Fibromyalgia (FM) is a mysterious pain syndrome with progressive and widespread pain, explicit areas of tender points, stiffness, sleep disturbance, fatigue, and psychological distress without any obvious disease. FM is commonly perceived as a condition of central pain and sensory augmentation. There are documented functional abnormalities in pain and sensory processing in FM.
Central sensitization and lack of descending analgesic activity are the 2 leading mechanisms that have been demonstrated by advance in both basic and clinical research. The pathogenesis of FM may also be attributed to the genetic polymorphisms involving serotoninergic, dopaminergic, and catecholaminergic systems. Any psychiatric disorders and psychosocial influences in FM may also affect the severity of pain. The various external stimuli or trigger such as infection, trauma, and stress may all contribute to/proceed to presentation of FM.
The recent launches of 3 US Food and Drug Administration-approved pharmacotherapy for FM namely pregabalin, duloxetine, and milnacipran have certainly raised the profile of optimal chronic pain management.
• Appropriate evaluation and efficacious management of acute pain has not been as well publicized as chronic pain in FM.
• Acute pain or flare up caused by any trauma or surgery certainly may present a real challenge for patients with FM and their health care providers.
• Pre-emptive analgesia and pro-active treatment may offer the momentum for acute pain control based on model of central sensitization and pain in FM.
This review article on FM appraises the modern practice of multimodal therapy focus on both acute and chronic pain management.
Meanwhile, the evolving nonpharmacological approach is summarized and stressed as an essential component of integrated care in FM.
Source: American Journal of Therapeutics, May 7, 2010. PMID: 20458213, by Hsu ES. Department of Anesthesiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA.