Friday 2nd August, 2019
  Categories: Practitioners

How scientists have successfully treated fibromyalgia

I know nothing
It is un-doctor like to say "I know nothing"

The fibromyalgia story

Doctors had a problem

Years ago doctors had patients complaining of widespread pain, but could not find anything wrong. It is very un-doctor like to say they knew nothing so they made an impressive sounding word for it. They put in the diagnosis manual that if anyone had widespread pain for a while and the tests came back negative it was called "fibromyalgia".

Great for doctors and drug companies

This was a boon for doctors and drug companies (1,2)

  • doctors got to sound authoritative even though they knew nothing
  • specialists and testing laboratories make a fortune "diagnosing" this condition
  • drug companies are happily selling symptom relieving drugs to patients who will never get better
Solution? No way,, that would spoil everything

Then, over a decade ago several scientists worked out what causes fibromyalgia and even successfully treated it, but it takes a while for such knowledge to get through to doctors. For example, it took 14 years from when Penicillin was discovered to when doctors started using it. In the case of the fibromyalgia doctors and drug companies are on a good thing, so they are in no hurry. In this article we'll share with you what the scientists found and what you can do.

Fibromyalgia facts
Facts about fibromyalgia from the American College of Rheumatology website

It's true

This might seem hard to believe, but here it is from the American College of Rheumatology's website.

  • It says that diagnosis based on the patients symptoms and that there are no tests to detect it. That means that you say you have have widespread soreness and they can't find anything it's called fibromyalgia.
  • They really have no idea what causes it. All they know is "research suggests that the nervous system is involved".
  • They do not have a cure. All they they can offer is medications which may reduce the symptoms.

The solution scientist have found

The main issue: sensitisation of the nervous system

Scientists have found that fibromyalgia is caused by your nervous system becoming sensitised. When this happens normal stimuli becomes painful, painful stimuli are amplified, and because the nervous system controls most of your body’s functions you get may seemingly unrelated symptoms (3,4)⁠. Sensitisation can be caused by any number of issues, but the most common is continued bombardment by pain. This can be from issues such as arthric conditions, but they found the major source of this pain was (myofascial) trigger points, which are those tender lumps in muscles that therapists find. Lets look at how these typically cause fibromyalgia to develop.

Fibromyalgia overview
An overview of fibromyalgia

How fibromyalgia forms

As this diagram shows pain from undiagnosed or inadequately treated trigger points bombard the nervous system until it becomes sensitised. Once sensitised the nervous system acts like a big amplifier, so small pain becomes large pain.

Why trigger points are undiagnosed and poorly treated

Trigger point don't show up in medical tests and are largely unrecognised by doctors. Initially they prescribe drugs and in-effective therapies for any pain they cause. When sensitisation occurs and the pain gets a lot worse they still don't recognise the trigger points, "diagnose" fibromyalgia, and tell you to take symptom relieving drugs. The drug companies are very happy.

Fibromyalgia: medical treatment
The medical treatment of fibromyalgia

Medical treatment for fibromyalgia

The medics recognise that the nervous system has become sensitised, and that the brain is receiving massive pain signals. Their solution is to have a shopping list of drugs and therapies that reduce pain and reduce the sensitivity of the nervous system.

Fibromyalgia treatment: scientific
The way the scientists successfully treated fibromyalgia

How the scientists treated fibromyalgia

The way scientists treated fibromyalgia was to simply inject the trigger points with anaesthetic. That stopped them bombarding the nervous system with pain so it stopped acting like an amplifier and the fibromyalgia faded away (5).

However, injecting trigger points with anaesthetic does not have a long lasting effect. It is excellent for investigating and proving a theory, but not a permanent solution. The permanent solution is to eliminate trigger points, which we'll discuss next.

Trigger points

As the scientist found, eliminating the pain from trigger points relieved fibromyalgia, so eliminating trigger points should go a long way towards eliminating fibromyalgia. Please allow us to refer you to our much more informative and complete guide to eliminating them.

Massage for fibromyalgia, including self help advice


  1. Di Franco M, Iannuccelli C, Bazzichi L, Atzeni F, Consensi A, Salaffi F, et al. Misdiagnosis in fibromyalgia: A multicentre study. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2011;29(6 SUPPL. 69).
  2. Sarac A, Gur A. Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies in Fibromyalgia. Curr Pharm Des. 2005;
  3. Giamberardino MA, Affaitati G, Fabrizio A, Costantini R. Myofascial pain syndromes and their evaluation. Best Practice and Research: Clinical Rheumatology. 2011.
  4. Borg-Stein J. Management of peripheral pain generators in fibromyalgia. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2002;May:28(2):305–17.
  5. Affaitati G, Costantini R, Fabrizio A, Lapenna D, Tafuri E, Giamberardino MA. Effects of treatment of peripheral pain generators in fibromyalgia patients. Eur J Pain. 2011;
  6. Lauche R, Cramer H, Haüser W, Dobos G, Langhorst J. A Systematic Overview of Reviews for Complementary and Alternative Therapies in the Treatment of the Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Evidence-based Complement Altern Med. 2015;2015(August).
  7. Tsao JCI. Effectiveness of massage therapy for chronic, non-malignant pain: A review. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2007.
  8. Li YH, Wang FY, Feng CQ, Yang XF, Sun YH. Massage therapy for fibromyalgia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLoS One. 2014;

We are continually adding more information on research and uses. Subscribe below to have us email them to you "hot off the press".

Dr Graeme

About Dr Graeme

Several years ago Dr Graeme, a Chiropractor practicing in Victoria, Australia was looking for a serious hand held massager his patients could use at home to get the extra quality massage they needed. The ones he found in the shops and on-line for home use looked nice but were not serious, and... read more

Other Articles You May Like

An easy safe way to improve sleep quality while reducing anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure

A recent study published in the journal Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention showed that a simple 15 minute back massage each day... Read Article  

Trigger point therapy for fibromyalgia: inc. self help advice

Trigger point therapy is not only good for fibromyalgia, scientists have found that trigger points are the main cause of fibromyalgia and... Read Article  

Does vibration massage help healing

It has been long understood that vibration massage can accelerate healing by increasing blood flow and tissue oxygenation. Until... Read Article  

How to release (treat) trigger points yourself

Treating or releasing trigger points yourself is actually extremely easy. With a bit of instruction and practice you can easily find the... Read Article  

Self massage for high blood pressure

A scientific research review published in the journal Current Brain and Headache Reports investigated the link between trigger points and... Read Article