pain is not in your head

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by charlenef, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. charlenef

    charlenef New Member


    Fibromyalgia Pain: It's for Real

    Researchers Say Chronic Pain Patients Don't Process Body's Natural
    Pain Relievers

    By Salynn Boyles
    WebMD Medical News

    Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
    on Thursday, November 30, 2006

    Nov. 30, 2006 -- There is now "overwhelming" scientific evidence
    showing that fibromyalgia and related chronic pain conditions are
    real, but their clinical management leaves much to be desired.

    That is the conclusion of two researchers from the University of
    Michigan who have studied fibromyalgia for several years.

    Because there has been no obvious physiological cause for the pain
    disorder, doctors still routinely dismiss fibromyalgia as being "in a
    patient's head."

    But after reviewing the research, Richard E. Harris, PhD, and Daniel
    J. Clauw, MD, write that it is increasingly clear that fibromyalgia is
    a central nervous system disorder and that patients experience
    hypersensitivity to pain. There also appears to be a fairly strong
    genetic component to fibromyalgia and related conditions.

    "It is time for us to move past the rhetoric about whether these
    conditions are real, and take these patients seriously as we endeavor
    to learn more about the causes and most effective treatments for these
    disorders," Harris and Clauw write in the December issue of the
    journal Current Pain and Headache Reports.

    Brain Imaging Studies

    As many as 10 million Americans may have fibromyalgia, according to
    The National Fibromyalgia Association.

    The disorder is characterized by chronic pain throughout the body, but
    symptoms may also include fatigue, headaches, and problems with memory
    and concentration.

    Brain imaging studies conducted at the University of Michigan and
    other research centers in recent years show clear differences in
    responses to pain stimulation among people with and without fibromyalgia.

    Compared to people without the disorder, fibromyalgia patients showed
    increased brain activity in response to pain.

    "These studies indicate that fibromyalgia patients have abnormalities
    within their central brain structures," Clauw says.

    Research by Harris, Clauw, and colleagues also suggests that
    fibromyalgia patients don't process the body's natural pain relievers
    as efficiently as people without the disorder.

    "We think that these may have both a heightened sensitivity to pain
    and this dysfunction in their analgesic [painkilling] mechanism,"
    Harris tells WebMD. "It is not yet clear how this all fits together."

    National Fibromyalgia Association president and founder Lynne
    Matallana tells WebMD that the doctors who treat fibromyalgia patients
    face a unique challenge.

    "This is a new paradigm for medical professionals to understand," she
    says. "It isn't a virus, or bacteria or inflammation. It isn't a tumor
    or something else that you can see. It is a problem within the
    pain-processing center of the central nervous system."

    Treatment Options Still Few

    While the recent research has done much to improve the understanding
    of fibromyalgia and related chronic pain conditions, few advances have
    been made in the treatment of these disorders, Harris says.

    The use of medications such as antidepressants can help some patients
    with fibromyalgia. And regular exercise seems to help many patients.

    Acupuncture has been shown to reduce pain in some studies, but not
    others, he adds.

    Matallana says several drug companies are in the later stages of
    testing several new drugs designed specifically for the treatment of
    fibromyalgia, which target the central nervous system.

    "We are really excited about this research," she says.

    Sue B

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    [This Message was Edited on 12/05/2006]
  2. Hope4Sofia

    Hope4Sofia New Member

    I watched a show about hypochondriacs a few weeks ago and it really upset me. Not only does that encourage docs not to take us seriously but it caused me to question myself.

    It's nice to be supported by the medical community.

  3. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    I copied 4 copies for my Doctors.I gave a copy to mu neurologist yesterday.

    She was happy that I gave it to her.I am luck cause she has a very close friend who has FM and CF.She totally understands what I go through.

    Thanks for posting it maybe others should give it to theirs.
  4. Aghllw

    Aghllw New Member

    Thanks for posting this! It helps me also to read that this is REAL! We all know that it is....but there are so many out there in our lives and the medical community that question all or part of our symptoms.

    Thanks and I hope you are doing well today!