If you have been experiencing severe muscle pain and fatigue for a prolonged period, you may have been suffering from fibromyalgia. According to the reports, about 5 million Americans have been suffering from this chronic disease, and 90% of the patients were women.
Over the years, fibromyalgia has been characterized as a psychosomatic disorder, which means that the problem stems from a patient’s imagination. Despite the numerous complains about shoulder, neck, legs or back pains, there has been no evidence which could detect the actual cause of the pain.
However, the recent research has finally detected the prime source of pain for the Fibromyalgia patients and contrary to the previous beliefs; it is not caused by the brain. It is a sensory nerve present in the blood vessels and found in the palms, which is the root of the pain.
The scientists from ‘Integrated Tissue Dynamics’ discovered that the fibers that were speculated to be responsible for the flow of blood in the skin are also accountable for the sensation of touch or pain.
In order to reassess their conclusion, the research team cited another study to observe, whether they could locate any pathology in the blood vessels, that might be responsible for the pain. By analyzing the samples of skin collected from the fibromyalgia patients, they concluded that there was a significant increase of the sensory fibers at certain places, within the skin blood vessels.
These nerves are also regarded as the integral part of the arteriole-venule (AV) shunts, which regulates the body temperature by controlling the flow of blood through the blood vessels. When it is warm outside, the shuts remain closed, forcing the blood into the skin surface; and when it is cold outside, the shunts tend to open up, enabling the veins to conserve the heat. As a result, our hands and feet become cold.
According to Dr. Albrecht, the leading scientist of the research, the excess sensory innovation might be the cause of the pain, experienced by the fibromyalgia patients. “Since the sensory fibers are responsible for opening the shunts, they would become particularly active during cold conditions, which are very bothersome times for fibromyalgia patients.”
The research team also concluded that our hands and feet carry more blood than required because they act as blood reservoirs, which can be distributed throughout the body. The pathology detected among the stunts monitor that the blood flows around the body and is, therefore, responsible for the mismanagement.
According to Dr. Rice, the President of Integrated Tissue Dynamics, “The pathology discovered among these shunts in the hands could be interfering with blood flow to the muscles throughout the body. This mismanaged blood flow could be the root cause of muscle pain and achiness and the sense of fatigue that fibromyalgia patients experience.”
Needless to say, that the findings solved a major mystery about the disease, which was earlier believed to be conjured by the patient’s imaginations, and has finally provided a ray of hope for the millions of patients, who are still in search for a pain relieving medication. However, the best part of the research is, that fibromyalgia is not a psychological problem; there are real causes of the disease which has nothing to do with the brain!