Did you know the ICD-11 has now classified Fibromyalgia under Chronic Primary Pain as Chronic widespread pain?
The pain and suffering are real and can result in negative psychobehavioral consequences, including demoralisation, hopelessness, avoidance and withdrawal from society and life. There may be the presence of psychosocial factors with catastrophizing, excessive worry, fear, and anger which can ruin your relationships and your ability to work. You may have unrecognised and unprocessed repressed and unexpressed emotions you need to deal with.
It has been well documented that there is now an epidemic increase in the symptomatic syndromes the medical community recognises as chronic symptomatic syndromes.
These chronic syndromes can include diagnoses of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Syndromes, Chronic Headaches, Neuralgias, Radiculopathies, Neuropathies, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Dysautonomia.
All of the above must have been thoroughly investigated for no definitive organic or structural cause like infections, inflammation, tumours, fractures, or nerve damage.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by widespread pain and can be accompanied by the following primary symptoms:
- Widespread pain is described as a constant dull ache on both sides of the body, and above and below the waist – that has been chronic and persistent for a period of greater than three months.
- Chronic fatigue is often associated with insomnia and restless leg syndrome.
- Cognitive difficulties often referred to as fibro fog or brain fog which impair cognitive functions such as attention, concentration, and information processing.
Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting how your brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals – your nervous system becomes hypersensitive to sensory signals.
This suggests that predictive coding and central sensitisation are involved, which is suggestive that Fibromyalgia is a Functional Mind Body Syndrome and that your pain is Chronic Primary Pain.
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Repeated nerve stimulation causes the brain and spinal cord of people with fibromyalgia to change, with an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain.
There may or may not be a triggering event. Sometimes, symptoms may be precipitated by a triggering event such as physical trauma, surgery, infection, or a traumatic experience that causes significant psychological stress and/or distress.
In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event. Fibromyalgia is more likely to develop in women than in men, and epigenetics may play a role in this process.
There may also be comorbid and/or coexisting conditions such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Migraine and other types of headaches
- Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Postural tachycardia syndrome
Medication may help with some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Although more research needs to be conducted on fibromyalgia, a mind-body or neural pathway-based treatment approach similar to that for treating Chronic Primary Pain is always worth considering, as there is significant evidence to support the benefits of these approaches in other chronic functional pain conditions.
If, once you have had all treatable organic causes of your pain excluded and treated, and your pain persists or gets worse, then it is worth considering whether your fibromyalgia is actually neuroplastic and actually a Chronic Primary Pain condition.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that we can help you with. We have an in-depth understanding of fibromyalgia and have developed an effective treatment program for your recovery from this chronic pain condition.
We recognise that the most important target in treating chronic pain is your limbic system (emotional brain). Our entire Pain Recovery Program is designed to target these pathways underlying your chronic pain.
Our program teaches you to recognize, manage, and reduce your limbic systems’ threat physiology status. This will allow your brain to unlearn your chronic pain by creating new pathways in your brain so you move to a state of thriving physiology.
White River Manor has partnered with Dr Wayne Kampers, a renowned psychiatrist and pain recovery specialist, to create an exclusive 12-week Pain Recovery Program. Dr Kampers is an expert in chronic primary pain treatment and a pioneer in the field. He and his wife Laura, a Pain Reprocessing Therapist and Mind-Body Coach, will be sharing their decades of experience with White River Manor’s medical team. For more information, see our new pain recovery program.