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Central sensitivity syndromes: mounting pathophysiologic evidence to link fibromyalgia with other common chronic pain disorders

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to review emerging data from the fields of nursing, rheumatology, dentistry, gastroenterology, gynecology, neurology, and orthopedics that support or dispute pathophysiologic similarities in pain syndromes studied by each specialty.

A literature search was performed through PubMed and Ovid using the terms fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bladder/interstitial cystitis, headache, chronic low back pain, chronic neck pain, functional syndromes, and somatization. Each term was linked with pathophysiology and/or central sensitization. This paper presents a review of relevant articles with a specific goal of identifying pathophysiologic findings related to nociceptive processing.

The extant literature presents considerable overlap in the pathophysiology of these diagnoses. Given the psychosomatic lens through which many of these disorders are viewed, demonstration of evidence-based links supporting shared pathophysiology between these disorders could provide direction to clinicians and researchers working to treat these diagnoses.

“Central sensitivity syndromes” denotes an emerging nomenclature that could be embraced by researchers investigating each of these disorders. Moreover, a shared paradigm would be useful in promoting cross-fertilization between researchers.

Scientists and clinicians could most effectively forward the understanding and treatment of fibromyalgia and other common chronic pain disorders through an appreciation of their shared pathophysiology.

Copyright © 2011 American Society for Pain Management Nursing. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21349445 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC3052797

Free PMC Article

Source:  Kindler LL, Bennett RM, Jones KD. Central sensitivity syndromes: mounting pathophysiologic evidence to link fibromyalgia with other common chronic pain disorders. Pain Manag Nurs. 2011 Mar;12(1):15-24. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2009.10.003. Epub 2009 Dec 2.

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