Fibromyalgia?another controversy over it!

Reference:: ?THE BACK LETTER? Vol 16, No 4, April 2001 Published by Lippicott Williams & Wilkins

The controversial hypothesis is that compression of the brain stem may be the cause of the symptoms in some individuals with ?fibromyalgia?.

There have been a FEW cases where individuals with signs and symptoms of ?fibromyalgia? have had dramatic improvements following a decompression surgery.

The surgery involves opening up the foramen magnum by removing part of the occipital bone and possibly part of the Atlas (C1). (Obviously a drastic treatment option!)

However, MRI studies show no significant difference in the size of the foramen magnum and the brain stem in individuals with ?Fibromyalgia? versus asymptomatic individuals. (If anything, the asymptomatic subjects had slightly smaller foramen magnums!)

But, a different study DID find that fibromyalgia sufferers had 5 times as many neurological abnormalities as control subjects. This is a surprize finding, as the medical community has generally believed that patients with ?fibromyalgia? have normal physical exams, except for increased tenderness.

Personal Comment:?Fibromyalgia? is a complex condition and the ?cause? is likely multi-factorial. I personally feel the diagnosis ?fibromyalgia? means?we don?t have a clue what the condition is, so we will call it ?muscle pain? in Latin to make ourselves sound intelligent? and at least now the patient can be labeled!

Posted on: February 21, 2002


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