While the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. Research has shown some interesting facts that indicates that the cause likely lays in the balance of the autonomic nervous system. The nervous system that runs important things like our heart beat, breathing and many things we don’t commonly think about. Various physical factors (such as infection or injury) may play a role in causing symptoms, although if not properly treated patients can report a lifelong history of chronic pain.
With fibromyalgia, the muscles and tendons are overly irritated by many painful stimuli. This could to be due to an increased perception of pain, a phenomenon often called “central sensitization.” Many times other conditions also develop as a result of central sensitization, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also called myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS); headaches; pelvic and bladder pain; and even jaw and facial pain.
While there we are still learning how or why central sensitization occurs in many people, the most explanation suggests that it may be related to genetic component. People with a parent and or a sibling with fibromyalgia have a greater chance of developing it as well. In many cases, stressors such as infection (eg, Lyme disease or viral disease), illnesses that cause joint inflammation (eg, rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), physical trauma, and sleep disturbances will often trigger fibromyalgia.
Brain imaging studies in people with fibromyalgia have shown changes in areas of brain function. Research is continuing, many factors that lead to chronic pain in fibromyalgia are becoming understood. There are many treatments that can help fibromyalgia. If you or someone you love is suffering from fibromyalgia and need assistance please contact us by clicking here.