Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
A higher fibromyalgia score, a validated self-report measure of pain and comorbid symptoms, independently predicted less improvement in pain (P<0.00001), Chad M. Brummett MD, assistant professor, University of Michigan Health System, Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Pain Medicine, Ann Arbor, and colleagues reported in Arthritis and Rheumatology.
In fact the index was the only measure that predicted poorer outcomes across all the symptom domains.
"it" was the only preoperative phenotypic measure to consistently show predictive utility across the different outcome domains,"
They believe that alterations in pain and sensory processing are causing the problems in patients with higher FM scores (but not FM). They needed more opioids after the surgery, experienced more mood disorders, was less able to function physically and catastrophized more.
The study found that higher fibromyalgia scores were associated with higher preoperative pain severity and use of neuropathic pain descriptors, more negative affect (i.e., depression and anxiety), increased tendency to catastrophize their pain, worse physical function, and more opioid use.
Given that there is probably a subset of patients in every pain disorder who experience higher FM symptoms and are likely to get worse and worse, this finding is a big deal.
"Additional research is needed to identify the precise biological underpinning of the poorer outcomes associated with higher fibromyalgia survey scores as well as whether this measure might finally allow us to move toward the elusive "personalized analgesic" sought for acute and chronic pain."
This study indicates that whatever is causing FM is producing huge amounts of distress not just in FM in many disorders that involve pain - and has huge economic implications.
FM gets lower per patient funding than does ME/CFS. This study suggests that if the NIH is serious about reducing the pain epidemic present in the US, they should start funneling truckloads of funding into FM. It's where the answers will be found.