The ICD-11 has now classified Fibromyalgia under Chronic Primary Pain
Fibromyalgia is a Mind Body Syndrome condition, which is a stress illness
It has been well documented that there is now an epidemic increase in the symptomatic syndromes the medical community recognises as chronic symptomatic syndromes.
These chronic syndromes can include diagnoses of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Syndromes, Chronic Headaches, Neuralgias, Radiculopathies, Neuropathies, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Dysautonomia.
All of the above must have been thoroughly investigated to have no definitive organic or structural cause like infections, inflammation, tumours, fractures, or nerve damage.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by widespread pain and can be accompanied by the following primary symptoms:
- Widespread pain described as a constant dull ache on both sides of the body, and above and below the waist - that has been chronic and persistent, for a period of greater than three months
- Chronic fatigue, often associated with insomnia and restless leg syndrome
- Cognitive difficulties often referred to as fibro fog or brain fog which impairs cognitive functions such as attention, concentration, and information processing
Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals - the nervous system becomes hypersensitive to sensory signals.
This suggests that predictive coding and central sensitisation are involved which is suggestive that Fibromyalgia is a Functional Mind Body Syndrome and that the pain is chronic persistent neuroplastic pain.
Repeated nerve stimulation causes the brain and spinal cord of people with fibromyalgia to change, with an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain.
There may or may not be a triggering event. In some cases, symptoms may be precipitated by a triggering event such as physical trauma, surgery, infection, or a traumatic experience that causes significant psychological stress and/or distress.
In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event. Fibromyalgia is more likely to develop in women than in men and epigenetics may play a role in this process.
There may also be comorbid coexisting conditions such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Migraine and other types of headaches
- Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Postural tachycardia syndrome
Medication may help some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Although more research needs to be conducted on fibromyalgia, mind body or neural pathway-based treatment approach similar to that for treating chronic persistent neuroplastic pain is always worth considering, as there is significant evidence to support the benefits of these approaches in other chronic functional pain conditions.
If, once you have had all treatable organic causes of your pain excluded and treated, and your pain persists, or gets worse, then it is worth considering whether your fibromyalgia is actually neuroplastic.
This is a condition I can help you with
I have recovered from neuroplastic pain myself and developed ThePainRecoveryProgram as a result.
I am skilled in the diagnostic assessment of these conditions.
Make an appointment to see me for diagnostic assessment and advice regarding treatment options.