“Can Fibromyalgia go away?”
There have been a few studies on remission that are interesting:
But can we actually recover completely from fibromyalgia? It is a chronic condition but not a progressive one medically. And there was a study that was long-term outlook on our severity that did show it is indeed in the realm of possibility to completely recover.
This is the best study to reference for this although there have been other studies about remission. I like this one because it was long-term in nature. Look at the highlighted section for people in the study where the FM completely went away, or went into periods of remission, or remained the same. The amount who had recovered was 3 and of the sample that was 11%.
- Three individuals (11%) had recovered from fibromyalgia. (this is a fascinating number here. Makes you want to dig a little into the reasons for their recovery.)
- 23% reported the remission we hear about, having had one or several symptomless periods lasting at least 1 year. This does suggest that remission is indeed possible.
- In others (n=25), all symptoms aside from pain showed a slight deterioration. So we might see a slight slide in symptoms.
- Despite ageing and the FM, functional levels remained the same over time. This is a key one. Functionality, despite ageing, remained consistent.
- The actual amount of symptoms reported didn’t change much (10.8 (SD 2.9) vs. 11.1 (SD 4.1), p = 0.75). Symptom changes can lead to a lot of problems, but it looks like over time we do not change overly in them.
- Insomnia showed the most significant increase. I wouldn’t say this is much of a surprise since it is a difficult one to manage.
- Exercise didn’t have a significant influence on the changes of the measured parameters. But the 3 recovered individuals did exercise on a regular basis. And they speculate since 21 of 24 (who answered the question on exercise) did exercise it might be why functionality was consistent over time. Most of the participants did exercise and this could be then a key to treatment and functionality. A study of those who do not compared to those who do long term would be interesting.
So, in fact, it is possible for the fibromyalgia to go away completely over time. However, it is more likely to have periods of remission over time. But most remain relatively constant.
And is that not fascinating? Why do those people recover and how do they recover? That is interesting to me. But we have heard for years some people go through these episodes of remission. I, on the other hand, have never gone into remission and it has just remained the same with symptom severity changing.
Also, remember there is a lot of new research coming out on fibromyalgia that may lead to new and effective treatments for those of us who simply do not recover.