THE SIGNATURE PATTERN: For Pain Signals In The Brain

It was construed as a figment of imagination for many years for sufferers of Fibromyalgia Syndrome and went undiagnosed for years.  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain can detect pain signals in the early onset stages of Fibromyalgia symptoms

Fibrositis in 1904 was the original diagnosis for Fibromyalgia symptoms.  In 1972, patients became more descriptive with their symptoms, a widespread pain with tender points near joints. A core of symptoms developed and the name was changed in 1976 to Fibromyalgia and currently FMS. The first sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) was performed in 1975 a test that records and measures electrical activity in the brain as sleep deprivation is a symptom of Fibromyalgia. Through studies in 1986, serotonergic – norepinephric were the first drugs to be effective with Fibromyalgia symptoms.

Two – four percent of Americans, approximately 10 million people with a ratio of eight to two women over men, have Fibromyalgia Syndrome that is now known as FM.

Being rare in existence and doctors unfamiliar with the connection of Fibrositis, many patients developed depression.  Depression is also linked to signals in the brain and led many patients to many years of doctor appointments while wondering why they were still in pain, every day while receiving psych services. The intense pain left many patients depressed, and studies have found that Fibromyalgia is more of a neurological disorder because the pain felt is nerve pain. Lifestyle choices and daily chores are also affected as well as their sleeping habits and mental and physical well-being. Doris Dangerfield, Professional Counselor, “states that she recommends her Fibromyalgia or chronic pain patients to see a psychiatrist, to obtain therapy.”

Fibromyalgia patient is starting her day with a heat treatment to soften the stiffness and sharp, intense morning pain.

Now that Fibromyalgia is more prevalent as a medical diagnosis, some of the pain symptoms could be relieved with proper health care, mentally and physically, as Doris Dangerfield states in her interview, “depression causes pain, and pain causes depression.”

A pain pattern is now indicative to establishing a Fibromyalgia diagnosis.  Localizing pain patterns on patients is now an acceptable diagnosis. Newer methods after many visits to multiple doctors, like an MRI of the brain that can verify pain. In affected areas of the brain, instances of pain, where it should not be. Pain management specialist, Dr. Mahmoud N. Sabbagh, MD, from Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan states “there are minimally invasive approaches to calm the nerve pain, along with diet, and weight loss for some.”  Nerve pain sends signals to the brain, affected nerves run through the spine, causing pain in different areas of the body. Some people opt to have an ablation. Ablation is a procedure used to burn the nerve leading to the area most affected by grief.

This is the neurology department at Harper Hospital, 3990 John R. Street, Detroit Michigan, the Neurology department where Fibromyalgia patients go for nerve pain. Image source: Cynthia Gladden
chroic pain suffer
Fibromyalgia with widespread pain and tender points, now related to pain signals sent from the brain, leading out to nerve roots form the spinal cord. Image source: Cynthia Gladden

When you cope with pain on a daily basis, it can affect the lives of others as well. The impact of a loved one being in chronic on a regular basis has its toll. The way of living will change an entire family’s daily routine when nerve pain is the extent of the day for a Fibromyalgia, family member.  Leeah Gregory-Gladden talks about her mothers Fibromyalgia. “It is difficult for the family when you watch a person be in pain.” “My mom is in pain from the time she gets up until she goes to bed.” “She is a warrior when it comes to pain; she never lets it kill her dreams.” People diagnosed with FM have a life-changing experience with their health, which affects some aspects of their personal and family living. Many people with FM do not look like sickly with pain until they have to walk or areas of the body become inflamed with pain.

Dorie Renee Fann-Purry is a survivor of Fibromyalgia and Lupus. She says “I get tired of people judging me by how I look. “ “I fight through pain every day and to have someone make a snide comment about me parking in a handicap zone, pisses me off.” Dorie Renee Fann-Purry is an active member of the Lupus Detroit, and advocates to help others in chronic pain.

A possible Fibromyalgia patient, Brandi Milton, continues to seek out answers to find out what is causing her pain. She says, “I have all of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia but have yet to be diagnosed with the condition.” “Maybe I should ask for an MRI, since I’m receiving this new information, about nerve pain.” Fibromyalgia was a mysterious disease for years, but with the new studies developed, an answer is in the making for millions that suffer every day.

 Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan offers a road to recovery

Healthy eating habits and exercise has been linked to helping with FM symptoms and is part of treatment plans when treating pain symptoms. Keeping a healthy weight can help you maintain pain levels. Stretching is also excellent for a morning routine to help stretch out stiffness from sleeping. Getting the proper rest is also important, leaving you feeling more refreshed to start your day and carry out a daily routine to help keep those pain levels down. Planning healthy daily routines is part of a recipe to help with nerve pain.


 Now that Fibromyalgia is a recognized disease ask more questions when you go to the doctor. Request a test that could lead to a quicker diagnosis. Ask to see a neurologist for a second opinion. Research is being done continually to help pain patients cope with pain as well as treat what is now considered nerve pain, from signals in the brain. Pain that leaves a signature by receiving pain signals in the brain, where pain should not perceive itself in the body.


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