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Fibromyalgia Action UK

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Hi Everyone - I was sent this on FB - I hope that I have removed adverts etc!! If not I apologise but I had to share this - so good to have some hope AND the sun is shinig !!!!! 🌞 It was in the Guardian I believe.....

Fibromyalgia Mystery Finally Solved!

Researchers Find Main Source of Pain in Blood Vessels

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.

15 Replies

That makes sense to me. My palms are very red and very hot. So much so that people comment on them, a lot lol. Thank you for sharing that article. I hope now that someone somewhere will confirm it, prove it, and find a way round it. We've been at this point so many times before..... 🐸

Hi Molly, thanks for posting this, it may be of interest to newbies. This particular study is about 3years old, and was done in America. It was a small study, and unfortunately until they follow it up with a much lager one, and get the evidence that it actually works, unfortunately we can't get too excited.

Never mind, one of these days we will find the cause and the cure for Fibro. Until then we just plod on & do our best.

GP. 😊😊

Ah I didn't know it was so old but hopefully something may come of it 😊😊😊

Very good article......hope the cure isn't chopping our hands off!! 😁✋😱

Hi there

As Greenpeace has already said this article is a couple of years old and I have seen it before.

My foggy brain even thinks that the article was in one of the other broadsheets not that long ago.

It's always good for our new members to see though 😊


Volunteer Admin

Interesting, but has it been peer reviewed and why have we not seen any follow up?

No idea. I've just shared the article as I try so hard to be positive and this gave me a massive lift. Everything has to start somewhere so baby steps are better than nothing !!! 😊😊😊


This as been around for a few years now. Sorry don't want to burst your happy bubble. I am sure it may be of help to those who have just been dx. Thank you for posting it.xx

Even though I have seen this previously, I want to gneuinely and sincerely thank you for sharing it and thinking of the members on the forum. Thank you.

All my hopes and dreams for you


hi fellow Fibro sufferers Finally a answer to why i am in extreme pain with my hands burning hot and red worse in the cold and hot temperatures, and hate using them as it causes me to make, unintelligible noises when i do. Doc says its "osteoarthritis and should not be that painful "as if i was putting on the excruciating pain they cause me. especially if i knock or catch them on any thing .He gave me ibuprofen & tramadol, for my newly diagnosed firo .thank you for posting this .. I would appreciate any suggestions for some real pain relieve tablets i could ask my unsympathetic doctor for .Thanks again gentle hugs for every one .

Shazzzy in reply to freespirit7

Hi free spirit you could ask doc to try you on gabapentin, it works well on neuropathic pain. Has reynaulds been ruled out ? Just a thought,


Most interesting

my daughter alluded to this. She has MS and her article was about the similarity of Fibro and MS, with this as a "cure". If it's so, why isn't the NHS pursuing it with energy?

Molly_1919 in reply to fenbadger

....I think the cynic in me feels that it will have its' turn at being in the limelight when the government realise it is costing them money? Just a thought...😂😂

Thanks very interesting, l,d not read it before, though recall my son mention he,d read something about caused by the hands, bizarre, but notice in last few month lve started getting spasms cramps in my hand, also feet, painful more so in the feet. My drs are casual and patronising at best, doesnt seem any real interest or concern, its more we cant do anything about it, live with it, along with the phycalogical connect

drives me mad. lve also intersticial cystitus diagnosed years ago, after years of symptoms also put down to phycalogical, and with scope they do see a change in the bladder wall lining, to do with fibrogen layer of skin, many get fibro along with it, now ic renamed as `painful bladder syndrome`, l,m a bit sceptical about the syndrome tag at end, as with cfs, seems to change perceptions and responses, at least fibro,s not got syndrome on the end, l think. If drs dont take it seriously and link it to phycalogical, not that all do, but enough, how are goverment going to take it seriously. ld have thought with description of hand changes in nerves it would make diagnoses easier, but who knows how the research system works. Shame theres no follow up. anyway thanks for info

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