New Fibromyalgia Research

Recent research has linked the pain of fibromyalgia to small nerve fiber neuropathy, which means painful damage to a certain part of nerves. This could be ground-breaking, as fibromyalgia has previously been linked to nerve dysfunction, but not as actual nerve damage.

Researchers examined the small fibers in different areas of the body using three different methods: sensory testing, pain response, and skin biopsy.
They were compared with between people with fibromyalgia, those with depression, and healthy subjects.

They determined that people with fibromyalgia had:

Impaired small fiber function that lead to increased temperature sensitivity;
Sensory irregularities in the feet, face, and hands;
Lower total nerve fibers and fewer regenerating nerve fibers in the skin;
Fewer unmyelinated nerve fiber bundles in the skin, but normal levels of myelinated nerve fibers.

Researchers concluded that all three testing methods support the idea of impaired small fiber function, and therefore a high likelihood of neuropathic pain, in fibromyalgia.

The fibers in the skin, organs, and peripheral nerves are called C fibers or small fibers. Their job is to provide sensation for your skin and to control autonomic function - all the automatic jobs your body, like regulating heart rate, breathing, and body temperature. Damage to these nerves is called peripheral neuropathy.

The Relevance
This could be an extremely important avenue of research. Doctors understand neuropathic pain. It's common in diabetes and as a result of nerve damage. It's a concrete explanation for our pain, which is currently classified as "poorly understood".

Neuropathy in Fibromyalgia makes sense. It explains why medications known to improve neuropathy, such as Lyrica (pregabalin), work for some of us. It also explains the nature of our pain and the way it moves around.

It also raises a new question - what is damaging our small fibers? Is it our immune systems, which would mean fibromyalgia is autoimmune? Do we lack an enzyme that aids in axon growth and repair? Is it a problem with cellular metabolism?

Let's hope that researchers start asking those questions and looking for answers, because if it truly is nerve damage - and not just dysfunction - it also brings us better credibility with professionals along with more concrete targets for treatment.

There can never be any more suspicion with Doctors suggesting it’s all in our heads, it also brings definitive diagnosis to our table. Pip, ESA and many more aids to help us will be easier to apply for and maintain.

Life for fibromyalgia sufferers will certainly improve should this direction of research progress.


By Phone (message phone)07974074286

  • w-facebook

And Lets Discover

Our Supporters


Bristol Hippodrome


Waterside Holiday Park & SPA


This web site is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the medical advice or services of your health care providers.

Every effort has been made to make this web page as accurate as possible. This information is not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment, or the justification for accepting or declining any medical treatment for any health problems or diseases. Any application of the information presented in these web pages is at the reader's own discretion. Therefore, any individual who has a specific health problem should consult his or her health care provider . No-one associated with the Fibromyalgia Research UK Charity can be held liable for any use or misuse relating to the information provided. This information is provided to the general public and it is the sole responsibility of persons using this information to consult with his or her health care provider. The information contained on this web site is not intended, and should not be construed, as professional medical advice or recommendations. No information provided should be construed as the practice of medicine or an offer of medical advice.

This web-site is for information purposes only.