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Chronic Pain & Fibromyalgia

Chronic Pain & Fibromyalgia

Chronic pain can be caused by dysfunctional nerves and or inflammation.

It may last for weeks, months, or even years. The original cause may have been an injury, structural abnormality, repetitive use/motion trauma or an infection, such as the shingles virus. Sometimes a clear cause remains undiscovered. Pain starts in receptor nerve cells found beneath the skin and in organs throughout the body. These receptor cells send messages along nerve pathways to the spinal cord, which then carries the message to the brain. 

When pain becomes such a problem that it interferes with your life’s work and normal activities, you may become the victim of a vicious circle. Pain may cause you to become preoccupied with the pain, depressed, and irritable. Depression and irritability often lead to insomnia and weariness, leading to more irritability, depression, stress, and pain. 

Fibromyalgia affects is a chronic painful condition affecting the muscles and soft tissue in as many as 4 million Americans 18 and older. Symptoms include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender (trigger) points.

It is not one condition but a compilation of different syndromes; therefore, one treatment does not fit all patients. More than that, treatment of two patients with similar fibromyalgia symptoms may be drastically different due to different underlying triggers.

Dr.Anne Louise Oaklander, MD, PhD, director of the Nerve Injury Unit in the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Neurology says, “Fibromyalgia is too complex for a ‘one size fits all’ explanation.” However, there are some basics that apply to most fibromyalgia patients.

It is important to reduce the amount of useless processed carbs in your diet, particularly sugars, including sweet fruits and fruit juices. Also white bread, pasta, rice, baked goods, candy etc. These foods elevate inflammation. The most common food allergens include: WHEAT, MILK, SOY, PEANUTS, CORN, EGGS, and SHELLFISH. Keep a food diary for a month or try a food elimination diet and figure out what’s triggering you.

Fibromyalgia is often caused by adrenal fatigue. Most patients with fibromyalgia have suffered a sudden major life trauma within a few years prior to their diagnosis or have had chronic long term stress for many years. Life trauma can wear out the adrenals, preventing them from producing the amount of cortisol the body needs daily. Low cortisol levels cause higher inflammation and fatigue – two of the primary symptoms of fibromyalgia. Therefore nourishing the adrenals is very important. A glandular based product called Adrenal (Pure Encapsulations) can help. Take 2 capsules in the morning. Also tone down the caffeine in your diet and get good consistent sleep. Herbal zzzz’s (North American Herb and Spice) take 1 or 2 at bedtime. If needed, take 1 in the middle of the night if you wake up and can’t get back to sleep.

Glutamate and GABA (Gamma-Amino Butyric acid) are the most abundant neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, and especially in the cerebral cortex, which is where thinking occurs, and sensations are interpreted. In people with fibromyalgia there is a GABA deficiency and excess of other neurotransmitters such as, glutamate, dopamine, and norepinephrine. They are all supposed to be in balance.

For instance, glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter and when it connects to nearby cells, it causes them to activate and send a nerve impulse. GABA on the other hand does the opposite – when it attaches to another cell, it tells it to stop and not to send an impulse. Therefore, with a deficiency in GABA, nerve cells can fire easily and far too often.

Normally, the brain pumps out all the GABA we need. Unfortunately, due to a poor diet, exposure to environmental toxins, or other factors, levels of GABA may become depleted. When the body fails to produce enough GABA, or utilize the amounts it has, tension, anxiety and pain can escalate.

Findings published April 2017 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation show that within the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), the neurotransmitter GABA can interfere with the production of pain signals. Gabapentin is a drug often prescribed for chronic pain. It is an ‘analogue’ of GABA and manufactured to mimic the effects of GABA, however it does not appear to affect the same receptors in the brain, is not converted into GABA and has no effect on the amount of GABA in the brain.

The human body also contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in regulating a variety of functions including sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. It is literally a bridge between body and mind. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system and play an important part in regulating inflammation. They act like someone stepping on the brakes when inflammation begins. Your ECS regulates how quickly neurotransmitters are being released, slowing them down or speeding them up as necessary to return to and maintain balance.

