Fibromyalgia (FM) and Central Nervous System Problems.

The central nervous system and Fibromyalgia (FM) have links. FM is a chronic syndrome that affects the muscle and soft tissue of the human body. It’s a long term condition and sufferers will typically experience severe muscle pain, decreased energy, exhaustion, sleep problems and insomnia, memory loss, abdominal problems and bloating, pain and tenderness all over the body. The condition is tricky to diagnose and as a result, the victim could go years without responding to treatment from a general physician.

FM Tender Points.

Though pain can manifest anywhere in the body on either side above or below the waist, a major indicator of FM is tenderness and pain around joints but not in the joints themselves. The victim will feel pain when the following parts of the body are pressed with a finger:

  • Upper chest region
  • Jaw and face
  • Sides of hips
  • Top of the shoulders
  • Outer elbow
  • Back of the head
  • Knees
  • Upper and side of the hips
  • Between the shoulder blades

The size of the area of tenderness is usually small, but a generalized hypersensitivity is also common with patients felling like they can’t control their thoughts. FM can be triggered by different events such as negative physical, social or emotional events or it can strike with no warning or triggers.

Facts and Statistics About FM.

FM affects approximately 2% of the American population with women being the most common victims as they age.

Sleep disorders associated with FM are quite distressing and include restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. Clinical observations and testing have observed patients have frequent sleep interruption episodes that will not allow them go back to sleep.

A particular study carried out on 168 FM patients indicated fibromyalgia could be traced to a disturbance in the central nervous system (CNS). Different test were carried out during the study including an auditory brainstem response (ABR) which checks responses from the cranial nerve controlling hearing and balance; another test monitored eye movements while sleeping; while a third test measured balance functions.

Results obtained from the tests include the following:

  • Up to 78% of the FM patients tested complained of dizziness or vertigo. The cases were mostly mild but 4% complained of experiencing constant, severe dizziness.
  • 15% of the FM patients presented with sensorineural hearing loss.
  • 30% of the test subjects, 51 people, recorded abnormal ABR test findings.
  • 58% of the FM patients were observed to have abnormal eye movements and 45% had abnormal results on the balance test.

Some studies have reported similar symptoms associated with whiplash associated disorders (WAD) and FM, especially pain sensitivity and effects on the central nervous system.

Dr. David Warwick D.C.

Warwick Chiropractic

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