Living with Hyperalgesia – a painful condition of fibromyalgia

It has now become very common to hear the term fibromyalgia. People from various part of the world experience strange pain in their body and if they go for diagnosis, it is hard to find out the actual cause of the pain.

For some patients these pains are never changing and troubles them throughout their life.

Though researches have not proved the causes, based on the experiences from people who already have this condition, it is now easier to understand more about fibromyalgia and take some simple steps for pain reduction.

When you have continuous symptoms of pain, it can also be called as Hyperalgesia yet another symptom experienced by fibromyalgia patients. When you know the medical terms, it becomes easier for you to explain your problem to you doctor.

The pain symptoms that a fibromyalgia patient experience is also of different types and each pain symptom has a different name.

People have shared different experiences that they have. Based on these experiences pain symptoms are categorized.

Hyperalgesia is one such pain symptom experienced by the individuals. This symptom can be an outcome of fibromyalgia or it can be due to opioids addiction which can then lead to fibromyalgia problems.

Know more about hyperalgesia

Hyperalgesia is a term that is used to denote excess pain in the body experienced by an individual. This is one of the major symptom experienced by people with fibromyalgia.

With the condition of fibromyalgia the pain that is experienced by the individual is usually amplified. The normal pain signals are amplified to make the individual experience more pain in a particular part of the body.

Comparing with people who don’t have fibromyalgia a normal pain can usually be bearable but in people who have fibromyalgia, even a small symptom of pain is amplified to produce severe pain in their body parts.

Drugs are given to supress the pain symptoms experienced as an outcome of fibromyalgia.

These drugs are usually focused on reducing hyperalgesia. Some of the facts about hyperalgesia are as follows:

  • Experiences from various individuals who use opioid medications say that it can be one of the reason to cause hyperalgesia. When people take high doses of opioids for general health conditions like pain in any part of the body or when they have a chronic or migraine head ache, it can cause hyperalgesia.
  • People who have undergone chronic opioid treatment have also reported hyperalgesia.
  • The opioids medication is also responsible for amplification of the pain signals which can even cause inflammatory condition in the affected region. This can reach to hyperalgesia.
  • For some people hyperalgesia is a condition that continues to result in fibromyalgia. But for some people fibromyalgia is the first symptom experienced where the individuals experience chronic neuropathic pain. That will then lead to hyperalgesia. So it can be both ways.
  • For patients who have undergone surgery opioids would have been used to supress postoperative pain. In these patients hyperalgesia is seen after the opioids medication is stopped.

Hyperalgesia and fibromyalgia

Opioid addiction a cause for hyperalgesia

Fibromyalgia can be a constituent for neuropathic pain giving a disturbing effect to most of the patients. It can be an outcome of opioid addiction that a person is exposed to.

If a person is prescribed with opioids medication, they easily get addicted to it as it provides relief during the earlier stages.

Recent researches were conducted to identify the effect of opioid on fibromyalgia patients. It was identified that people who take long term opioid therapy get the side effect of hyperalgesia.

As a post-operative therapy, opioid is given to the patients for pain reduction. This can also be a period where people can get used to opioid and which can in turn change into addiction.

Opioid withdrawal also gives multiple symptoms that a fibromyalgia patient find difficult to manage. It takes some time to get used to the withdrawal of opioids.

If people are on high doses of opioids the withdrawal symptoms of hyperalgesia and allodynia are seen.

Due to the addictive nature of the pill, the patients complete the opioid drugs prescribed to them even before the due date.

This can lead to over dosage or addiction towards opioid. They will not have patience to visit their doctor in the next course but they will end up buying opioid in the street shops.

In other case people who have addiction towards opioids visit their doctors quite often to get a refill. There is a medical term that denotes this condition which is called Opioid Induced Hyperalgesia.

In this condition the patients become more dependent on opioids and also become addict in some case where they will not be able to stand without consuming opioids.

Effects of hyperalgesia in fibromyalgia patients

Ignoring the fact that opioids are major constituent for hyperalgesia symptoms, fibromyalgia patients also experience hyperalgesia to a greater extent.

During this condition people with fibromyalgia experience hyper sensitivity in their central nervous system. This will ultimately lead to hyperalgesia.

Fibromyalgia patients are someone who already experience widespread chronic pain in their body. Searching for some relief, people get used to opioid addiction after diagnosing their pain symptoms as fibromyalgia.

In patients with hyperalgesia the pain symptoms will be very high. If they get a minor injury in their body, the pain will be experienced ten times to that of what a normal person will experience.

Due to the high pain signals transmitted by the brain, the body also gets tired and it will lead to lots of stress and depression.

