More than any other substance, cortisol demonstrates how integral a role the stress response plays in the functioning of our body.
Our main stress hormone, cortisol is best known for the role it plays in jacking up our fight or flight system, but this versatile substance also
- affects our metabolism,
- tamps down inflammation,
- regulates blood pressure,
- affects glucose levels, and even
- impacts our sleep/wake cycle.
This article explains how lax spinal joints in the neck can “kink” the vessels holding our cerebrospinal fluid produce common symptoms of Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and Hypermobility/EDS.
A couple of years ago, there was hardly any discussion of spinal issues in ME/CFS. It’s become clear, though, that spinal issues are present in some patients and can even, in some instances, produce virtually all the symptoms found in this disease.
From cerebral spinal fluid leaks, to spinal stenosis, to intracranial hypertension, to craniocervical instability, the spine is now of intense interest. Continue reading
Got widespread chronic pain? There’s a respectable chance you could be identified by your genes alone.
The largest study of the genetics of chronic pain patients to date found 76 genes that are independent risk factors for it (see Johnston). Interestingly, almost half of these genes are also risk factors for severe depression, and there’s also substantial genetic overlap between chronic pain and
- body-mass index,
- rheumatoid arthritis, and
- post-traumatic stress disorder,
amongst others. Continue reading
Brain imaging reveals dynamic changes caused by pain medicines | University of Michigan Health System – University of Michigan – 2013 (no longer available online in 2019. This is a repost with new relevance)
…the implication is that at least one factor in chronic pain can now be visualized by computer imaging. Pregabalin (Lyrica) soothes the insula, and the changes in insula activity and corresponding decreasing pain levels were made visible for the first time.
So far, we’ve only had static images of brains to compare those of people with chronic pain to those who are pain-free, but now we can compare the changes as they happen in a single individual. Continue reading
Pain severity is associated with muscle strength and peak oxygen uptake in adults with fibromyalgia – free full-text PMC4014369/ – 2014 May
I find this relationship of muscular weakness with pain in my own bouts of cycling: the more pain I have, the less I’m able to push the pedals. My pain seems to depress many aspects of my physical functioning, so this study only reinforces what I suspect many of us have experienced.
The associations between pain, lower extremity strength, and aerobic conditioning have not been widely investigated in adults with fibromyalgia (FM).
The principle objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between pain severity and knee strength in patients seeking treatment for FM. Continue reading
“Just Be Positive!” Toxic Positivity, ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia – Health Rising by Lori Madeira and Cort Johnson | May 2019
In the face of a chronic illness, our friends and family can resort to simple solutions:just try and be positive they might advise. Look on the bright side. Focus on what you can do.
It’s not bad advice, but it often comes across as out of place and hurtful for someone with a chronic illness.
The truth is that you can’t experience real joy or peace on top of misery.
I’m so glad to see this truth we live with stated so plainly. Continue reading
Studies suggest it’s possible that every [problematic] aspect of muscle activity – from oxygen uptake by the muscles, to mitochondrial functioning, to lactate build up, to the ability of the muscles to relax, to problems with the microcirculation – are present to some degree in fibromyalgia.
Every time you pick up a pen, hit a key on a keyboard, or turn on your smartphone, the premotor and supplementary motor areas of your motor cortex plan the movement first.
Low Energy Production and Pain in Fibromyalgia – Is Your Microcirculation To Blame? – Health Rising – https://www.healthrising.org – by Cort Johnson | May 25, 2014
Exercise is highly recommended as an adjunct therapy in fibromyalgia.
Those of us with fibromyalgia know how extremely difficult this becomes. Our bodies seem to resist us with all their might and this article offers a possible explanation.
A 2010 review of exercise studies found that ‘slight to moderate’ intensity aerobic exercise sessions done two to three times a week worked best, and that appropriate levels of exercise result in improved fitness but only modestly improved pain. Continue reading
The pathophysiology of and approaches to 3 commonly seen pain conditions: CRPS, EDS, and SFN.
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS),
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), and
- small fiber neuropathy (SFN)
are three important and complex chronic pain disorders. Continue reading
Should We Believe Patients With Pain? – Nov 2018 – by Cmdr John Burke
I recently came across an article about the symptoms that patients with fibromyalgia suffer and the likelihood of their committing suicide.
The rate of suicide is potentially very high, and the prospect of someone we know and love suffering from this disease and considering this drastic action seems plausible.
I have a very close family member and a good friend who both suffer from this disease. The associated pain has been described as excruciating, and they pray that the symptoms pass quickly, meaning in a few days, not hours. Continue reading