What You Need to Know About Peripheral Neuropathy and Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy had been associated to fibromyalgia in many ways. In fact, some suggest that it may be the root cause of fibromyalgia. But what is peripheral neuropathy and how does this affects fibro sufferers? Read on to find out.




What is Peripheral Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a disorder that is related to the nerves and could extend all throughout your body’s peripheries. Your nerve connects your body to your brain which is is responsible behind the physical sensations you feel, such as pain. A fault in this link could lead to many problems.

It is your nerves that transmit signals from your skin to your brain. Your brain will then interpret this and send a message back down to the nerves. This is the reason why you feel pain in your hands whenever you touch a something hot or sharp. You are not really feeling the pain in your hand, but the sensation of pain comes from your brain. Your brain merely relies from the signals of your hand to let you know if you are injured or hurting.

With fibromyalgia, this normal process of pain is disrupted somewhere along the way. Many experts believe that the problem lies in the central nervous system however recent studies suggest that problem could be due to small nerve impairment in the skin.




The Link Between Fibromyalgia and Small Nerve Fiber Neuropathy

The concept of pain without any obvious cause is what fibro sufferers are familiar with. Recent studies suggest that nerve damage may play a bigger role in fibromyalgia.

Two separate studies conducted in 2013 and 2015 found evidence of a condition known as small nerve fiber neuropathy (SFN) in fibromyalgia participants. SFN is also a pain disorder and shows similar symptoms to fibromyalgia such as pain, burning sensations and tenderness in the hands and feet. In SFN, patients exhibit impaired small nerve fiber function resulting in increased pain. These studies suggest that the root of fibromyalgia pain may actually be neuropathic for some.

A simple test can be done to determine if you have small nerve fiber neuropathy. This test is called punch biopsy. Thus, if you are suffering from fibromyalgia, it may be a good idea to consider taking this test. It can mean discovering treatment options for your condition.

12 Comments

  • My fibromyalgia pain is throughout my body, head to toe 24/7/365. I have spinal stenosis, bulging disks and degenerative disk disease which certainly adds to the pain. I’ve developed Interstitial cystitis which is not uncommon for fibro sufferers. Those are just the tip of the iceberg, as they say. Everything else I have is chronic, too. It is only by the Grace of God that I can endure at all. May God continue to bless and keep each of you who have fibromyalgia and other health issues as well.

    • I have all 3 of those you mentioned, with the fibro…is there a reason why all 3 would be there? I also wonder if RH O Negative blood would have anything to do with it?

  • I have pain from fibro 24/7 also, with the neuropathy too, also IBS and Interstitial Cystitis. I’ve been getting sort of burning pains sporadically on the sides of my feet & hands, which I’m assuming is part of the neuropathy.

    Brigette – no clue, but I am AB negative.

  • I would like to know what people are taking for their pain. I have fibro, IC and IBS and cancer. My doctor wants me to go off tramadol. It’s the only medicine that helps my pain. Any advice?

    • So sorry to hear of all your health challenges. May I ask why your Dr recommends going off the tramadol? It has been the only pain meds that has worked for me. I have degenerative disk, herniated disks at L4/L5, sciatic, fibro diagnosed 12 years ago, 3 open heart surgeries in the past 4 years to correct aorta dissection, thoracic & abdominal aneurysms.

      I hope your cancer, IC & IBS are in remission. Peace

  • I’m so sorry Bea, that you’re having to fight that beast, cancer, as well as chronic pain. I’m sorry I have no answers though, as I haven’t taken anything for all my pain except for headaches, I take Excedrin and migraines, I have a prescription.

  • I also have pain from head to toe 24/7 with flares of severe pain. Some days it’s even painful to wear clothes! Nothing has worked for my pain but neurontin has helped with the burning pain in feet and ankles. I also work a full time job and a part time job… both desk jobs and both are from home thank goodness! I have back issues. I wish everyone experiencing chronic pain the best! May God bless us all

  • I have A Pos blood. My latest shooting nerve type pains are in my forearms, top of wrists into top of my hands, I was just told by my Orthopedic Dr= Tendonitis. Rest them as much as I can and wear braces. I do have Carpal Tunnel symptoms in both but this is now in addition to that.

  • I’m Rh a neg and suffer both with migraines and have had both carpal tunnel ops on both hands tramadol and neurontin and oxyContin are the only pain relief that seems to work. Being a chef it’s hard to keep going but We do don’t we.
    Busy having a major flare up at the moment,, but hubby doesn’t understand,, I like you all wish this condition was curable, and hope you are all keeping well xx

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