Other than osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia is considered to be one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions, according to WebMD. Recent statistics suggest that more than 12 million Americans suffer from this debilitating disease which carries with it such symptoms as anxiety, depression, widespread pain, decreased pain threshold or tender joints, and incapacitating fatigue. As a result, many sufferers of this disease find it hard to live from day to day and often are unable to work as a result.
The disease has always been considered to be psychosomatic, which means that people aren't really experiencing pain but rather their minds are creating a sense of pain that has no pathological cause. But new research conducted by Integrated Tissue Dynamics and researchers from the Albany Medical Center believe that they may have found the root cause of the disease.
Instead of looking at the brain, researchers decided to look at what pathological issues could be leading to this disabling condition. They looked at several female patients and discovered that they all had a unique neurovascular structure in their skin. Thought to allow blood flow to the nerves, the scientists believe that excessive nerve fibers located around these specialized blood vessels could be the ultimate cause of the disease.
The senior researcher on the project thinks that this new study could provide important evidence to fibromyalgia research which could eventually lead to further discoveries and better treatments. This would be a welcome relief to sufferers the nation over who often do not receive serious treatment for their symptoms because of the lack of understanding of the disease. As many here in Texas would agree, better understanding of the disease will be particularly beneficial to sufferers who have long argued against popular medical opinion that says it's all in their heads.
Source: Medical Daily, "Breakthrough In Fibromyalgia Research: Pain Is In Your Skin, Not In Your Head," Jonathan Weiss, Ph.D, June 18, 2013