Do People with Fibromyalgia Process Pain Differently?

This new study on fibromyalgia suggests that they might. Participants had their fibro pain stimulated by a blood pressure cuff, and brain scans revealed the pain regions in the brain that were activated. These scans also showed what happened in the brain when there was an anticipation of pain and when it was supposed to be subdued.

 

This fibro clinical study revealed that people with this syndrome experience a different sequence of events than the average person. It has also provided great insight into why narcotics don’t seem to be effective against fibromyalgia symptoms.

 

Processing Pain and Relief Cues

“The healthy volunteers go from a state of no pain to a state of pain,” says Dr. John Kassel, the director of neuromuscular medicine at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, “fibromyalgia patients go from a lower state of pain to a higher level of pain which could affect the way they process the pain and relief cues.”

 

The average person can disregard some forms of experiential pain, but fibro sufferers cannot. “That capability seems to be dampened if not eliminated,” explains Dr. Lynn Webster, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Continue…

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