Treatment on the right trail
Re “On Pain’s Trail” [Aug. 22]: I am a 19-year-old sufferer of fibromyalgia. Not always able to do much else, I have spent a lot of my time researching fibromyalgia, and many of the posited theories and potential treatments for it.
Unfortunately, I find an inordinate amount of attention being focused on rather unpromising theories, and treatments whose effects seemed to amount to the placebo effect. So many sufferers are in such poor physical states and so desperate that they are vulnerable to being misled by people who have misguided ideas about the condition.
What I pieced together as the most legitimate explanation for the condition is exactly what you highlighted in your article -- central sensitization, the amplification of feelings of pain by the central nervous system. It heartens me to see the most promising theory finally being given the attention it deserves, as well as seeing so many new drugs that are offering the promise of real improvement in pain for those who suffer from this often-debilitating condition, rather than the hopeful-but-empty promises of so many of the former treatments.
I was dismayed to learn of Dr. Nortin Hadler’s lack of scientific curiosity. He would seem to accept a lack of proof of fibromyalgia as being proof itself that this entity does not exist. The implications of Hadler’s views are clear: Multiple sclerosis, vulvodynia and other serious chronic conditions previously thought to be psychiatric in cause could never have been discovered, and treatment for them advanced, had the curious doctors who discovered them heeded the stubborn, dogmatic beliefs held dearly by Hadler.