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Fibromyalgia Mystery Finally Solved!

Researchers Find Main Source of Pain in Blood Vessels

Added by Rebecca Savastio on June 20, 2013.

Saved under Health, Rebecca Savastio, U.S.

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

Researchers have found the main source of pain in Fibromyalgia patients, and contrary to what many believe, it does not stem from the brain. The findings mark the end of a decades-old mystery about the disease, which many doctors believed was conjured in patients’ imaginations. The mystery of Fibromyalgia has left millions of sufferers searching for hope in pain medications. Up until recently, many physicians thought that the disease was “imaginary” or psychological, but scientists have now revealed that the main source of pain stems from a most unlikely place- excess blood vessels in the hand.

The discovery may lead to new treatments and perhaps even a total cure in the future, bringing relief to as many as 5 million Americans thought to have the disease. To solve the Fibromyalgia mystery, researchers zeroed in on the skin from the hand of one patient who had a lack of the sensory nerve fibers, causing a reduced reaction to pain. They then took skin samples from the hands of Fibromyalgia patients and were surprised to find an extremely excessive amount of a particular type of nerve fiber called arteriole-venule (AV) shunts.

Up until this point scientists had thought that these fibers were only responsible for regulating blood flow, and did not play any role in pain sensation, but now they’ve discovered that there is a direct link between these nerves and the widespread body pain that Fibromyalgia sufferers feel.

The breakthrough also could solve the lingering question of why many sufferers have extremely painful hands as well as other “tender points” throughout the body, and why cold weather seems to aggravate the symptoms. In addition to feeling widespread deep tissue pain, many Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from debilitating fatigue.

Neuroscientist Dr. Frank L. Rice explained: “We previously thought that these nerve endings were only involved in regulating blood flow at a subconscious level, yet here we had evidences that the blood vessel endings could also contribute to our conscious sense of touch… and also pain,” Rice said. “This mismanaged blood flow could be the source of muscular pain and achiness, and the sense of fatigue which are thought to be due to a build-up of lactic acid and low levels of inflammation fibromyalgia patients. This, in turn, could contribute to the hyperactivity in the brain.”

Current treatments for the disease have not brought complete relief to the millions of sufferers. Therapies include narcotic pain medicines; anti-seizure drugs, anti-depressants and even simple advice such as “get more sleep and exercise regularly.” Now that the cause of Fibromyalgia has been pinpointed, patients are looking forward to an eventual cure. Other expressed frustration about how much they had suffered already:

“When are they ever going to figure out that things are never “all in your head?” said one commenter. “Whenever something doesn’t fit in their tiny little understanding, they belittle the patient and tell them they are crazy. People have suffered through this since they were invented. Prescribing SSRIs for everything is not the answer any more than a lobotomy or hysterectomy was.”

The announcement has the potential to unlock better future treatments and undoubtedly has patients all over the world rejoicing that the mystery of Fibromyalgia has finally been solved.

RELATED: FibromyaGuardianlgia: Proof of Physical Origins Vs. Two Danish Psychiatrists

By: Rebecca Savastio

Source: Redorbit


Source: Yahoo News

11 Replies

wonderful post just hope they do it in my life span :))


I read this one day last week I think and was not surprised about the suggestion... Nor was my husband as one of the biggest pain problems for me has always been my hands, despite it not being a trigger point. I have acute pain in my feet too and will not be surprised if they find these are linked too, one day!


it is really great to hear there is progress - i'm going through a particularly bad phase with my hands at the moment


Hi sandra99b

I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you can be? Thank you so much for your post, it is of immense interest to all of us. This, I believe, is one of those things that will take probably 40 to 50 years to uncover fully by which time I will not be around to benefit form it.

It would be wonderful to think that results could come much, much quicker!

Take care my friend

Ken x


Thanks for posting this Sandra it is a concept that could help us all. The americans seem to advance a lot of their research faster than the United Kingdom.

Heres hoping we find good thing come from this.



They've also found that fibro sufferers have the part of the brain associated with dopamine atrophied and malformed (I can't remember what it's called but I'll get hubby to look it up and post it later), which is why we feel excessive pain in these extra blood vessels/nerves, which incase anyone is wondering we have 3 times as many as anyone else which is why our pain levels are 2-3 times worse than someone with RA,

thank you for posting this link though, I knew the info but it's great to be able to refer to the source when fighting my corner,




Thankyou for this post. Lets hope they can find something to cure this awful condition. It makes sense re the blood vessels in the hands, I really suffer with excrutiating hand and foot pain as well as lots of other body pain but the hands and feet are my worst areas and the pain in my hands makes me cry its so bad and it makes me feel very sick. I love craft and am very frustrated I can't do the things I want to do which is hard. At least it seems that medical science is making some progress, just need the doctors to understand once and for all that this condition is not in our heads, it's not depression and we aren't complaining of being in pain for fun!




Wow, i just hope they continue this way of thinking over here too.

Thanks for posting, it was a very interesting read.

I hope they find more answers in my lifetime xx


thanks for posting it was a very interesting read i hope they do find more answers these things can take a lot of years.xx


Hope it all comes to fruition sooner rather than later.


Hi thank u for this,so very interesting as I've had problems with my hands for a long time,burning sensations and such like. It's so good to know that there's progress with this horrible illness. Best Wishes Jackiex


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