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Chronic Pain Syndromes Have Common Underlying Causes

Mar 01, 2011 - 0 comments

Studies linking three pain syndromes helped researchers develop successful treatment for people suffering with related musculoskeletal and fatigue disorders.

Cumulative research spanning more than a decade suggests that three of the most baffling chronic pain conditions, fibromylagia, chronic fatigue syndrome and myofascial disorder share underlying factors.

Findings are helping scientists develop treatments to address inter-related symptoms.

While these complex syndromes can be brought on by any combination of more than 100 factors such as: infection, trauma, an injury, a hormonal imbalance, chronic stress, yeast overgrowth, nutritional deficiencies, and any condition that disrupts sleep, the underlying issues that lead to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and myofascial pain is primarily the result of two key disruptions within the body.

Dr. Joseph Teitelbaum, an internist and director of the Annapolis Research Center for Effective CFS/Fibromyalgia Therapies, found during a study entitled, “Effective New Treatment Approaches for Fibromyalgia, CFS and Myofascial Pain,” that two critical mechanisms in the body are disrupted in patients with FMS, CFS or MPS.

Major control center disruption. Thehypothalamus that controls sleep, the hormonal system, temperature, and blood flow / blood pressure experiences some level of disruption.
Energy crisis. The mitochondria, the cell’s power generator, uses a sugar called ribose to make energy molecules for the body. Ribose is a component in one of the blueprints for life, DNA. Some people don’t create enough ribose in their body which causes a decrease in energy and an increase in pain.
Chronic Pain Linked to Hypothalmic Suppression and Muscle Shortening
For a half-century, Dr. Janet Travell, the White House physician for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and author of “The Trigger Point Manual,” studied chronic pain and found that the same issues that caused hypothalamic suppression resulted in muscles staying in the shortened position. Chronic muscle shortening leads to myofascial and fibromyalgia pain.

Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain Treatment: Address "SHIN" issues.
Dr. Teitelbaum’s research team found that 91% of CFS/Fibromylagia patients had a 90% improvement in their quality of life after scientists addressed four "SHIN" issues in the test subjects, these include:

S - Disordered Sleep - Most patients with these chronic pain syndromes have chronic sleep disruption, particularly during the deep sleep phase that provides restorative rest. This occurs partly because the hypothalamic function is involved in the deep sleep phase. Many common insomnia medications actually aggravate sleep disorders because they decrease the amount of time someone spends in deep sleep. Natural remedies that improve the amount of time someone remains asleep and the quality of their sleep (getting into the deeper phases) include the amino acid L-theanine, calcium, magnesium, 5-HTP, melatonin, and herbs such as Jamaican Dogwood, Wild lettuce, Valerian, Passionflower, and Hops.

H - Hormonal Deficiencies - The hypothalamus is the main control center for most glands in the body, yet many of the normal ranges on blood tests don’t take hypothalamic suppression into consideration. Some physicians recommend (although it is controversial) supplementing with thyroid, adrenal, ovarian or testicular hormones, (in very small doses), even when blood tests show “normal” ranges. Growth hormones produced in the body during deep sleep, have been found to improve fibromyalgia, but they need to be administered by injection and are cost prohibitive for some people.

I - Unusual Infections - Studies show that immune system dysfunction contributes to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and myofascial pain syndrome. Unusual infections include viral infections, parasites and other bowel infections, infections sensitive to long-term treatment with the antibiotics Cipro and Doxycycline (e.g. mycoplasma, chlamydia, Lyme’s, etc) and fungal infections.

N- Nutritional Supplementation - The western diet is one of most highly processed and preservative-filled in the world which can cause nutritional deficiencies in people, another key contributor to FMS, CFS and MPS. Bowel infections or digestive disorders can also cause poor absorption of key nutrients. The most important nutrients for these conditions are the B vitamins, vitamin D, antioxidants (vitamin C and E), minerals -- particularly magnesium, zinc, and selenium, and amino acids (proteins).

While Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Myofascial Pain Syndrome continue to challenge patients and their physicians, research linking the underlying causes is providing a useful framework for scientists to create a reliable diagnostic tool and effective treatment plan for all three illnesses.

Additional Reading:

Vitamin D, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety and Depression

Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Fibromyalgia

Depression and Elevated Homocysteine Levels

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