Application of Neurofeedback to Fibromyalgia cases.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that causes suffering and loss of quality of life for whom suffer it without a demonstrable organic disorder. Fibromyalgia generates a variety of symptoms, being the most characteristic generalized pain which is necessary to diagnose the disorder. It affects between 2 and 4 per cent of the population and is more prevalent in women than in men. In addition to the pain, people with fibromyalgia manifest symptoms such as fatigue or tiredness. For a person with fibromyalgia any movement can cause pain what might leads to a progressive loss of muscle mass. Pain, fatigue suffered by the person produces mood changes and sleep problems … which can also trigger episodes of stress, migraines, loss of short-term memory, sadness, anxiety and a lot of frustration, among others.
In short: a person with fibromyalgia is in a loop of discomfort, not only physically but also emotionally.
At the moment there is no universally accepted explanation for fibromyalgia, but there are pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments that have been proven effective. In 1992 fibromyalgia was recognized as a disease by the WHO (World Health Organization) and listed under the heading of rheumatism.
What is the relationship between fibromyalgia and nervous system?
Fibromyalgia syndrome can be classified as central sensitization. This is a pathological process that affects the central nervous system consisting of decreasing of pain threshold which leads to an altered perception of normally non-painful stimuli.
The person who suffers it feels hyper-excitability of neurons in the central nervous system after a peripheral stimulus. This generate a heightened painful response without any adaptive purpose as well as a perception of pain to stimuli that normally are not painful.
This process is a common feature of several diseases characterized by chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, restless legs syndrome etc.
Treatments for Fibromyalgia
There are several treatments for this syndrome. The most common drugs are usually antidepressants, some antiepileptic and finally, if patients do not respond to any other medication, benzodiazepines (anxiolytics) are used. These drugs are effective, but side effects they produce are significant.
One of the newest alternative in the treatment of fibromyalgia is Neurofeedback as non-invasive and effective therapy.
Neurofeedback is a neuropsychological training technique for our brain, is a safe, passive and non-invasive method that helps to stabilize the central nervous system. It aims to increase the functionality of our brain and its ability to self-regulation. To get this, Neurofeedback uses registration and automatic analysis of brain electrical activity by an electroencephalograph. This activity represents certain psychological processes that usually are handled outside our conscious control.
It is a learning process in which we monitor brain electrical signals and show them to the patient, thus, giving feedback on its implementation and reinforcing the frequency that we have established as goal. The individual thereby receives feedback from the activity of his own brain who is taught and rewarded. This gradual learning improves his functions and gets welfare patterns and effectiveness desired.
The main benefits of Neurofeedback application in cases of Fibromyalgia are:
– Better body-mind awareness.
– Physical and mental calm down.
– Decreasing of pains.
– More emotional stability.
– Increasing of motivation
– Improvement of self-esteem.
– More motor control
– Stabilization of sleep cycles