How A Traumatic Brain Injury Can Lead To Fibromyalgia

brain injury

SpeedKingz / Shutterstock

The brain is like a master computer system for the body. When someone suffers a traumatic brain injury the signals that are sent to the brain may become garbled and difficult to decipher.

The most common cause of such an injury is trauma to the head. This could be a relatively minor injury such as a bump or fall, or it could be the result of a virus, a tumor or even on occasion an animal bite.

 

Any brain injury can result in garbled or mixed signals to the various centers in the body and thus result in a misdiagnosed case of fibromyalgia. The real question is, “Is fibromyalgia a result of a brain injury or another condition?” Doctors are divided on their beliefs as to the possibility of fibromyalgia being related to a brain injury.

Since the brain controls our pain sensors many believe that fibromyalgia could be a direct result of a brain injury. Again, even a mild bump to the head can cause injury, even if the bump barely hurt.

This is because the brain is fragile and if it is bumped in the wrong fashion damage can occur. For this reason, it’s always wise to wear a helmet when on a bicycle, skateboard, motorcycle or any other sport where the head may be bumped or banged.

Other causes could also be a tumor so it’s important to check with a doctor should recurring headaches happen or any visual disturbances. Any time there is a concern regarding the head, a doctor should evaluate the person in order to eliminate any other possibilities.

All animal bites should be evaluated, especially if the animal is a stray or a wild animal. There are many diseases that animals can carry so it’s important to make sure that medical attention is sought. Early treatment can often prevent further damage to the delicate tissues of the brain and the body.

A patient who is suffering from fibromyalgia will have amplified pain as the brain is sending out mixed signals. These signals are sent out from pain sensors which aren’t working properly therefore they are very slow in recognizing the pain.

Unfortunately, the pain will spread over a wider area of the body since the pain sensors aren’t working properly. The pain will then be stronger, more intense and it may last longer even with pain medications on board.

Any abnormality in the brain can cause increased pain and loss of sleep. It can also change coordination and increase the possibility of drug addiction. In some cases, doctors can prescribe medications that can help to reduce the effects of such an injury.

Many patients haven’t had any diagnoses of a brain injury, in fact, they may not even remember having bumped their head or injuring themselves. Since the bump barely hurt or they didn’t really notice it, they may go for years or even decades without realizing they’ve suffered from a brain injury.

The longer the patient goes with said brain injury, the more likely they are to suffer permanent damage from said injury. This can lead to a myriad of symptoms including fibromyalgia according to various studies.

Doctors often don’t search for a brain injury when the patient is complaining of pain from a myriad of sources. However, thanks to recent research, many doctors are now beginning to ask more detailed questions of patients who are complaining of such pain and in a few cases doctors are discovering that the patient has indeed suffered from a brain injury at some point in time.

The actual definition of brain damage is anything that interferes with the normal function of the brain. That said, if a person bumps their head and even momentarily becomes disoriented, it could be worthy of note.

A brain injury could even be the result of a virus that affects the neurotransmitters of the brain by interfering with their response to the body’s pain system. It could be a result of infected adrenal glands (which are located in the abdomen not the head) or any other virus that attacks the body.

Many people think they have a minor cold only to find out they had some virus that left them with other more serious side effects. It’s easy to misdiagnose so if a cold or any symptom seems to hang on to your body longer than it seems to for other people, it may be well worth the time it takes you to get it checked out.

It could be nothing but if it’s more serious you’ll want to know and get it treated before it causes you serious damage or even a brain injury.

While no one needs to panic, it is wise to learn to listen to your body, if you feel that something isn’t quite right, it probably isn’t. Get it checked out. Fibromyalgia and traumatic brain injuries can often walk hand in hand. One may well lead to the other and you should always err on the side of caution and have your doctor check it out.

If you’ve suffered a bump to the head, you should always have it evaluated, especially if you’re feeling pain in a different way than before your bump on the head. It could be nothing, but it could be something very serious that you should have evaluated. You doctor may wish to monitor you for a period of time to ensure that you’re doing okay.

Many patients complain of what is called ‘fibro fog’. This is the state in which the patient feels as if they are walking around in a fog and unable to fully wake up. While it could be the result of a dysfunction in the brain and the neurochemicals it may also be the result of some form of brain damage which has gone undetected.

It can also happen from long term chronic pain or inflammation. Occasionally, it is also a side effect of medication that brings on the fog feeling. Fibromyalgia and traumatic brain injury can happen so always check with your doctor if you’ve had a bump on the head.

Further reading:

http://www.traumaticbraininjurycenters.com/2008/12/fibromyalgia-pain-and-cognition-2/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2631263/How-doctors-failing-spot-brain-injury-30-000-cases-chronic-fatigue.html

TBI and Fibromyalgia

Comments

comments