The Nervous System and Fibromyalgia – How it Branches Out

The Nervous System in Fibromyalgia

You likely already know about the connection between the nervous system and fibromyalgia
You likely know that fibromyalgia is complex too, but we know that many times, the nervous system is at the heart of many symptoms.

Research in recent years continues to prove that this is truly a physical condition that is connected to a dysfunction in the nervous system but affects various other systems of the body.

You are not crazy, you live with a multi-system condition, and if you are like me, I also have its primary co-conditions as well, CFS/ME and MCS.

As I often say, this is a multi-system condition affecting many systems in the body. You might often hear me say when we talk in our live videos that it often starts in the nervous system and branches off into other areas of the body.

The fact that most patients suffer from pain that spreads throughout their bodies for most if not all of their lives hints at an issue with the nerves. The nervous system is the body’s way of interacting with the world.
The nerves take in information from the surrounding world and trigger physical responses, including pain. There are billions of nerve cells in the system, which means billions of possible pain trigger points for fibromyalgia patients.

We know a lot more today about fibromyalgia than we did in the past, and our goals here correlate well to create the safest and least invasive approach. Let’s take a look at what research has discovered and what it may mean for the treatment of this condition moving forward.

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The Central Nervous System and Fibromyalgia

The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain accepts information from the surrounding world and sends signals to the body through the spinal cord. This communication is what triggers motion, speech, thought and other responses to anything happening in our surrounding worlds.

For instance, you will pause the tv, and get up from the couch after hearing a knock at the door because your brain sends signals to your spinal cord ordering those motions.

That last sentence reminds me of a story I was telling in one of our recent interactives on the Facebook page. I was winding down at home at about 9:30 at night when a neighbor came and knocked repeatedly very loudly on my front door. My first reaction was to be startled, something must be wrong. Long story short, nothing was wrong, the neighbor just had a question for me. 

But, my nervous system didn’t care at that point, as it was already riled up and ready for a fight. Do you know what I mean? So, for those of us with fibromyalgia, it can take longer for the body to regulate down that stress (fight or flight) 

In a 2018 issue of Seminars in Immunopathology, Littlejohn, MD, from the Monash University in Australia presented a review of the fibromyalgia symptoms that are now connected to the nervous system. In an interview regarding that research, he stated that fibromyalgia research originally focused on the muscles and soft tissue.

The focus shifted to the central nervous system when researchers realized that the pain threshold for fibromyalgia patients is lower not only in the muscles but also in the peripheral tissues.

This hinted at an issue with the brain and spinal cord, particularly something that makes the body more sensitive to pain as well as light and other environmental stimuli. And, guess what? it’s not a psychiatric condition. The brain just happens to play a primary role in stimulating pain, anxiety, and other common symptoms that come with fibromyalgia.

The CNS becomes far too sensitive to stimuli from the outside world, so what someone without fibromyalgia would register as a touch or another non-threatening event is registered as pain for someone with fibromyalgia. This is why the pain threshold is so much lower throughout the body for fibro patients. The pain triggers are going through the spinal cord and out to other areas of the body when it’s not necessary.

We know that treating fibromyalgia with opioids and narcotics is ineffective because it doesn’t address neurotransmitters in the brain that trigger the pain. Medical professionals are now leaning towards exercise, cognitive therapy, and stress reduction strategies in addition to different types of prescription medication that are better able to control CNS responses. 

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The Peripheral Nervous System and Fibromyalgia

The peripheral nervous system includes nerves that extend from the spinal cord into your extremities. This includes your arms, legs, hands, and feet. You also have cranial nerves that go from your brain to your eyes and other regions of the head.

Your organs are connected to the spinal cord by autonomic nerves. All of these nerves are designed to put your body in motion in response to signals sent through the spinal cord from the brain.

There is some research that suggests fibromyalgia may actually start in the peripheral nerves. One study of the nervous system and fibromyalgia found that people with fibromyalgia have more slender stromal nerves compared to people without fibromyalgia.

It’s now believed that differences in those nerves could make the spinal cord and brain more sensitive rather than it all starting in the CNS. This is not currently the dominant way of thinking, and further research is needed to explore this idea.

Other studies of the nervous system and fibromyalgia have shown potential differences in peripheral nerve fibers and other components of the peripheral nervous system, hinting at many potential causes of fibromyalgia pain. It’s possible that each fibro patient suffers from different peripheral nerve disorders, making this already complex diagnosis even more tangled.

