What Keeps Fibromyalgia Pain From Subsiding?


Fibromyalgia pain is complex and involves multiple dysfunctions in how the body processes signals.

One of these processing dysfunctions deals with something called pain inhibition . In most people, sustained or repeated pain is perceived as diminishing. For example, when they put on a tight pair of pants, it may be a little painful at first, but then the pain fades away. If the dentist pokes at healthy gums multiple times, the first poke will hurt the worst and subsequent ones will hurt less. That’s because pathways in the brain and spinal cord kick in to block the sensation of pain. They inhibit pain signals. It’s like your body is saying, “That hurts. You clearly understand that by now, so I’ll just turn down the intensity a little for you.” However, a growing body of evidence shows that this system doesn’t function properly in people with fibromyalgia. The result is that your waistband keeps hurting you all day, and each poke from the dental tool is as painful as the first. This is part of what’s often described as your body “turning up the volume” of pain. The Lack of Pain Inhibition We don’t fully understand […]