Patients suffering from fibromyalgia have many vexing symptoms; in contrast, physicians do not have a logical physiopathological framework to explain the multiple complaints. The objective of this writing is to discuss a patient-centered holistic fibromyalgia therapy based on a coherent physiopathological model.
The rationale proposing fibromyalgia as stress-related sympathetically maintained neuropathic pain syndrome has solid research foundations. Autoimmunity is evident in a subset of fibromyalgia cases. Dorsal root ganglia are likely the crucial sympathetic-nociceptive short circuit sites. Skin biopsy and corneal confocal microscopy have demonstrated small nerve fiber pathology in fibromyalgia cases.
Patient empowerment through information and symptom validation is the first step for a successful fibromyalgia therapy.
Points to Highlight
Fibromyalgia is a genuine painful neuropathic pain syndrome. In fibromyalgia stress becomes pain. Autonomic (sympathetic) dysfunction explains the multiplicity of fibromyalgia symptoms.
The well-informed patient (and her/his family) must take on the leading role in her/his own rehabilitation. Fibromyalgia treatment often requires important lifestyle changes. Physicians and allied health care personnel facilitate this adjustment. Specific fibromyalgia drivers are discussed. Common modern bad habits alter autonomic nervous system balance and worsen fibromyalgia symptoms. Currently used drugs for fibromyalgia are rudimentary and with low retention rates. Autoimmune fibromyalgia requires focused therapeutic approach.
A patient-centered holistic therapy aimed to regain autonomic nervous system resilience remains the most effective fibromyalgia therapy.
Corneal confocal microscopy will likely become an objective fibromyalgia diagnostic and follow-up procedure. More specific analgesic antineuropathic medications for fibromyalgia are on the horizon.