It is a fact that if you have chronic pain, only another person with chronic pain can truly understand how it feels. For many of you, it is frustrating to know you have pain but have little hope of a diagnosis, let alone relief.
Many chronic conditions such as tension headaches, fibromyalgia, IBS, migraines, and myofascial pain may be a result of CSS (Central sensitivity syndrome). In patients with CSS, the central nerve system becomes hypersensitive to pain stimuli in a condition called hyperalgesia. It can also cause widespread and persistent pain and pain from touching (allodynia).
In an individual without chronic pain, receptors in our ligaments, muscles, skin, and joints detect tissue damage. This damage can be from inflammation, injury, or disease. Numerous neurotransmitters that exist in each cell send electrical impulses from the pain receptor, through the peripheral nerve, up the spinal cord, finally ending at your brain. Your brain then interprets and processes the signals.
When you suffer an injury, you may develop acute or “short-term” pain from inflammation or damage. Eventually, the acute pain subsides though the length of time it takes to heal varies based on your injury. The cause of acute pain is known and, therefore, the course it will take is usually predictable. If you think about a needle pricking your finger, you can see that the sensation is always the same. The pain goes from your finger, up your arm, and to your brain in relatively the same way. This is not the case with chronic pain.
FIBROMYALGIA AND CENTRAL SENSITIVITY PAIN THEORY
If you have chronic inflammation or suffer from repetitive injuries your brain is receiving continuous electrical impulses. Over time, pain signals become amplified because your brain stays hyper-excited. Even when pain signals should not be present, your brain still believes that they are, frequently amplifying them in the process. It becomes automatic and lasts long after the original injury is healed. A low pain threshold from allodynia, and depleted stress coping chemicals, poor sleep, excess weight, and poor diet, causes pain to be magnified. Doesn’t matter if your pain is being triggered from fibro, past surgeries, scar tissue, osteoarthritis (wear and tear arthritis), old injury, or other pain triggering condition. When your pain threshold is low pain no matter from where is more pronounced!
In fibromyalgia patients, this method of abnormal pain processing can be seen. Fibro symptoms including hyperalgesia , CFS, IBS, muscle pain, headaches, and allodynia are frequent even though there is no inflammation or damage present.
No matter what you read or hear from the Internet, for the most part fibromyalgia isn’t due to inflammation! I write based on two decades testing for and often times not finding ANY inflammatory markers in my fibro patients. Yes some do have elevated CRP and SED rates but just as many perhaps more don’t have elevated inflammation markers. Very, very few, one percent have an autoimmune marker like rheumatoid or Lupus show up in blood work.
So the key, very important you get this concept, the key is to raise your pain threshold so that pain, often times due to stress, is less magnified.
In many cases, the pain started off as mild, but over time developed and worsened. For many patients, there have been several years of medication while waiting for a diagnosis.
The idea behind central sensitivity is that it can provide a good, focused direction for researching all of these related syndromes and diseases. If we find that chronic conditions are actually caused by central sensitivity than it provides us ideas for treatments, both pharmaceutical and all-natural.
Unity of Body and Mind
The great thing about managing your pain through yoga, diet, supplements, meditation, cognitive therapies, and the countless other medicine-free treatments is that they work together and don’t have side effects. They are designed to get you healthy and not just suppress symptoms. It’s not about a handful of supplements and simply eating gluten free, both good steps in right direction. It is about finding and fixing the underlying causes of fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, low thyroid, allodynia, poor sleep, food allergies, and other missed causes of fibromyalgia.
And unlike prescription medications, they don’t have potential life robbing side effects. Pain meds, antidepressants, Lyrica, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds are often recommend but just as often are ineffective for long term pain relief. No one has a drug deficiency. The only way to beat fibromyalgia is to get healthy and drugs don’t make you healthy. Sometimes they are your only choice, but they come with a price to pay. Pain meds cause all sorts of problems from mental clarity issues, GI complaints, constipation, depression, fatigue, and more. Antidepressants often interfere with deep restorative sleep, may actually cause more pain, and yield little relief, at least long term. Every medication, even medical marijuana comes with potential side effects.
(And yes , FOR THOSE WHO WILL ASK, of all the prescription choices, I’d support medical marijuana or CBD – but only after and in addition to trying and implanting the natural pain recommendation I reveal in my book, Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. www.getfibrobooks.com or on Amazon.com)
Covering up symptoms with more and more drugs doesn’t work. There are just too many symptoms to cover up.
Restoring deep restorative sleep will often dramatically reduce pain. Taking the right combination of high dose vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids to build up your stress coping chemicals and raise your pain threshold, will often reduce your pain by 50-60 percent.
You can learn more and how to reduce chronic pain in my book, Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: www.getfibrobooks.com or on Amazon.com