By Dr Yunus
Picture source:fibromyalgia and overlapping disorders by Dr Yunus
CSS Pain syndromes are thought to be a consequence of exhaustion and a break down in a persons survival/stress systems. Associated with this is changes at a hormonal, neural, immune and cellular level. Resulting in “hypersensitivity” to one or more stressors (endogenous and exogenous), as well as, pain being experienced in an amplified way (allodynia/hyperalgesia). As the pain and emotional pathways are interconnected, emotional distress can also be experienced in an amplified way.
There are many pain syndromes. They are actually quite common. Less severe pain syndromes like Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are experienced by around 1 in 10 people. Fibromyalgia characterised by muscle aches and pains and widespread pain is thought to impact between 2%-4% of the population. That is between 1 in 25 and 1 in 50. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome impacts less than 1% of the population. People witih CFS, often have multiple pain syndromes at once. Mental health concerns like anxiety and depression, and allergies, food and environmenatl sensitivities are also common to people with CFS. This is why they can experience a long list of symptoms. Up to 50 symptoms, occassionally more.
Fibromyalgia, and related
- IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS);
- PMS: Premenstrual Syndroms;
- MPS: Myofacial Pain
- TMJ: Temporal
- TT: Tension headaches
- OAB: Overactive Bladder Syndrome
- other related e.g. migraines, PTSD, CFS, Depression
Pain Syndromes are now generally referred to as Central Sensitivty Syn
dromes. They are also sometimes reffered to as Pain Somatoform Disorders, Functional Nerve Disorder, or when more severe as in CFS – MCS, environmental illness.
People with these syndromes are often accused of faking there symptoms, (malingering, hypochondria), however this not the case. The symptoms are REAL.
Explaining Central Sensitisation
Central Sensitisation can be explained as problems at the level of the brain and spinal cord (CENTRAL)
A nervous system in a wired, wound up and hyper-excitable state due to the way neuro-endo-immune cells communicate chemically and through other mechanisms. (SENSITISATION)
These sensitised cells amplify , or make stronger, messages that we get from our senses. This can cause sensory stimuli that is not normally painful, (e.g. light touch, soft sound) to become painful. This is known as Allodynia, Hyperalgesia.
When ever we experience pain, it concerns the brain, and makes it anxious. If you do not do something (e.g. remove the source of your pain (trigger), manage thought provoking anxiety through stress management and relaxation techniques) the brain can continue to turn up the volume on your pain.