Fibromyalgia (FM) is a musculoskeletal pain condition that is characterised by chronic widespread pain and increased pain sensitivity. It's also often accompanied by sleep disturbances, fatigue, memory problems and psychological issues and it is more common in women.
It used to be believed that FM was essentially an idiopathic (no known cause) or even psychogenic (having a psychological component) condition.
However thanks to current research these should be seen as definitively outdated.
Recent research has shown that there is evidence of both systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation in fibromyalgia patients. This is the first time that such an extensive inflammatory profile has been described for FM patients and means that FM seems to be characterised by biochemical changes in the body.
So in addition to hyperexcitability of the nervous system and issues with regulating the sensitivity of the body, chronic inflammation probably plays a role in fibromyalgia.
So if it is a Chronic Inflammatory Condition will nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work?
The researchers concluded that although the results of the present study point to the importance of chronic inflammation in FM, it is important not to jump to conclusions concerning the use of NSAIDs in this pain condition. FM being a chronic condition, it is important to ponder the potential side effects of long-term NSAID use.
The other thing to note is that as most FM patients are women, the possible relationship between inflammation and levels of ovarian hormones in FM patients is also something to think about.