Fibromyalgia Pain II: Damaged Neuroprotective Process Spells Pain

Damaged Neuroprotective Process Spells Pain for Fibromyalgia – Suggests Small Fiber Neuropathy is Present

(Second in a series of three posts on recent developments in our understanding of Fibromyalgia pain from Cort Johnson’s Health Rising.)

It turns out that every time you’re in pain and you contract a muscle, in what’s believed to be a protective reflex, that muscle contraction gets interrupted for a time

Prolonged delays in producing the ‘cutaneous silent period’  indicated that a key protective element is under-performing in FM

This is yet another example of a balky pain inhibition process ramping up pain levels in FM.

Two recent studies highlighted a  ’hyperexcitable’ brainstem and highly activated  brain neurons  have been found in others.  Inhibitory brain chemicals (serotonin) are reduced while excitatory brain chemicals (substance P, glutamate) are increased.

Meanwhile below the brain,  small nerve fiber and blood vessel studies suggest exaggerated  sensory inputs from the body are present.

Tramadol, interestingly  enough, is able to increase the cutaneous silent period

Conclusion The finding that pain inhibition at the muscle level is hampered in fibromyalgia  adds to the number of dysregulated pain producing pathways found in fibromyalgia.  The possibility that small fiber neuropathy may be responsible is intriguing given increasing evidence  it may play a major role in FM. It’s becoming  clearer and clearer that the pain production problems in fibromyalgia are probably global; ie both the brain and the body are implicated…

Previous post in three-part Fibromyalgia series:


  • Fibromyalgia Pain III: Study Suggests Muscles Are ‘Wired and Tired’

7 thoughts on “Fibromyalgia Pain II: Damaged Neuroprotective Process Spells Pain

    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      @joynpain2 – I thank you and am honored to have been nominated for these awards. But I’m already saddled with more work than I can get done, and that brings me to my dilemma:

      I simply don’t have the time and energy these days to do more work online, even to respond properly to these awards. As you can imagine, my research takes up oodles of my energy, especially since it takes me about 3 times as long as it should because of my brain fog/pain/fatigue. Because my blog is for news and information, it’s hard keep up with all the articles I have to scan every day.

      As a fellow pain sufferer, I’m sure you’ll understand why I’m not up to responding to the award. It’s just like so many other things in life these days:

      I wish I could, but I just can’t :-(


      1. joynpain2

        I absolutely understand! Actually, the thought crossed my mind, but the point (I think) is the recognition. I wanted you to know that I think you are worthy (more worthy if we’re really honest – because of the work you do to find the articles). I believe I was supposed to say at the end of my post that if any of you guys couldn’t accept, then to nominate someone else. (My bad!). So, if you would like to nominate someone else, feel free and then just give them the link to my post so that they can get the URL for the badge and the rules to follow.


  1. ladybirdathome

    I came from England to live in Ghana for a year as a volunteer and my Fibro paid has all but disappeared. I have had one attack of the beast characterised by crushing fatigue and muscle weakness but no pain. Why, I wonder?


    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      Perhaps the “full body shock” you received from this dramatic change of location, climate, food and social environment might have unbalanced/re-balanced your neurochemistry to change how your body responds to pain?



Other thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.