With over three million cases of fibromyalgia diagnosed per year in the United States, it’s sometimes surprising that there often seems like little anyone can do to actually help manage the pain associated with it. While pharmaceutical companies try and find “miracle cures” for fibromyalgia sufferers, that still doesn’t help those individuals who are currently and actively suffering from the day to day pain. Because fibromyalgia is a condition with no specifically-known cause, the best course of action for many sufferers is to receive a diagnosis and then move on to pain management. In order to find any pain management solutions that work well for you, it’s important to understand what exactly is fibromyalgia.
What exactly is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a widespread, chronic pain condition that can occur during an individual’s life. Women are much more likely to experience fibromyalgia than men and it can be truly debilitating. Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis that is typically given to this form of chronic pain when all other options have been exhausted. Some typical diseases that have to be ruled out prior to a fibromyalgia diagnosis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Lyme disease. Somewhat similar symptoms can be found in all of these conditions.
How do doctors diagnose fibromyalgia?
In order to properly diagnose fibromyalgia, the aforementioned conditions have to be ruled out and individuals have to meet some specific criteria. First, the pain has to have lasted for at least three months, if not longer, prior to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Additionally, the pain has to be widespread. This can be rather vague, but basically, there are common points that tend to be affected by fibromyalgia and when many of them cause regular pain, it is typically indicative of fibromyalgia. What’s most difficult for many people are all the comorbidities that coincide with fibromyalgia. Not only does fibromyalgia cause pain, but it can also lead to increased depression, exhaustion, mental fog, and insomnia, just to name a few.
Pain management for fibromyalgia.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, what do you do about it? Since the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, it can be an exceptionally difficult chronic pain condition to treat. There are a few prescription medications that have had some success with certain individuals that doctors can prescribe. There are also behavioral treatments that doctors may recommend. Anything from physical therapy to counseling could be of benefit in helping to relieve chronic pain. You will probably become sick of hearing doctors say that regular exercise and consistent sleep are some of your best weapons against fibromyalgia, but it has been shown to make an impactful difference for many individuals. Fibromyalgia that just won’t stop may cause individuals to need the help of a pain clinic or pain specialists where they can receive further, more aggressive treatment and pain management.
If you think you you may have fibromyalgia or have been diagnosed with the condition, the specialists at the Spine Institue of North America in New Jersey may be able to help. With continuity of care and many treatment methods available to help you, turn to the experienced doctors at SINA for your pain management care.