I would first like to say thank you to those who inspired me to start this blog. We’ll be covering several topics from nutrition, to exercise. We will also have a condition of the month covering everything from how it occurs to treatment options that are available. My goal is to give you the big why. Why things occur, what led up to the problem, and is there hope once you’ve got the problem.
Our mission here is to give our patients the same quality of care that we would give our own families.
The Mayo clinic’s definition is as follows.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
Ok, so what does that tell you, other than it hurts?
Let’s start with pain itself. Pain is the brain’s response to an injury or perceived injury. The body is trying to protect itself.
There are 2 types of pain, The sharp stinging fast pain and the slow deteriorative nagging and throbbing pain.
Think of when you burn yourself on a stove, you pull back immediately out of reflex.
You feel pain and react, but it’s momentary, then you wait for a few moments to find out how bad it’s really going to hurt.
This is an example of the nerve fiber types you have in your body.
- Type A Thick mylenated fiber that conducts joint position sense, pressure, temperature etc.
- Type B Thick mylenated fiber that conducts joint position sense, pressure, temperature etc.
Both of these require a great deal of oxygen to function and are very fast conducting
- Type C Thin unmylenated, slow conductors that have a primary purpose of conducting pain (these are the ones causing slow aching, nagging body ache type pain.)
So let’s say a person is in a high state of stress, and is overloaded with home duties, taking care of a family, work functions, traffic, the cleaners etc. This means that the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight nervous system) is already ramped up as well as the pain pathways. (Pain is stressful)
With higher levels of stress, shallower breaths are taken, which will cause fatigue, will starve the larger A and B fibers that diminish and help regulate pain levels, and will cause a person not to be able to think clearly. (becoming more emotional)
This happens because the brain only eats three things, sugar, water, and oxygen.
Now let’s say there is a trauma to the body, a sprained or broken ankle for instance.
Now the pain reflex is going strong with an added stress of daily life, coupled with the worry of expense, time off of work, ability to pay for the work done at a medical facility. Pain and stress go hand in hand until there is a tipping point in the brain.
Due to all of the stress placed upon the body, it gets a case of give up. Now all incoming stimulus is interpreted as pain.
There is no A and B fiber stimulation to diminish pain levels.
The IML has been stimulated to a point where it fires immediately upon any stimulus. (think in terms of a deer trail being run on so often that it becomes a superhighway)
There is a high level of stress that is now being exacerbated by incoming pain levels, which is in turn causing more stress.
Less oxygen is getting to the brain and musculature so there is a great deal more depression anxiety and muscle atrophy.
It now hurts to move so the exact thing you should be doing to help decrease your pain levels is the last thing you want to do.
So now you’re in a mess.
How do you turn this around?
Thankfully, there are options. Unfortunately none of them are a quick turnaround.
The answer is to:
- Increase oxygenation to the tissues of the body and brain.
- Stimulate the A and B fibers to diminish pain.
- Retrain the neural pathways of the spinal cord to accept input as things other than pain.
- Stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Decrease stress.
Some of these things you can do on your own, some of them require assistance. I don’t care who you see to get the help you need, but I would urge you to see a chiropractor, a neurologist, or a pain management specialist.
Take care of yourselves the best way you know how and I promise to do the same.
Thank you so much for your time and attention.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at 972 722 2500 or firstname.lastname@example.org