PainRelief.com Interview with:
Amnon A. Berger, MD, PhD
MD/PhD Program 2006-2017
The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School
Resident Physician (CA-1/PGY-2) and Loring Scholar
Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Fibromyalgia is a common disorder of chronic widespread pain. It has been estimated to affect 2-4% of the general population, though that number is likely an underestimate of the actual incidence. Outside of chronic pain, it also contributes to morbidity and disability because it affects sleep, causes cognitive impairment and psychiatric perturbations. Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to treat.
Because the underlying causes – the etiology and pathophysiology at the base of this condition – are still largely unknown, it is harder to tailor specific treatments. There is evidence to support several modes of treatment, but truly high-level evidence exists only for physical exercise. Effective treatment depends on long term commitment and a multimodal approach by a multidisciplinary team.
Recently, with the rise of use in cannabis and CBD, both for medical and recreational use, evidence has emerged to support its use in fibromyalgia. While most of the evidence is not clear cut and not high enough evidence to support cannabis use, the evidence is overall positive and cannabis derivatives may be an effective choice as part of a multimodal treatment plan.