Is the pain real!

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 5/14/2009 7:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I am learning the best source of information for fibromyalgia is this forum.  No one really knows what fibromyalgia is or any condition is until you have experienced it.  Thank you for helping me understand fibro and thank you for answering my questions and as you can tell by the subject I have yet another question.
When I feel pain in my leg is the pain real or is my central nervous system wacking out?  Do the medication I take to help fibro just mask the pain?
thank you having this forum.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 5/14/2009 8:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I would answer your questions yes the pain is real, and if you are taking an analgesic medication yes it is just masking the pain.

This is just my opinion from my own experience but I feel Fibromyalgia ( chronic muscle pain ) is a symptom resulting from another condition. My case I have no cartilage between 2 vertebrae in my spine, if that area swells up then I have incredible pain everywhere. If I can keep the swelling down then I don't have the muscle pain.

Take Care

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 5/14/2009 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   

Isn't that what pain meds do?  Please don't get me wrong.  I think this is a great question.  I want to know too.  I feel the pain of FM, therefore it is real.  Here is my thought, right or wrong.  If you have a cut on your leg, the pain meds don't make the cut go away, but cover up the pain.  Sometimes I wish I did have a big cut on my leg.  Not just for other to see, but for me as well.  I, personally, do not have another condition or injury that causes my pain.  It is unexplained except for fibro, and it is real.  My new dr. has ordered blood work.  I can't wait for Tuesday becuase I keep hoping there will be something that will lead to an explanation.  Even though I don't think there will be. 

I am still trying to get some understanding for myself.  I just don't get it.  Right now the pain in my arms is intense.  sad I really hate this and wish I understood it better. 


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 5/14/2009 10:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Stari,

These are great questions! I did some research because I know how they work but needed help to put it into words that make sense. Welcome to the world of fibro

Anyway, yes the pain is very real. Fibromyalgia is an amplification of pain signals to the brain. All the research to date has not definitively come up with a cause or specific mechanism by which fibromyalgia works but they keep trying. But this all boils down to the fact that we feel pain when we shouldn't. And if we have a small insult to the body, a small amount of pain is amplified into a huge amount of pain. That's why some people can't even have someone touch their skin or wear certain articles of clothing without excruciating pain.

I know it's so very frustrating. Even people who have accepted and lived with fibro for many years have times when they doubt their sanity or the existence of fibromyalgia. But believe me and the others is VERY real.

On how the pain medicines work...below are some tidbits I found around the internet that explain opioid and non-opioid pain relievers. I hope this helps answer your questions.


Non-Opioid pain medications:
Non-opioid analgesics work by inhibiting an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase (COX). COX is a catalyst for the conversion of a fatty acid contained in cell walls—arachidonic acid—to substances known as prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins serve a number of protective functions in the body, but they can also produce pain, inflammation and fever. They cause pain and inflammation after cell injury by a number of mechanisms, primarily at the site of the injury in the peripheral nervous system, that is, nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, but also in the central nervous system. They elevate body temperature by affecting the heat regulating center of a region of the brain known as the hypothalamus.
By blocking COX and, therefore, the subsequent production of prostaglandins in the central and peripheral nervous systems, non-opioid analgesics reduce both fever and inflammation. Acetaminophen, however, differs from the other non-opioids in that it does not block COX in the peripheral nervous system to an appreciable extent. It appears to reduce pain primarily in the central nervous system by more than one mechanism, possibly in part by inhibiting a form of COX known as COX-3, although this is the subject of much debate.
It is, therefore, considered to be a weak analgesic and does not possess anti-inflammatory properties. What this means to you is that acetaminophen is great for headaches, fever and minor aches and pains, but won’t reduce inflammation due to, say, a muscle sprain.

Opioid Pain medications:
Opioids attach to specific proteins called opioid receptors, which are found in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract. When the drugs attach to certain opioid receptors, they block the transmission of pain messages to the brain. Opioids tend to induce euphoria by affecting the brain regions that mediate pleasure. Users generally report feeling warm, drowsy, and content. Opioids relieve stress and discomfort by creating a relaxed detachment from pain, desires, and activity. Opioids also tend to produce drowsiness, reduce heart rate, cause constipation, cause a widening of blood vessels, and depress coughing and breathing reflexes.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 5/15/2009 9:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I believe there is more to fibro than just the amplified pain we feel. I know my muscles do not stretch the way they use to and anytime I work muscles that aren't use to being worked in that way I end up sore and hurting. I was talking to my GP about those that do not believe the pain of fibro is real and he said, "Oh it's real alright".  We may not have the answers to why we feel the pain we do but it is real.
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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 5/15/2009 8:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for the replies to my post. I was ok until the car accident and I have lost count of the times I have gone out at night and yelled/cried I want my life back. I have accepted going threw life being blind in my right eye, having asthma but I just can't seem to accept Fibro because I don't understand it.

With the help of all of you..I hope maybe I will accept...

New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/19/2009 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   
This is very interesting. I was just diagnosed and I was told that Fibro is not an inflammation. If that is so, why does advil work? Unfortunately, I can't use it because of a blood disorder, but it does help my joints.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 5/19/2009 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I have no clue why advil would work on people with Fibro..I take prescription pain killer and a muscle relaxer. I was curious if you break your arm you know you have pain because of the break but with fibro I get pain in my arm but have no injury to it....
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