Why Anti-inflammatories Don't Work For Fibromyalgia?

Anti-inflammatory drugs are usually the very first medication doctors prescribe to fibromyalgia patients to help alleviate their pain. It is also what many fibromyalgia patients would turn to during early years of their condition. However, it wouldn’t take long for many to realize that this class of drugs are not effective for fibromyalgia.

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What are anti-inflammatory drugs?

Most over the counter painkillers such as Ibuprofen (Advil), Naproxen (Aleve) fall under the class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) analgesics. As the name suggest, NSAIDs drugs reduce pain caused by inflammation which can result from an infection, an injury or an illness.

What exactly is inflammation?

Inflammation is often misunderstood or misused. Most people use the word inflammation and infection interchangeably causing a misconception of the meaning of an inflammation. While infection is the cause of an attack of foreign substance such as bacteria or virus on body cells, inflammation, on the other hand, is a defensive process initiated by our body in response to harmful stimuli and our body’s attempt to heal itself. Inflammation can cause swelling, redness, hotness and pain.

Under normal circumstances, inflammation is a benign, however, it can become malignant when our body is not able to control it, leading to chronic inflammation which are seen in illness like asthma, chronic sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease etc.

So why exactly do anti-inflammatories not work for fibromyalgia?

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