Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by systemic pain, to diagnose FM there has to be a consistent reporting of 12-19 points of musculoskeletal pain. Usually the pain occurs around the joints these are called tender points, tender points do not include the joints themselves or this could be indicative of arthritis. FM is often is accompanied by fatigue, insomnia, memory/cognition issues and emotional disturbance.
Fibromyalgia amplifies pain signals to the brain by affecting the way your brain processes those signals this is called central sensitisation which relays to sensitisation of nerve pathways to pain response nerves, these trigger pain. Another way pain is amplified is via inflammatory pathways which further sensitise nerve ending exacerbating hyposensitised nerves until they can trigger pain at the lightest touch.
Symptoms of FM usually occur after a physical or emotional trauma, surgery or infection.
Inflammation and FM
Inflammation in the body often equals pain. Because it is the inflammatory response which causes the tissues to swell. for example in the gut inflammation triggers stretch receptors which cause us to feel discomfort/bloating or pain. In the muscles inflammation causes irregularities in the tissue resulting in what we commonly call knots which trigger pain responses. Inflammation in the joints causes the liquid around the joints to swell painfully (usually in rheumatoid arthritis) but in the muscles around the joints which is indicative of FM.
Long term inflammation can lead to the damage of tissues (muscles, ligaments and bone) this tissue damage eventually leads to cardiovascular disease; gastric dysfunction (leaky gut, IBS); mood disorders like anxiety, depression and cancer.
Regulating inflammation is often a key to pain reduction this can be achieved with various approaches through diet, nutrition, lifestyle and supplementation.
If you or your loved ones need help managing their fibromyalgia consider our wellness package where we can help to get them a better quality of life. At Balance Naturopathy each treatment plan is individually tailored for your needs and is thoughtfully crafted to suit your lifestyle.
This package is for those who are not feeling right and need some help finding the cause of their complaint, so they can get back to their ideal health balance.