Between 1.5 to 2%. This is the proportion of the population affected by fibromyalgia in France, according to health insurance. This chronic disease, which is more common in women, is characterized by persistent diffuse pain and sensitivity to pressure. Patients often experience poor quality of life and have difficulty with daily activities due to the pain they experience. Diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia may be incomplete or inappropriate, leaving many patients without satisfactory solutions to relieve their pain.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a promising solution to relieve pain
As part of a recent study, US researchers looked at the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy, which aims to combat intrusive thoughts, in treating fibromyalgia. For the purpose of the work, they recruited 98 women, who had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for at least six months, and completed several questionnaires about pain and quality of life.
Next, 64 participants benefited from cognitive behavioral therapy, and 34 volunteers continued training on fibromyalgia and chronic pain for 8 weeks. Each intervention session included a 60-75 minute consultation with a psychologist, who assessed levels of pain interference or how pain disrupted their daily activities.
The results were published in the journal Arthritis and rheumatismshowed that cognitive behavioral therapy led to a significant reduction in chronic and widespread pain in patients with fibromyalgia. In addition, it also reduced the interference of pain in patients’ daily activities and the impact of symptoms.
Fibromyalgia: changes in patients’ brains
The team also found that after receiving cognitive behavioral therapy, patients showed brain changes that indicated less focus on pain. “Before the participants underwent therapy, we observed that the parts of the brain associated with self-awareness and emotion were significantly connected, suggesting that the patients were fully aware of the sensation of pain they were experiencing and internalized these symptoms. After psychotherapy, these symptoms became less and less connected.” Significantly stronger, suggesting that patients were better able to isolate and manage their pain after treatment. Jeong Chan explained. Lee, author of the paper, V.I statement.