When a pain signal is transmitted by the brain, those signals are amplified by the pain pathways ultimately leading to experience of server pain and unbearable pain in the parts of the body.

There are some natural pain relieving factors in the body. Due to these highly amplified signals, some of the pain relieving pathways in the body will find it very difficult to supress the pain signals that are produced.

This will ultimately make the individual feel more pain compared to that of what a normal person will experience.

15 Comments

  • I have recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have some of the symptoms described in this article. Would definitely be interested in any new info. regarding this disease, treatments, etc.

    • Me also don’t like the side effects of neuroton on oxycodon 5 mg 3xa day and furacet 4xaday pain in feet head aches neck and ears so bad have to stay in bed need help going to a neuro surgen 31st for 3rd opinion on campus spine stenosis don’t know what to do

      • Linda, you may want to be checked for TMJ BEFORE u have ANY surgery done unless it is to fix your TMJ joint on which ever side of face u r having most pain. Try putting your index finger on jaw joint, in front of your ear-u will feel where ur jaws meet-then open /close ur mouth and if it hurts ALOT, AND I MEAN ALOT, and have some popping sound, then find an oral surgeon and have him check u out ASAP!!! U also may have Fibro but when u said neck AND EARS that usually means TMJ issues of some type….just my thought from a person who has both and lots more….

        • Jaw pain can be from muscle tightness if it’s related to Fibro. My neck was stiff, my face seemed to hurt, around the ears… I can’t say enough about massage. My massage therapist was able to release the tension in my jaw and my neck tension instantly released! Try massage, try accupressure/accupuncture before resorting to surgery. Obviously always consult a Dr. If you can see a specialist! It really helped me seeing a pain specialist.

          • I would have to say that massage and the other tips you gave may be good for you and I am not knocking it at all, but a massage for me is definitely torture and I couldn’t imagine trying either of accu treatments. Any kind of small needle cause pain to spread out, like when my finger gets pricked or small cut of some sort causes the finger and hand it hurt. So these things may work for some, but I know for myself they wouldn’t work. Just a thought and no disrespect to you.

        • I also have Fibro, TMJ, abstuctive Sleep Apnea, Brain Fog and Muscle Jerks and much more . Many other’s have the same and many more symptom’s. I would look into all of your symptoms on line and you may have TMJ and other’s. Good Luck in you journey.

    • Hang in there Nancy! This is my first year with it and it was a tough road trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Check out your local library for books. Right now I’m reading Fibromyalgia for Dummies, The First Year Fibromyalgia (essential guide for newly diagnosed) by Claudia Craig Marek (patient-expert walks you through everything you need to learn and do), the Fibromyalgia Cookbook by Shelley Ann Smith, Water Exercises for Fibromyalgia by Ann Rosenstein, The Complete Fibromyalgia Health, Diet Guide and Cookbook by Dr Louise S McCrindle and Dr Alison C Bested. Also looking at The Permanent Pain Cure by Ming Chew, PT.
      For me, it has helped tremendously to focus on drinking lots of water, taking a 20 min break every hour that I work, going for walks, stretching any opportunity I have and breaking my meals up into small snacks throughout the day and being mindful about what I am eating (whole foods, fresh foods, fruits & veggies, as organic as possible, and maintaining enough protein for energy). Make sure you get enough sleep, that is key. I had to take Ambien for a while, then had to wean myself from it because I became dependent on it and couldn’t sleep without it. Be careful of sleep aids! Try Valerian Root and Melatonin. See a Rheumatologist and pain specialist to make sure your symptoms are Fibro. Hope that helps.

  • I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 7 years ago. Also allergic to opiods which has been something of a challenge, to say the least.

    A diet change up helped alot. Less red meat more fish and fowl… Lots of veggies that sort of thing.

    Medications in general just tend to make things worse once they wear off.. So I go without. Yoga, pilates, walking, swimming all very helpful.

    Some days just can’t be helped. Snooze days. It is incredibly important to have family support.

  • I have been dealing with this more than 20 years. It has only gotten worse day After day. So many things hurt and now my mind is so frustrated and mad and scared I can’t even get a word in with pc. He looks at me and acts as if I’m doomed and he has no idea how to get any of it under control. Ready to die.

  • I have had this for 7 years I have been on all sorts off medication But fans patches for a year they started to burn my back witch left me big blisters anywhere I put them tens machine dose not work and I put it up full I am now on MST 15 plus 30 but the last month I could not get the 30 so they gave me 30 Zomorph but they are not working the pain you feel is unbarabil so I hope I can get something else soon

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