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

by Donna Ker Leesley,

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, legs and foot.

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 and foot 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.

Source: Yahoo News

12 Replies

  • The devil is in the detail: the headline makes a clear claim that the mystery is solved, it is the blood vessels.

    The neuroscientist who carried out the research doesn't say this at all though, he says 'could' on each statement he makes. That is quite different from the headline claim.

    Sorry to be a killjoy, I'm a stickler for how research is interpreted. It's interesting though, it needs a lot more research, let's hope it gets it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Balkis.You express my feelings exactly. Irresponsible news reports get people's hopes up by writing inaccurate digests of research projecsts. Very few people check the original research that has often only been done on mice or only involved 10 people !

    There clearly is a need for extensive research on fibromyalgia but the difficulties are huge with a disease that is multi symptoms with most of those symptoms not viable or measurable.


  • Research often ends up as purposely reinvented click bait doesn't it? It's right to place the responsibility on the's not the researchers themselves making unreasonable claims, it's the irresponsible article writers. They know how desperate we are for answers and cures (and why shouldn't we be, we are suffering?), but they exploit that to some degree, and yes, it's very unfair.

    Yes, let's hope we can look forward to further research.

  • Hi Sistabless yes very interesting. I remember seeing about it on the news last year. Sounds to good to be true but it's good to have hope. Thanx for sharing xx

  • Hi Janet. Research is a start of hopefully something better. I posted this article as I thought it may be intereting to some. Peace and blessings :)

  • Very interesting article, sounds similar to the Swedish and Norweign research, and yet this appears to be American so im a bit confused about that.

    Strangely though ive had problems twice in my life where my hands were affected. Once i lost all sense of touch in my hands. I got up one day and decided to wash my hair, kept testing the water with my hands until it was a nice temperature then i poured the jug of water over my hair.

    I nearly died of shock as the water was freezing, i quickly put my hand in the water and it felt hot. It was really quite frightening as i didnt know what was happening. I ended up in the hospital and they put me in a side ward, i remember my hands and my feet being on fire, like they were burning. I was bandaged up like a mummy from head to toe.

    I couldnt pick things up, i couldnt bathe myself, couldnt even hold a bar of soap, i couldnt sleep as my whole body felt on fire and my feet were the worst.

    Had to have all the skin cut off the soles of my feet as they were like burns and blisters.

    I didnt see anyone except nurses and doctors for 3 weeks and the day i came out of the side ward, i went to sit in the day room with the other patients and the women looked shocked. They said they had all been so worried about me, they did all sorts of things to help me, they got me a small fork and stuck it in the bandages so i could use it like a spike to eat my food, got me straws to drink with, made me cups of tea. they were total strangers and yet they really cared about me. Later one of the women said when i came in i was very ill and they all thought i was dying.

    I knew i had been ill but dying never entered in to my head. To this day i have no idea what caused it, just that my hands and feet burned like a fire. It was like i had lost the ability to cool down

    Its very interesting about the extra nerve fibres and blood vessels, makes me wonder if this had something to do with what happened to me, if they did the research on feet i wonder if they would be the same results.

  • I hope thngs are much better for you now Sadiestar. I have come across a few studies in the last few years about fibro and hands. My mum was reminding me the other day that I've had probems with my hads and feet since I was a small child, especilly in the winter. I could never get them or keep them warm and my hands/wrists would swell as a teenager. I still have problems now with arthritis in them but they were never as bad as yours.

    Peace and blessings :)

  • Hi, I had been reading some more articles online and then when i read this it reminded me of when i was ill and the probs i had with my hands and feet. I had never put the 2 together until now. I had posted about the collagen matrix but admin deleted the post. anyway im glad of the timing of your post as its helped me link another piece of the jigsaw.

    This website is called Health Unlocked and that is what im trying to do, unlock my health so I can try to find solutions and live a better life.

    Hope we can chat again, Im going for appts shortly and im hoping for some answers today so fingers crossed, otherwise I will be switching doctors. Have a good day chat soon xx

  • I'm glad this article may have helped you, even if in a small way. Hope you get some answers soon. Bless :)

  • Hi Sistabless

    Thanks for sharing this and the theory about this has been around for a couple of years. I think it really needs some more research as it definitely warrants it. I want to sincerely wish you all the best of luck and please take care of yourself my friend.

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • Thank you Ken. Peace and blessings :)

  • Thanks my friend :)

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