Fibromyalgia is a form of generalized muscular pain and fatigue that affects approximately 3.7 million Americans. The name, Fibromyalgia, means pain in the muscles and the fibrous connective tissues (the ligaments and tendons). There is no lab test to diagnose Fibromyalgia; instead, the diagnosis depends mostly on a person’s report or complaints and feelings. Pain is the most prominent symptom of Fibromaylgia. It generally occurs throughout the body although it may start in one region, such as the neck and shoulders, and spread to other areas over a period of time.

 

Most people with Fibromyalgia experience moderate or severe fatigue with a lack of energy, decreased exercise endurance, or the kind of exhaustion that results from the flu or lack of sleep. Sometimes the fatigue is more of a problem that the pain. Headaches, especially muscular (tension headaches) and migraine headaches, are common in Fibromyalgia. Irritable bowel symptoms- abdominal pain, bloating, alternating constipation, along with bladder spasms, and irritability may cause urinary urgency or frequency. Your skin and blood circulation can be sensitive to temperature changes, resulting in temporary changes in skin color.

Sensory input from the body goes to the same side cerebellum first. It is sent to the opposite side of the upper brain (frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital lobes). The upper brain has a major connection to our brain stem- the brain stem inhibits/brakes (keeps under control) our sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system. Without this “braking” of our sympathetic nervous system a lot of chronic conditions such as Fibromyalgia occur. The mesencephalon is the top part of the brain stem. A high output of the mesencephalon will cause an increased pulse and heart rate, inability to sleep or waking up from fitful sleep, urinary tract infection, increase warmth or sweating, and sensitivity to light. In many Fibromyalgia patients I may find a high mesencephalic output.

Along with a high mesenphalic output, the Fibromyalgia patient may have a decreased output of the cerebellum. The cerebellum is in the back part of the brain, and it controls all of the involuntary spinal musculature.

No matter what the condition, it is imperative that the doctor performs a thorough and comprehensive exam to determine the exact nature of the patient’s condition.