 2010
    Thank you for this excellent article. It really explains the details of the current understanding of the cause of Fibromyalgia symptoms. I recently read another great article about gluten and grains. Please take time to read it (link below) -- It really helped me to make logical sense as to why gluten and other grains can cause a myriad of problems in humans. Because almost all of our processed foods have one grain or another mixed in, I believe we have just been overdosed. For me, giving up the offending grains has made quite a significant difference in the severity of my symptoms. I hope that this might help others who have to deal with this frustrating dis-ease. http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2010/09/19/paleo-diet-solution/#more-3109
    Reply Reply

    Loss of Appetite with my Fibromyalgia
    Posted by: drudge
    Oct 25, 2013
    Four years ago I lost my appetite. I became very ill and part of the illness was loss of appetite. Of course seeking medical help was of no help to me as I have actually had doctors tell me I needed a counselor, I was putting on, etc.

    I had extreme pelvic pain. Although there was nothing wrong with my bladder, I felt like I had PID. All I wanted to do was lie in bed on my right side. And that is about all I did do for four years. As my weight went down and food became an issue for me I dropped thirty pounds and felt an looked terrible. I was unable to have foods with salt or any spices, I was too weak to prepare much food, I became very sensitive to dairy and wheat products which really narrowed what I was able to eat. It was so hard. No one could help me. Out of desperation I made an appointment with a physical therapist that did gyrokinesis. She was able to help me stretch and do simple exercises that were not difficult. Here Gyro tower was great for helping me with my pain and not losing any more muscle mass (I am sixty and was pretty stiff. Also I have had cancer twice and have bone issues now). At any rate, my daughter had twins a year ago and I was not able to visit her and endure the 9 hour plane ride because I was too ill. Finally, accepting that there were no medical practitioners or anything I could beyond with I was doing, I prayed that God would send me a healing. And He did. I know it sounds corny but it happened. I now have an appetite that I cannot turn off, have gained weight and feel stronger than ever. The pelvic pain is gone. I am going to Europe in a few days to see my little family. I hope this helps someone and I know that faith is very important now more than ever. God has saved my life. Of course I still have bad fibro days and my feet are a continual problem. But my overall health has improved so much I wanted to share this with someone that it my help. Thanks-
    Reply Reply


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