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What role do nerves play in fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is generally seen as dysregulation in the brain processing of the chemicals that regulate pain. Researchers have shown abnormal processing pain in several brain regions known to play a role in pain control. These areas have been shown to have excess excitatory nerve chemicals (substance P, glutamate), low levels of inhibitory nerve chemicals, (serotonin and norepinephrine) in descending pathways in the spinal cord.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The actual cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but some researchers link fibromyalgia to trauma to the central nervous system. People with fibromyalgia may have higher levels of substance P, a nerve chemical signal. This may result in extreme hypersensitivity to pain. For some people with fibro, a gust of wind can make them miserable because it hurts their skin. This dramatic disturbance in pain perception may be why this syndrome is sometimes hard to treat without the proper medications approved for fibromyalgia.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
There is a lot we don't know about fibromyalgia, which is why this pain syndrome is sometimes difficult for doctors to accurately diagnose and treat. However, new findings link fibromyalgia to problems within the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the spinal cord and the brain. Some scientists believe that certain dysfunctions with fibromyalgia that occur in the muscles, connective tissue, and the peripheral nervous system that communicate with the CNS. It could be that these malfunctions result in some of the main fibromyalgia symptoms such as deep muscle pain, difficulty sleeping, low mood, and fatigue. Time will tell whether these researchers are correct about the causes of fibromyalgia. 
Jacob Teitelbaum
Integrative Medicine
Over 50% of people with fibromyalgia also have nerve pain. This is usually either a mix of carpal tunnel syndrome or pain in the small nerves. Fortunately, treatment is effective for this as well as for the muscle pain.

There is no true cause for fibromyalgia. However, it does appear that the central nervous system is involved and that the nerve endings are overstimulated or oversensitive. This oversensitivity may lead to a heightened pain response which is more intense and perhaps related to the overstimulation or sensitization.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.