Review Of The Article: Fibromyalgia Now Considered As A Lifelong Central Nervous System Disorder

Review Of The Article: Fibromyalgia Now Considered As A Lifelong Central Nervous System Disorder

This article comes from the website and it covers research done by Daniel Clauw, M.D., Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan

I do this review with thirty-one years of chronic pain experience. I spent about twenty years with chronic pain and misdiagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. I’ve been correctly diagnosed with fibromyalgia for the last eleven years. I have been to more than fifteen doctors over the years, maybe more. Fibro fog does a number on the old memory.

The article talks about the research that Dr. Clauw has done on fibromyalgia. It is stated in the article that fibromyalgia is the second most common rheumatic disorder, yet he states that is it a central nervous system disorder. That confuses me. A central nervous system seems like it should be treated by a neurologist, whereas a rheumatic illness would be treated by a Rheumatologist.

The majority of the articles deals with the issue of the central nervous system. He also states that it is a life long CNS disorder.


When I first read this article over a month ago, I wondered about the assertion that it is a life long disorder. My first thought was, “no it isn’t.” Then I was preparing a Blog post about fibromyalgia having more than 70 symptoms. I thought about a few symptoms manifesting while I was a child, but pain was not among those symptoms. Then I talked to my Neuro-psychologist and she said that people may have fibromyalgia waiting for a stress-induced trigger. That stress inducing trigger might be a car wreck, an operation, abuse or suffering some other traumatic life event.

So maybe it is a lifelong condition. But for me, it has not been a life long chronic pain condition.

Because it is a Central Nervous System (CNS) disorder, the pain one feels with fibromyalgia comes from the brain and spinal cord, not the area of pain. If you feel extreme pain in your lower back, hips or thighs, the pain is coming from the CNS not the lower back, hips or thighs.

This article makes three other questionable statements that I take issue with. First, he asserts that opiates are not a good treatment for fibro. I have eleven years of experience and two pain management doctors who would disagree. My pain is helped a great deal by opiates and muscle relaxers.

And then after making that assertion doesn’t go into detail, but glosses over the alternatives to pain management. He does mention gabapentinoids, trycyclics and serotonoin reuptake inhibitors. Those MEDs have not worked for me and I have heard from many fibromites that they do not work for them as well.

The last criticism is that he states that goal improved function. While he is obviously not a patient of fibromyalgia he can say that, but to those of us with fibromyalgia, we want pain, relief first then we can try to work on improved function. Often, managing pain alone improves function.

The biggest contribution the article makes to the issue of fibromyalgia is that is suggests that fibromyalgia is an illness of the CNS. Other than that, most of the information has already been presented by many other researchers.

What do you think about the article? Do you agree or disagree with my review of the article and why?

Troy Wagstaff ©

I am not a health care professional of any type and I assume no liability for the information and opinions presented in this article or Blog post.

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