A recent study took place of 31 fibromyalgia patients and 14 healthy ones to see why fibromyalgia patients are so sensitive to pain. According to the recent article in Medical News Today, they all had MRI scans and cuff pressure pain stimuli on their legs and at the same time all the patients were made aware by visual clues that pain was about to increase or that pain was going to stop.
This new research indicates that a disruption of brain signals for reward and punishment contributes to increased pain sensitivity (known as hyperalgesia) in fibromyalgia patients. Results published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology, suggest that this altered brain processing might contribute to widespread pain and lack of response to opioid therapy in patients with fibromyalgia.
Their findings suggest that fibromyalgia patients show altered brain responses to punishing and rewarding events, such as an expectancy of pain or relief of it. They say that this could explain the heightened sensitivity to pain, as well as the lack of effectiveness of pain medications like opioid, that are seen in fibromyalgia sufferers. They say that future studies should further investigate the neurochemical basis underlying these dysfunctions.
I’m not quite sure what this has achieved so far except to say what a lot of people say that pain in fibromyalgia is all in the head, or are they saying that we have a dysfunction in our brain that is telling us we are in pain, when in actual fact we are not ? What’s your reaction to this?