Fibromyalgia Mystery Finally Solved! Researchers Find Main Source of Pain in Blood Vessels

Fibromyalgia ranks among the most common pain-associated conditions in the States with more than   million American citizens affected by it. Women are the more common sufferers and since the condition is hereditary they often pass it on to the offspring.

Fibromyalgia is currently considered to be incurable but there are many treatments that significantly reduce the pain and make it more bearable. Since no doctor has ever been able to pinpoint the exact cause for this disease, many believed it to be a psychological disorder. However, it has recently come to light that the disease is in fact a physiological disorder and a study has finally been able to shed some light to the mysterious illness claiming that the root cause if discovered.

The study

This January the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain published a study conducted by a group of researchers in which they say that there’s a brain mark in people suffering from fibromyalgia which reveals a great deal about the pathophysiology of the disease and its most affected body parts like the legs, feet and hands.

How they came about this conclusion

The study was conducted on a group of patients, 37 of them fibromyalgia sufferers and 35 of them healthy individuals. They compared the two groups’ functional MRI to non-painful multisensory stimulation and painful pressure. Based on these comparisons they were able to recognize the brain-based fibromyalgia “moniker” which further indicates that the different parts of the brain had a different response to the stimulations.

The study also revealed that people suffering from fibromyalgia have more blood vessels going through their painful body areas.

Is the fibromyalgia mystery really resolved?

This study has revealed some groundbreaking facts about fibromyalgia but saying that the mystery is finally solved is not quite true. The results from the study didn’t solve the condition, rather:

  • They found the appropriate markers that will allow better diagnosis
  • They discovered the neural targets which can be targeted in interventions
  • Provided better framework to determine which methods of therapy are the most suited

All being said, we have to admit that this is a step into the right direction as it really verifies the pain these people are feeling is real even though there’s no evident damage to the specific painful areas.

What’s the next step?

Well, from here on we need to do more research on the subject and carry on trying to figure out more details about the pathophysiology of the disease. We need to learn more about how it affects the brain and the body as well and finally to find a method of treatment that will be effective to all fibromyalgia sufferers.

What are the current treatments for fibromyalgia and how effective are they?


  • Water exercises and similar workout programs that increase strength, stamina and flexibility.
  • Professional therapy for stress-relief and learning how to alleviate the pain
  • Counseling therapy to learn how to control the emotional and mental chronic pain causes

Alternative Options for Treatment

  • Acupuncture: This ancient Chinese method has proven to be effective in some people in reducing the pain.
  • Massage: Stimulating the body’s tissues and muscles can improve mobility and relax your muscles, many people find it useful in reducing the pain.
  • Tai chi and yoga: These methods involve deep breathing exercises and promote relaxation which can alleviate the stress and anxiety usually associated with fibromyalgia

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