Fibromyalgia, a debilitating, chronic pain that runs from the neck to the shoulders to the lower back to the hips to the knees and affects millions of people worldwide, especially women, is not an ‘imaginary illness’ scientists have discovered.
Doctors were convinced that Fibromyalgia was more an imaginary and psychological disorder than an actual physical ailment.
Breakthrough research shows that the illness is not imaginary and is actually caused by an excess of nerve fibers in the blood vessels.
Fibromyalgia actually means “pain in connective tissue and muscles” and people who suffer from the illness report a variety of symptoms that occur at the same time: body pain, headache, sleeplessness, stomach problems, and stiffness.
American neurologists made the discovery when they tested the hands of non-sensory individuals by pricking a needle into their skin. They then repeated that process with people who claimed to suffer from Fibromyalgia and found that an exaggerated amount of a specific nerve vessel known as ‘Arterial Venules (AV)’ responded to the pricking. Up until this discovery, scientists were convinced the AVs were strictly responsible for controlling blood flow in the blood cells. But now the researchers know that there is a direct link between the nerve endings and widespread body pain.
The study also explains why people suffering from Fibromyalgia have extremely oversensitive hands and other tender areas on the body.
Thanks to the breakthrough discovery, scientists are now hopeful they can develop treatment and possibly a cure for the illness.
Source: Pain Medicine, May 20, 2013. By Phillip J. Albrecht Ph.D., Quanzhi Hou MD Ph.D., Charles E. Argoff MD, James R. Storey MD, James P. Wymer MD Ph.D., and Frank L. Rice Ph.D. Integrated Tissue Dynamics, LLC, Rensselaer, New York, USA; Center for Neuropharmacology & Neuroscience, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York, USA.