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What’s the Difference Between Chronic Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia?

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Peck
Reading Time: 5 minutes
What's the Difference Between Chronic Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

You feel pain when you are sick, injured, or have some other persistent of health problem. It starts within the pain receptor cells found beneath our skin layers and in all body parts. These pain receptors connect with each other to form a nerve pathway and convey messages to the spinal cord, further leading it to our brain.  

What is chronic pain?

Pain can be acute, which means new. Subacute lasts for 2 to 3 months, but when pain lasts more than 3 months, it is called chronic pain.

It is one of the most common and high-cost problems in the U.S. You have to deal with extra medical expenses, low productivity, lost income, and much more due to chronic pain.

A few Chronic pains are following:

  1. Cancer pains
  2. Pain due to injuries
  3. Arthritis pain in joints
  4. Backache
  5. Neuropathic pains 

What is Fibromyalgia?

What exactly is the reason for Fibromyalgia? It is still unknown, but it is a state of debilitating pain related to a soft tissue, muscle, or tendon. It initiates a shooting pain in the body and leads to constant restlessness and trouble sleeping.

No proper cure is still discovered for Fibromyalgia. But there are a few pain management strategies which include medication, exercise, and psychological therapy.

How are Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Disorders Diagnosed?

There is no specified lab test to diagnose Fibromyalgia. The doctor will thoroughly examine your physical state and evaluate it based on your symptoms and how you feel.

However, an X-ray may be recommended to look for other health problems, such as bone breakage or arthritis.

Although there is no absolute cure for Fibromyalgia, patients might be able to feel better with medication and proper self-care, such as regular exercise.

What type of chronic pain is Fibromyalgia?

Anyone can suffer from Fibromyalgia at any age, but the tendency to get it is more in women than men. Its chances also increase as you age, and if you have other health problems such as arthritis, mood disorders, or some chronic pain, you are more likely to get Fibromyalgia.

Its common symptoms are:

  • Sensitive pressure points on the body
  • Severe headaches
  • Morning spinal stiffness
  • Insomnia
  • Numbness in feet and tingling
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Brain-fog

What’s the core difference between Fibromyalgia and chronic pain

Although both of these health problems involve almost the same traits and symptoms, there is a clear difference between them.

Chronic pain disorder, it is a widespread health problem among millions of people all over the globe. If we follow the U.S statistics alone, approximately 100 million people are suffering from chronic pain syndrome, and it causes annual expenses of $560 to $635 billion for direct medications and less working productivity in offices. It is a grave health problem that requires a biopsychosocial treatment plan and handling.

Chronic pain originates from a neuropathic dysfunction or inactivity, internal inflammation, traumatic injury, or an existing health problem such as arthritis. Whatever the reason behind this chronic pain, it is easier for healthcare practitioners to identify the root cause and go for the treatment around that issue.

But for Fibromyalgia, it is a lot more difficult as there is no evidence of any sort of trigger. The pain arises from nowhere, leaving the patient in pain and agony. It is also misdiagnosed as musculoskeletal pain. Not knowing what to do. According to USA statistics, around 4 million Americans suffer from Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is not only associated with only pain and trauma. Sometimes, the patient also suffers from insomnia, mood swings, amnesia, and much more.

It is suggested that the pain trigger may arise due to neurotransmitter imbalance in the central nervous system (CNS) and stimulate the pain receptors in the brain by increasing their sensitivity.

This extreme sensitivity to pain due to neurochemical imbalance is also called hyperalgesia. It is not related to some easily detectable tissue or poor nerve functioning.

If there is neuropathic damage and the pain is caused due to it, then it will be known as allodynia. This is a very extreme condition. The patient will feel pain from minor things, such as wearing a cotton t-shirt or even combing his hair.

In Fibromyalgia, the cause of that pain could be a medical disorder or an idiopathic one.

Due to the ambiguity of its origin, there is no specified name for this pain, and it is termed by many names as neuropathic, idiopathic, and FM-like pain.

There might be a correlation between chronic pain disorder and Fibromyalgia; if a patient is suffering from Fibromyalgia for too long, he might also develop chronic pain syndrome over time. It means that a person can suffer from both of these conditions simultaneously.

How to treat it with ketamine therapy?

To treat chronic pain syndrome with Ketamine, Ketamine works in this case as an NMDA receptor antagonist and blocks the triggered pain receptors. This causes the pain to slowly reduce and then vanish.

It can also provide significant relief if you have been suffering from chronic pain for so long and no medications are helping you out of it. Often a patient with chronic pain feels better just after their first session.

Its relief span lasts longer than any other pain-relieving medications, and there is no dependence or chance of addiction due to its use. Plus, it increases your mobility and helps you live an active and productive life.

Also, it helps to stimulate new neural connections by chronic pain syndrome with Ketamine to support the brain’s function properly.

If you are suffering from Fibromyalgia, then you should know that Ketamine can help in treating Fibromyalgia through in the following ways;

  • It helps to boost neuroplasticity and reform new neural connections, which is very important for the patients to break their unhealthy and stagnant life patterns.
  • In case of severe episodes of shooting pain in your body due to Fibromyalgia, Ketamine for Fibromyalgia can help by working as an NMDA receptor antagonist.
  • It helps you to fight the other symptoms, such as mood changes and lack of sleep. Because it also works as an anti-depressant.

Contact us:

Nepenthe Wellness Center provides a complete package for properly treating both Fibromyalgia and chronic pain syndrome.

Unfortunately, sometimes patients start self-medication due to a lack of knowledge. And the wrong treatment choice can cause big trouble, like continuous adverse effects of taking analgesics or drug dependence if a person uses pain killers such as opioids.

Therefore, our clinic offers a solution to live a better and healthier life to patients suffering from chronic pains and Fibromyalgia.

Book an appointment at Nepenthe Wellness Center today or call for a free consultation anytime.


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  • NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. (n.d.). National Cancer Institute. Retrieved October 14, 2022, from
  •  Allodynia: What Is It, Types, Causes & Treatment. (n.d.). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved October 14, 2022, from