Advertisement

Why are people with fibromyalgia more sensitive to pain than other people?

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain state where changes in the way the brain recognizes pain signals that travel through the spinal cord cause an enhancement in pain recognition. Pain experienced in the muscles (correct spelling: muscles) may actually be the end result of the brain's interpretation of these spinal cord signals. Hence the increased pain on movement and the aggravation of FM symptoms by even simple exertion.

Over the last few years a number of important research discoveries have started to clarify the enigma of chronic pain. Many of these new findings have a special relevance to the chronic pain of fibromyalgia. The cardinal symptom of FM is widespread body pain. The cardinal finding is the presence of focal areas of hyperalgesia, the tender points. Tender points imply that the person has a local area of reduced pain threshold, suggesting a peripheral pathology. In general, tender points occur at muscle tendon junctions, a site where mechanical forces are most likely to cause muscle micro-injuries. Many -- but not all -- people with FM have tender skin and an overall reduction in pain threshold. These latter observations suggest that some people with FM have a generalized pain amplification state. There has been a recent plethora of experimental studies apposite to the pathophysiological basis of both the peripheral and central aspects of pain.

Continue Learning about Physical Effects of Fibromyalgia

How does fibromyalgia affect my endocrine system?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
You could just as easily flip the question  and ask: How does my endocrine system affect my fibr...
More Answers
How common are bladder problems in people with fibromyalgia?
Dawn MarcusDawn Marcus
Bladder or urinary problems may also occur with fibromyalgia, although these have been studied l...
More Answers
Is fibromyalgia life threatening?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Fibromyalgia is not life threatening. The disorder can be painful and uncomfortable, but it won't ca...
More Answers
How does fibromyalgia cause temperature intolerance?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Among the many mysteries of fibromyalgia is why some people become very sensitive to cold temper...
More Answers

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.