What you can take away from this today is the importance of exercise, stress reduction, healthy eating, and other lifestyle treatments. Depending on pain medication alone ignores the root causes of fibromyalgia and can lead to more long-term pain in joints, spine, and muscles. 

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For More Information Related to Fibromyalgia Visit below sites:


Fibromyalgia Contact Us Directly

Click here to Contact us Directly on Inbox

Official Fibromyalgia Blogs

Click here to Get the latest Chronic illness Updates

Fibromyalgia Stores

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Store

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12 Responses

  1. venssa balgo says:

    “Your blog post on fibromyalgia was a breath of fresh air. I appreciated the way you approached this complex topic with compassion and understanding. Your thorough examination of symptoms, treatment options, and coping strategies provided me with much-needed clarity and reassurance. I also appreciated your emphasis on the importance of self-advocacy and finding a supportive healthcare team. Thank you for providing such a comprehensive and empowering resource for those affected by fibromyalgia.”

  2. gaviline says:

    “Your blog post on fibromyalgia was a revelation. I’ve been struggling to find reliable information about this condition, and your post provided me with exactly what I needed. Your clear explanations and practical suggestions for managing symptoms were incredibly helpful. I especially appreciated your emphasis on the importance of self-care and mental health support, as these aspects are often overlooked in discussions about fibromyalgia. Thank you for providing such a comprehensive and compassionate resource for those affected by this condition.”

  3. Amelia says:

    “Your blog post on fibromyalgia was a game-changer for me. As someone who has been living with this condition for a long time, I thought I knew everything there was to know about it. However, your post opened my eyes to new perspectives and possibilities. I appreciated the way you explored alternative therapies and lifestyle adjustments, offering fresh ideas for managing symptoms. Your empathetic tone throughout the post made me feel understood and validated in my experiences with fibromyalgia. Thank you for your invaluable insights.”

  4. noddy says:

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  5. Maeve says:

    “Thank you for your incredible generosity in sharing your expertise on fibromyalgia through your blog post. Your dedication to helping others understand and cope with this condition is truly admirable. Your post was a valuable source of information and support for me, and I’m deeply grateful for the guidance and encouragement you provided.”

  6. Beatrice Wilson says:

    “Your fibromyalgia blog post was a breath of fresh air. Your incorporation of personal anecdotes and real-life experiences added a human touch that made the topic feel more relatable and less clinical. Thank you for sharing your journey and providing valuable insights.”

  7. Maisie White says:

    “I found your fibromyalgia blog post to be incredibly insightful and empowering. Your emphasis on self-advocacy and self-care resonated deeply with me, reminding me that I have the power to take control of my health and well-being. Thank you for empowering me to be an active participant in my fibromyalgia journey.”

  8. Phoebe King says:

    “Your fibromyalgia blog post was a revelation. Your exploration of the emotional and psychological aspects of fibromyalgia shed light on the often overlooked impact of the condition on mental health. Thank you for acknowledging the full spectrum of fibromyalgia symptoms and providing validation for those of us struggling with the emotional toll.”

  9. Zara Turner says:

    “I wanted to express my gratitude for your fibromyalgia blog post. As someone newly diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I found your comprehensive coverage of the condition to be incredibly informative and reassuring. Your practical tips and coping strategies gave me hope and confidence in my ability to navigate this new chapter of my life.”

  10. Leah Sanchez says:

    “Your blog post on the connection between the nervous system and fibromyalgia was a breath of fresh air. It offered a holistic perspective on the underlying mechanisms driving fibromyalgia symptoms and emphasized the importance of addressing nervous system dysfunction in treatment approaches. Thank you for advocating for a more comprehensive understanding of this complex condition.”

  11. Aria Scott says:

    “I was deeply impressed by your blog post on the intricate interplay between the nervous system and fibromyalgia. It highlighted the importance of understanding how disruptions in nervous system function can impact pain perception and symptom severity in fibromyalgia patients. Thank you for providing such a clear and informative explanation of this complex topic.”

  12. Aubrey Smith says:

    “Your blog post on the connection between the nervous system and fibromyalgia was incredibly enlightening. It provided a comprehensive overview of how disruptions in the nervous system can contribute to the development and progression of fibromyalgia. Thank you for shedding light on this complex relationship and offering valuable insights into managing the condition.”

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