Unraveling Fibromyalgia: Exploring The Neurobiology of Chronic Pain

Fibromyalgia is a chronic (long-term) illness that results in pain, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and tenderness throughout the body. Individuals with the disease have an increased sensitivity to pain, although the exact explanation is still unknown to scientists.

Physicians and other healthcare professionals can help in managing and treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, but there is no known cure. Behavioral and psychological therapies, medicine, exercise, or other movement therapies are commonly used in combination for treatment.

What are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

A few of the common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • An impaired reaction to pain – fibromyalgia sufferers frequently react to both painful and non-painful stimuli with pain.
  • Widespread Pain – This describes the discomfort throughout most or all of the body, the top and bottom half, as well as both sides. Frequently, it is a low-grade, dull ache that persists for at least three months.
  • Chronic Fatigue – Chronic fatigue syndrome leaves many fibromyalgia sufferers exhausted most of the time. Some people with chronic fatigue might experience daytime sleepiness, sleep disruption, and/or poor-quality sleep in general.
  • Sleep Disruptions: Individuals with chronic pain experience disturbed sleep patterns and poor-quality sleep. People who struggle to get any sleep at all due to the illness could have worse symptoms.
  • Mood Swings: People with fibromyalgia frequently experience mood swings accompanied by irregular energy levels, as well as worry and depression. Extreme psychological discomfort may be experienced by certain patients.
  • Fibro Fog: Often called “fibro fog”, chronic pain impairs a person’s ability to concentrate and think clearly. Memory and learning capacity are frequently severely compromised.

In addition to these common symptoms, fibromyalgia patients may also have obesity, temporomandibular joint abnormalities, poor posture, weakened immune systems, recurring infections, and digestive problems. Myalgic encephalomyelitis, mast cell activation syndrome, PTSD, restless leg syndrome, and myofascial pain syndrome are other disorders linked to fibromyalgia.

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

Researchers believe that the brain and spinal cord of patients suffering from fibromyalgia may have altered as a result of repetitive nerve stimulation. Atypically, high concentrations of specific brain-signaling chemicals are responsible for this alteration.

The brain’s pain receptors also appear to grow hypersensitive or to respond to both painful and non-painful impulses, as if they were developing a kind of memory of the pain.

These alterations might be the result of multiple factors, such as genetics, infections, and physical or emotional events.


A weak metabolism, physical trauma, chronic illness, and poor lifestyle choices seem to be the main risk factors for fibromyalgia. Despite their apparent use, opioids are frequently ineffectual as a form of treatment. For the treatment of symptoms, low doses of antidepressants, antiepileptics, and mild opioids may be helpful. Consistent exercise, a nutritious diet, therapy, and proper sleep hygiene can help control the symptoms of fibromyalgia.