Monday, December 5, 2011

Nerve to Muscle and the Role in Fibromyalgia

Research continues to tell us that fibromyalgia involves the breakdown of normal messaging in the brain, which is further sensitized by peripheral nervous system dysfunction, particularly in the muscle. This results in what is known as centralization of pain.

Chronic myofascial pain from myofascial trigger points which are caused by an excessive release of acetylcholine, a chemical neuro messenger, is prevalent in fibromyalgia and helps explain muscle pain and dysfunction. Myofascial trigger points are known as the great neurological imitators. When coupled with fibromyalgia this peripheral input further sensitizes the brain and it becomes a vicious cycle.

Learn more about chronic myofascial pain.

It is difficult to deny the brains ability to resurrect previous pain experiences or detach the emotional center from the physical response. Conditioning responses is important and why treatment takes a multidimensional approach. These various treatments, medication, stretching movement such as Yoga, gradual exercise after bringing myofascial trigger points under control, meditation, T’ai Chi for promoting balance input to the brain are all important for putting a tire tool in the spokes of this wheel spinning out of control between the brain and the periphery.

All blogs, posts and answers are based on the work in Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Celeste Cooper, RN, and Jeff Miller, PhD. 2010, Vermont: Healing Arts press and are not meant to replace medical advice. Website

This blog is based on my original answer at ShareCare, What role do nerves play in fibromyalgia? View my other answered questions as fibromyalgia expert.


Affaitati G, Costantini R, Fabrizio A, Lapenna D, Tafuri E, Giamberardino MA.Effects of treatment of peripheral pain generators in fibromyalgia patients. Eur J Pain. 2011 Jan;15(1):61-9.

Bazzichi L, Rossi A, Massimetti G, Giannaccini G, Giuliano T, De Feo F, Ciapparelli A, Dell'Osso L, Bombardieri S.Cytokine patterns in fibromyalgia and their correlation with clinical manifestations. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2007 Mar-Apr;25(2):225-30.

Bennett, R. Understanding Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia: A Review of Recent Discoveries
National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association: The Science of Fibromyalgia

Burgmer M, Gaubitz M, Konrad C, Wrenger M, Hilgart S, Heuft G, Pfleiderer B.
Decreased gray matter volumes in the cingulo-frontal cortex and the amygdala in patients with fibromyalgia. Psychosom Med. 2009 Jun;71(5):566-73. Epub 2009 May 4.

Carvalho LS, Correa H, Silva GC, Campos FS, Baião FR, Ribeiro LS, Faria AM, d'Avila Reis D.
May genetic factors in fibromyalgia help to identify patients with differentially altered frequencies of immune cells? Clin Exp Immunol. 2008 Dec;154(3):346-52.

Castro-Sanchez AM, Mataran-Penarrocha GA, Granero-Molina J et al. 2011. Benefits of massage-myofascial release therapy on pain, anxiety, quality of sleep, depression, and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011:561753.

Clauw DJ, Arnold LM, McCarberg BH; for the FibroCollaborative. The Science of Fibromyalgia Mayo Clin Proc. 2011 Sep;86(9):907-911.

Ge HY, Wang Y, Danneskiold-Samsøe B, Graven-Nielsen T, Arendt-Nielsen L. The predetermined sites of examination for tender points in fibromyalgia syndrome are frequently associated with myofascial trigger points. J Pain. 2010 Jul;11(7):644-51. Epub 2009 Nov 14.

Hubbard JE. Myofascial Trigger Points: What Physicians Should Know about these Neurological Imitators Minn Med. 2010 May;93(5):42-5.

Lee YC, Nassikas NJ, Clauw DJ. The role of the central nervous system in the generation and maintenance of chronic pain in rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
Arthritis Res Ther. 2011 Apr 28;13(2):211. [Epub ahead of print]

Lyon P, Cohen M, Quintner J. An evolutionary stress-response hypothesis for chronic widespread pain (fibromyalgia syndrome). Pain Med. 2011 Aug;12(8):1167-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01168.x. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

Macedo JA, Hesse J, Turner JD, Ammerlaan W, Gierens A, Hellhammer DH, Muller CP.
Adhesion molecules and cytokine expression in fibromyalgia patients: increased L-selectin on monocytes and neutrophils. J Neuroimmunol. 2007 Aug;188(1-2):159-66. Epub 2007 Jun 28.

Petersel DL, Dror V, Cheung R. Central amplification and fibromyalgia: disorder of pain processing. J Neurosci Res. 2011 Jan;89(1):29-34.

No comments:

Celeste's Website

Celeste's Website
Click on the picture