I have a controversial personal theory about Chronic Pain and Fatigue related illnesses. Please read with an open mind and I hope you will realise that even if you disagree it does have some logic. I have helped people with M.E. to improve their lives and I really want to see if the same applies equally to fibro, as I think it does. I need to set the scene, please bear with me.
Short term pain has a purpose, it is a message that is a call to action and is both urgent and focused. Imagine the reverse, if we did not have pain and broke our arm we would carry on regardless until eventually the bone breaks through the skin and becomes visible, even then we would have no feeling of urgency. Pain is designed to be protective, because if we know what causes us pain we avoid those circumstances and situations.
Long term pain is a message of little value. Where it relates to an injury that has long since mended it has no value at all. Amputees often still have pain in the limb that has been removed and research shows why:
1, pain is a generated response that operates in the neural pathways of the brain not at the problem area.
2, The neural pathway for that specific pain becomes imprinted as a memory that continues with that response.
3, With regular use a neural pathway widens into a neural motorway.
There is a technique, used all over the world, called "N step" that is used to switch off "old" pain. I have used this myself and seen it work on many others, quite simply it turns off the signal as it is no longer needed. It is instant, so this is not a mater of will it - won't it work, you know straight away. It is not a temporary numbing of an area just the removal of an unwarranted message, it still allows any new injury to give you pain, so it is totally safe.
So would this work for Fibro? If it does then it will be life changing! I think the answer to that depends on why you have that pain. Unfortunately we cannot get the answer from the wide ranging symptoms that people with Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Pain have. Is it the pain that causes the problem or the problem that causes pain? We can however look at the commonalities and speculate.
Your body is a fine tuned survival machine and in the main it is very good at fighting off threats and repairing itself. So why would it allow you to have debilitating pain and fatigue that severely restricts your life?
What if that is why? Perhaps the whole purpose is to restrict your life so that you survive!
Bear with me whilst I explain why this is logical.
The story for everyone I have met or consulted is:
When this illness started you were a highly driven person and pushed yourself to the limit, often more than your body could cope with. It started with one or more of the following; a viral infection, severe stress or a traumatic accident/incident (the trigger). Several weeks later when you anticipate you should be feeling better from the initial trigger you now have the illness that gives you the chronic fatigue and pain. This continues for many years, if not for life, whilst you become more and more frustrated by lack of diagnosis, answers or remedies. You may even accumulate more illnesses as your immune system overloads. At some point you will feel so low for so long that your internal voice will keep repeating a phrase that reflects the terrible thought that you are never going to recover. As you rarely look poorly you also have the issue of not only feeling very ill but having to convince others that you are. Their comments are far from helpful and are in total opposition to the driven person you know you are. This adds to the pressure and continues the downward spiral. At times you may be lucky enough to feel a bit better but whilst playing catch up with life you find it is the fatigue and pain that catches up!
So my theory is that you reach a point where the "last straw breaks the camels back". You have run down your resources to breaking point and your immune system is weak and vulnerable. If left to you, you will still push on, so your body has no option but to shut down, in effect forcing you to stop. With other people this could take the form of a heart attack or stroke, severe mental breakdown or lesser hindrances such as ulcers. However those things wouldn't stop you - would they? So your survival system shuts down areas specific to you as an individual and what better to get you to stop in your tracks, severe pain not only restricting movement but also taking away your ability to think about anything else. Combine that with fatigue and other issues like light sensitivity and it gives you an almost coma like state designed to conserve all your energy for recovery.
This is only supposed to be temporary, however it has really underestimated your determination to carry on regardless. Your battle and drive to recover continues to drain resources and becomes a downward spiral of more pain and fatigue and more of a fight back from you. Add to this poor diagnosis, people questioning if you really are ill, having to convince them you are when you really don't want to be, not being able to work, financial problems, etc... All this takes its toll.
With M.E. I have helped people break the cycle by getting them to understand the need to stop driving themselves so hard and once they accept that, then getting their body to release them into their own care!
I do think Fibro is the opposite end of the Pain/Fatigue spectrum. If I'm right the same process should allow that release from Fibro.
So what do you think?
Before commenting you need to know some things about me. It have made no financial gain from over 18 months of studying this and helping people. I do have a great interest in people and life improvement. I Chose ME and Fibro because I can help the most people with the greatest amount of life change and I do realise these will be people with low financial means, so I wanted to find a treatment that would be quick, cheap and effective. I personally had experience of severe fatigue. And last but not least - I do know it is NOT in your mind - You had no control over what happened to you, in fact getting Fibro possibly saved your life, but only to imprison you.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I would love your feedback.
A special thank you to those who responded to my question "Is this Your Story". Your stories touched and inspired me.
I may of course be totally wrong - for your sake I hope not!