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Fibromyalgia Transmits Neurological Signs

September 30th 2009

People suffering the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia are more likely to have poor balance and weakness in the arms and legs than people without the condition.
By Raphael Gassiolle

People suffering from the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia are more likely to have poor balance and weakness in the arms and legs than people without the condition, according to a new study.

Fibromyalgia patients also experience tingling and other neurologic symptoms according to the study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism.

Scientists at the University of Washington studied 166 participants with fibromyalgia and 66 people without the condition. Neurologists found that in 27 of 29 neurological categories tested, people with fibromyalgia showed significantly more neurologic symptoms.

Poor balance afflicted 63 percent of fibromyalgia patients but only 4 percent of fibromyalgia-free participants. Tingling or weakness in the arms and legs was found in over 50 percent of fibromyalgia participants but only 4 percent of participants who do not suffer from the condition, according to Reuters.

But the widest difference was seen in light sensitivity. About 70 percent of those with fibromyalgia displayed sensitivity to light, or “photophobia,” while only 6 percent of the fibromyalgia-free participants reported sensitivity to light.

Fibromyalgia, characterized by widespread chronic pain and fatigue, afflicts an estimated 10 million people in the United States.

But the numbers could be much higher. A significant number of doctors refuse to recognize the condition, with patients often having to visit several physicians before being diagnosed.