A Michigan Medicine study published in the June 4, 2021 “The Journal of Pain”, a significant number of people with fibromyalgia are finding an effective replacement in CBD-containing products. The U-M team found that more than 70% of people with fibromyalgia substituted CBD for addictive opioids or other pain medications. Of these participants, many reported that they either decreased use or stopped taking opioids and other pain medications as a result. CBD oil has been so effective in decreasing discomfort/pain, it has been approved in Canada for multiple sclerosis and cancer pain.

Low Vitamin D levels can cause muscle pain and weakness. Studies show that as many as 25% of people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome have low vitamin D levels, and that supplementation may help lower pain levels in some cases. One study shows that vitamin D-deficient people need twice as much narcotic pain reliever as non-deficient people.

A study reported from the Orthopedic Hospital Vienna, researchers found between the first and the 25th week on Vitamin D supplementation, the treatment group improved significantly on a scale of physical role functioning, while the placebo group remained unchanged.

Your Vitamin D blood level should be between 45 & 60. Get it tested if you haven’t already and check the numbers. Don’t settle for a report of normal or low from the doctor’s office.

A nervine normalizes the functions of the nervous system, soothing and relieving tension. A neuro-trophorestorative is something herbs can do which pharmaceutical drugs don’t. It restores optimal function and structure of an organ or tissue. With focus on restoration of the neurons. An anxiolytic relieves anxiety. Not all anxiolytic herbs do this in the same way. A spasmolytic relieves or decreases muscle spasms in smooth or skeletal muscle.

Nerve Support Formula (Woodstock Herbal) a combination formula containing Oat seed, Skullcap, St. John’s wort, the most useful herbs to restore and calm the nerves.

Injurecov (Vinco) For Inflammation, ingredients: Ginger Root Std. Extract (5% Gingerols), Turmeric Rhizome Std. Extract (95% Curcuminoids), Boswellia Serrata Gum Resin (40% Boswellic Acid),  DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA),  Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Collagen (Type II), DGL Licorice Root, Dicalcium Phosphate, Stearic Acid, Modified Cellulose Gum, and Silicon Dioxide.

Muscle Tranq (Vinco) 1-2 capsules before bed is a natural muscle relaxer. You can also take them during the day if you are chronically stressed. However, most fibromyalgia sufferers sleep very tight, stressing the nervous system and muscles and as a result suffer from lack of sleep.

GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) 250mg to 500mg once or twice a day, is an amino acid and a neurotransmitter, a type of chemical responsible for carrying signals from a nerve cell to another cell.

Extremely gentle massage with experienced therapists is very beneficial and most fibromyalgia patients tell me works wonders for them.

As stated earlier, fibromyalgia is a complex syndrome where diet, hormone balance (particularly for women), lifestyle, stress, sleep and potentially numerous other factors need to be addressed. Consistency is the key! Be diligent every day for at least 3 months to begin feeling a noticeable improvement!

Many of these suggestions can also be applied to other chronic pain problems. For specific help for your health concerns In-office and Telephone appointments are available at the Tree of Life Wellness Center Inc. (508-336-4242).

Consult With Professionals at The Tree of Life Wellness Center

  • There are many more ways to effectively treat fibromyalgia even if you have had it for a long time.
  • Before making any significant changes to your health regimen, especially if you have existing health conditions or are taking medication, we strongly advise consulting with a healthcare professional. To assist you in this process, consider reaching out to the naturopathic practitioners at The Tree of Life Wellness Center. They are well-equipped to answer your questions about fibromyalgia and guide you on your health routine.
  • Contact The Tree of Life Wellness Center: Call 508-336-4242 to book an appointment for a personalized health consultation. Their team of experts can provide you with tailored advice and support on your journey to natural health.

Engage with Our Holistic Healthline Talk Radio Show

  • Join the conversation and expand your knowledge about holistic health by tuning in to the Holistic Healthline Talk Radio show. This is your opportunity to engage with experts and like-minded individuals in the field of natural health.
  • Tune In: Listen every Saturday morning from 8-10am on WHJJ 920AM & 104.7FM.
  • Call In with Your Questions: Dial TOLL FREE at 1-866-920-9455 during the show to ask your questions and share your experiences. It’s a great platform to discuss fibromyalgia and other natural health topics.

Your Health, Your Way

*Always check with your health practitioner when adding in new supplements.

Jane Jansen – Holistic Practitioner Tree of Life Wellness Center

Host Holistic Healthline Radio