Neurological Signs Common in Fibromyalgia
Some people believe fibromyalgia (FMS) is all in your head, new research suggests that it is in your head, literally. In a study, researchers found that people with FMS were more likely than those without the chronic pain condition to have poor balance, tingling and weakness in the arms and legs, and other "neurological" signs and symptoms.
In a study, researchers found that people with FMS were more likely than those without the chronic pain condition to have poor balance, tingling and weakness in the arms and legs, and other "neurological" signs and symptoms. The new findings, reported in the latest issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism, support a growing body of literature suggesting that the condition is real and also support the possibility that a "neuroanatomical" cause may underlie fibromyalgia.
Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Institute at Harborview, Seattle, and colleagues studied 166 people with FMS and 66 pain-free controls. All of them were examined by a neurologist who was unaware of their disease status. All study participants also completed a standard questionnaire on neurologic symptoms. In 27 of 29 neurological categories tested, significantly more neurologic symptoms were seen in the FMS group than in the control group, Watson and colleagues found.
FMS is a chronic condition characterized by a combination of widespread pain and debilitating fatigue. It is estimated that it affects 20 million 80–90% being women. FMS is a chronic condition, meaning it lasts a long time-possibly a lifetime. However, FMS is not a progressive disease. It is never fatal, and it won't cause damage to joints, muscles, or internal organs. In many people, the condition does improve over time if they have a healthy lifestyle.
People with FMS often see many doctors before being diagnosed and often feel “unheard” or begin to believe it is “in their head.” One reason for this may be that pain and fatigue, the main symptoms of FMS also are symptoms of many other conditions. Therefore, doctors need to rule out other possible causes of these symptoms before making a diagnosis of FMS and even then, many physicians do not believe in the diagnosis.
Neurological signs are common in fibromyalgia . It is not know whether these objective findings are due to problems in the brainstem or to disturbance of neck proprioception. As more studies are conducted, hopefully we can discover the answer to this problem.
Body Mind Publications
Written by Tyler Woods Ph.D.
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