Awesome awareness art by Kindreds Page .
Chronic pain – not fun, extremely common, and very poorly understood.
I recently learned that 10 million Americans are estimated to have fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, and up to 20 million Americans have neuropathy, a nerve disease that causes pain and numbness. (Statistics from the National Fibromyalgia Association and the Neuropathy Action Foundation).
With enough patients coming together, progress can start to be made on these conditions that affect so many people in their everyday lives.
Today’s announcement is that we found a strong association between Fibromyalgia and Neuropathy, which independent studies published in established journals also confirm. In graphical form:
For details on this finding and how it matches up with other studies, read on…
Details of the CureTogether Fibromyalgia-Neuropathy Finding
Among 128 people reporting Fibromyalgia in this study, 57 (44.5%) reported also having Neuropathy, and the remaining 71 specifically reported not having Neuropathy.
Among 635 people reporting “No Fibromyalgia” in this study, 43 (6.8%) reported having Neuropathy, and the remaining 592 people specifically reported not having Neuropathy.
This 44.5% vs. 6.8% difference represents a statistically significant relative risk of 6.5, with a 99% confidence interval of 4.6 – 9.2.
Other Fibromyalgia-Neuropathy Research
The importance of this finding is that using only self-reported data, we have found an association between fibromyalgia and neuropathy that has previously been explored only in clinical studies such as the following:
1. Depression, fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain have high co-morbidity rates – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19482616
2. Fibromyalgia was considered as a possible neuropathic pain syndrome but it most likely its own syndrome – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16078360
3. The same kinds of treatments can often work for both fibromyalgia and neuropathy – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12490826
Self-Reported Data at CureTogether
CureTogether has been called “Yelp for health.” It is a collaboration of people from around the world volunteering to solve real problems in chronic conditions.
People self-report and rate symptoms and treatments for over 410 conditions. The top conditions at CureTogether are depression, anxiety, migraine, back pain, and vulvodynia.