It can be very well true, that you may not have fibro, you may just have neurophatic pain, very similar in pain, just a little different.
Neuropathic pain is a complex, chronic pain that comes from an injury or disease that affects the nervous system (nerves, the spinal cord and brain, such as fibro). It’s caused by misfiring nerve fibres that cause pain, sometimes swelling and aching.
A burning sensation, combined with shooting pain, is the most common way neuropathic pain is described, a bad flare.
However, the type of pain experienced can be very different from person to person. Here are some other pain descriptions and symptoms: tingling; numbness; pins and needs; sensitivity to touch or cold; a crushing sensation; deep, aching pain; swelling; temperature charges; shock-like sensations.
With neuropathic pain, the mechanics that normally tell you to jerk your hand away from a hot stove may not work.
Why? Nerves normally carry messages from parts of your body to your brain through your spinal cord. Your brain responds by sending a message back down your spinal cord, telling your body how to react. If a nerve fibre is damaged, it may not effectively communicate how something feels throughout your body.
There are two main types of neuropathic pain.
Peripheral neuropathic pain is caused by injury or a condition that has damaged the nerve fibres – such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, shingles, chicken pox, HIV infection or AIDs – or occurs after an accident, surgery or amputation, injury or disease to the central nervous system, such as stroke, spinal cord injury, MS, FMS, or cancer of the brain or spinal cord.
Diagnosing neuropathic pain can sometimes be a tricky task.
There is no one medical test that detects pain, so a doctor must rely on information from you, and a physical exam. Your doctor will use a wide range of diagnostic tools to determine whether your symptoms fit the specific diagnostic criteria.
Unfortunately, treatment options do nothing to reverse the condition, but they may help improve your quality of life.
There are a number of medications, from topical ointments that contain hot peppers to help kill off bad nerve fibre, to pills, such as antidepressants or opioids. Many patients don’t respond to these treatments. In fact, a 30 per cent reduction in pain is usually considered to be a success. And, in most cases, the pain may even get worse over time.
Another option to help manage pain is exercise. Swimming is especially good because being in water reduces pressure on your body.
Alternative or complementary medicine such as acupuncture, physical therapy and electrical nerve stimulation may also help manage pain.
Sleep Away the Pain
If you have nerve-related pain, such as FMS or chronic fatigue, you may be experiencing poor sleep as well as depression.
Sleep problems have been reported by 88 per cent of people with neuropathic pain, such as FMS. More than half (55 per cent) of people who have neuropathic pain said they have experienced anxiety or depression. The catch is that if you are tired, depressed or anxious, your body is likely to be more sensitive to pain.
What can you do? Try meditation, relaxation therapy or counseling.
You can also talk to your doctor about prescription medications to help you sleep better and ease depression and anxiety. That said, exercise has been shown to be effective in lifting depression and improving sleep.