People that suffering from fibromyalgia experience different types of pain. One of the pain types is hyperalgesia. This pain type leads to an increased sensitivity to pain. It is a common condition for those who suffer from central sensitivity syndromes such as fibromyalgia.
What Is Hyperalgesia?
Hyperalgesia is simply an increased response to pain. It causes you to experience more pain that is expected for any painful sensations or stimulus. For instance, a person suffering from hyperalgesia can feel more pain than a person without the condition when both are
Hence, hyperalgesia results in increased pain related to an existing condition without any changes to that condition. For example, people who suffer from fibromyalgia may suddenly develop more debilitating pain without making any lifestyle changes.
How Do You Know If You Suffer From Fibromyalgia Hyperalgesia?
How does it feel like to suffer from hyperalgesia? If you have this condition, the pain that you experience may be intensified. You may experience excruciating pain when your body is only suffering from a moderate ache.
It is a difficult condition to diagnose because the intensity of the pain feels real. Therefore, doctors typically review a patient’s medical history and look for symptoms which include:
- Pain that extends to other body parts
- Headaches and migraines
- Sharp pain in place of dull aches
Doctors are mostly looking for any differences to the pain that you normally experience. Sudden changes to the intensity and location of the pain may be signs of hyperalgesia.
What Causes Hyperalgesia in Fibromyalgia
Hyperalgesia is a condition that remains mostly a mystery to doctors. Nonetheless, they know that it is a real physiological issue and not a psychological problem.
Doctors believe that the condition is caused when receptors in your nerves become more sensitive. These receptors are part of the pain pathways in your nervous system. When the receptors have difficulty communicating, you may experience increased sensitivity to pain.
These receptors which are responsible for managing pain may become more sensitive due to other conditions that impact the way you experience pain. For example, if you suffer from fibromyalgia, you are more likely to develop hyperalgesia. It may be the result of continual interference with the pain receptors.
People who take opioids and other pain medications may also develop hyperalgesia due to the impact of the medications on the natural processes of the receptors. The receptors may become damaged over time.
How Do You Treat Hyperalgesia in Fibromyalgia?
For fibromyalgia sufferers, hyperalgesia is often treated with antidepressant medications and anti-seizure medications. These medications also impact the function of the chemical receptors and help release endorphins that may help restore a normal pain response.
People who suffer from opioid-induced hyperalgesia typically receive reduced dosages of their pain medications. Gradually decreasing the use of pain medications may allow the chemical receptors to repair, restoring natural pain pathways.
In conclusion, hyperalgesia is a common pain type in fibromyalgia. Similar to fibromyalgia, it is often a difficult condition to diagnose and treat. If you suspect that you suffer from this condition, you should work with your doctor to explore potential treatment options. Your doctor may need to adjust your medications or prescribe additional medications to help address the issue.