A caress, a simple rub, moving, or just doing nothing are things that most people find enjoyable and enjoyable. In general, we enjoyed the sensations that our body transmits to us, unless they cause us some kind of discomfort or pain.
However, this exception is the norm for many people who feel chronically ill throughout most of their body without any obvious disease causing it. These are people who suffer from fibromyalgia.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a well-known disease that is characterized mainly by the presence of a constant musculoskeletal pain spreads throughout the body. This pain is diffuse and nonspecific and lasts more than three months of persistence.
It also shows hypersensitivity in different points of the body, called trigger points, in which there is usually hyperalgesia. The threshold from which is reduced a perception becomes painfulSo the slightest rubbing at these points can trigger feelings of great pain.
We saw that these people frequently suffer from symptoms of depression and anxiety, Symptoms which may be a consequence of the chronicity of your condition and of not knowing the causes of your condition. However, it has also been suggested that their presence may be part of the symptoms of the disorder. They tend to suffer from sleep issues such as concomitant insomnia or frequent awakenings, which in turn facilitates their discomfort and fatigue.
It is also not uncommon for muscle stiffness to manifest itself in the form of cramps, seizures, and even tremors. It’s also common for people with fibromyalgia to get tired very easily without having to put in a lot of effort. sometimes these symptoms are in addition to the presence of other disordersBut these do not explain the generalized pain.
The medical analysis of the patients does not reflect any signs of alterations or injuries that could cause pain. In fact, for many years it is now considered a somatomorphic disease, Since no sign of actual injury is found, even though the perceived pain and pain is real. However, today it is considered a rheumatic disease. It is more common in women than in men.
Causes of this disorder
Fibromyalgia is a disorder whose exact causes are still unknown today, not having been localized in this disease. no specific injuries that can cause general pain.
However, research indicates a dysfunction in the transmission of serotonin and substance P, which is impaired in many of these patients. More precisely, a decrease in serotonin levels has been detected while there is an increase in substance P (the latter is strongly involved in the perception of pain).
Altered levels of these substances could cause abnormal reaction of nervous circuits and the pathways related to the sensation of pain, causing the body to interpret different sensations as painful.
In addition to this, it was considered that it may be due to aspects such as sensitivity to nickel or gluten (although without reaching intolerance), but there is still not enough data in this regard. .
It has also been considered that the presence of stressful and / or traumatic events can contribute to the appearance of the disorder and its maintenance, especially since it is frequent to occur. side of mood or anxiety disorders. This, as we noted above, may be due to the patient feeling helpless and hopeless that they cannot explain their condition.
Treatment of fibromyalgia
Due to the definitive ignorance of the causes of fibromyalgia, the treatment applied usually focuses on relieving their symptoms and improving the patient’s quality of life from a multidisciplinary perspective.
At the pharmacological level, they have been applied hypnotics-sedatives such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants with the aim of reducing fatigue, possible muscle spasms and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
They are also in common use pain relievers and anti-inflammatories in order to try to decrease the level of perceived pain.
At the psychological level, it is recommended to use multimodal programs that take into account a large number of factors essential to improve the condition of the subject in question.
In these programs, the use of relaxation, meditation and biofeedback strategies in order to try to decrease the intensity of the pain and to have more capacity to manage it. Exercise has been found to be useful in treatment, especially those of the aerobic type which are performed in water.
cal that the patient can express his feelings and fears as well as to work on these and the feelings of helplessness that he may have, so that the subject perceives himself as more competent and able to control the situation.
It also helps the patient trying to make sense of the pain and reinterpret itYou are looking to be able to establish different strategies that allow you to cope with the disorder.
Psychoeducation for the patient and his environment it is also essential, as it is reassuring to receive information about the problem in question (keep in mind that most people do not know what is happening to them) and strategies to apply to reduce it. In addition, the fact that there are no injuries may cause the environment to think that the person may be faking a disorder.
Clariana, SM and Dels Riós, P. (2012). Health psychology. CEDE PIR preparation manual. CEDE: Madrid.
Smith, HS; Harris, R. and Claw, D. (2011). Fibromyalgia: a related treatment disorder that leads to a complex generalized pain syndrome. Pain doctor; 14.