What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a pain syndrome of chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. The pain is thought to be caused by abnormalities in the pain pathways in the central nervous system. Other symptoms are believed to be caused by sleep abnormalities.

Fibromyalgia specifically means pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, generally all the softer, more fibrous tissues in the body. There is a sense, according to most patients, of ‘aching all over’, with the related symptoms of a chronic case of flu. Muscles often feel as if they have been pulled or worked too hard and there are instances where muscles may twitch or feel like they’re burning. Cognitive abilities can also be affected with many patients reporting having ‘brain-fog’, where they find functions such as concentration and memory to be impaired.

Fibromyalgia can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, but it is seven times more likely to be diagnosed in women than men. The condition tends to develop between the ages of 30 and 50, however, it is not uncommon for it to occur in people of all ages – from the very young to elderly.

What causes fibromyalgia?

Unfortunately there is no complete understanding of what causes fibromyalgia and research is continually being carried out to determine this cause. However, research has shown that fibromyalgia can be caused – or exacerbated by – physical traumas, such as car accidents and falls, often due to no fault of the patient.

  • Trigger events

Trigger events, such as viral infections, mental trauma or physical trauma, can often result in fibromyalgia symptoms. For example an injury in a public place, at work or in a road traffic accident, can often lead to fibromyalgia. Many of the people currently living with fibromyalgia have suffered a traumatic event which wasn’t their fault yet they are left with the long-term after effects.

  • Abnormal nervous system processes

One of the leading theories is that people living with fibromyalgia have developed changes in the way their central nervous system processes the pain messages around their body. This could be due to chemical imbalances in the nervous system. Research has shown that people living with fibromyalgia syndrome have strikingly low levels of the hormones noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin in their brains and the cause of the syndrome could be linked to these differences. These hormones are essential for regulating certain behaviours integral to a happy healthy life including mood, sleep, behaviour, stress management and appetite.

  • Disturbed sleeping patterns

Further research suggests that disturbed sleeping patterns may be a cause of fibromyalgia or exacerbate the condition. Conversely, fibromyalgia sufferers often live with chronic fatigue but continue to suffer with disturbed sleep.

If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, CRPS, or any chronic pain condition as a result of an accident that was not your fault, and even if you have an existing claim, get in touch with Brian Barr Solicitors to see if we can assist. It is simple and hassle free to move your claim to Brian Barr Solicitors who are experts in dealing with chronic pain litigation. Call us today on 0161 737 9248 or visit our website (www.brianbarr.co.uk) to find out more.