Fibromyalgia Pain Management
Fibromyalgia affects more than 12 million Americans, making it the second-most common musculoskeletal condition, after osteoarthritis. It’s characterized by chronic pain throughout the body, with tender points in the muscles and soft tissues. It’s also been linked to issues such as sleeping problems, fatigue, depression, headaches, and anxiety. It’s more common in women than men and often occurs between the ages of 20 and 50. It may also be known as fibromyositis and fibrositis.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that’s commonly identified by acute pain in the muscles and joints as well as fatigue, sleep and mood disorders. Scientists think that it increases pain sensations because it affects the brain’s ability to process pain signals. The disease’s symptoms may begin shortly after an injury, surgery or infection, but it may start gradually without any traceable triggering event.
Who Does Fibromyalgia Affect?
Women are more prone to having fibromyalgia spine pain than men. Most of the people who have this condition also have painful issues like:
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Painful bladder syndrome
- Migraines and various kinds of headaches
- Irritable bowel syndrome
You’re more likely to have fibromyalgia if any of your relatives have it. If you suffer from disorders like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, you’re also more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Some of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia include the following:
- Impaired cognitive functions: You may have difficulty paying attention and poor mental concentration, which is referred to as “fibro fog.”
- Fatigue: Someone with fibromyalgia usually wakes up feeling tired after they’ve slept for many hours.
- Disruption of sleep: Sleep is often disturbed by pain, and patients with this condition have various sleep disorders, like sleep apnea and restless legs.
- Widespread pain: Pain occurs above the waist and on the left and right sides of the body.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
The causes of fibromyalgia are not well known, but doctors believe it’s caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Emotional or physical trauma: A motor vehicle accident or psychological stress can trigger the symptoms of this condition.
- Infections: Infections like interstitial cystitis seem to trigger fibromyalgia.
- Genetics: Patients with ancestors who’ve had fibromyalgia are more likely to have it.
How Is It Diagnosed?
Currently, there are no specific tests that can indicate that you have fibromyalgia. However, during an examination, the doctor will try to rule out conditions like:
- Underactive thyroid
X-rays and blood tests will be conducted to monitor hormone levels and check for signs of inflammation. Blood tests could include:
- Total blood count
- Rheumatoid factor
- Cyclic citrullinated peptide test
- Erythrocyte sedimentation
What Are Some Fibromyalgia Treatment Options?
Treatment for this condition includes self-care and medication, but there’s no single treatment that works perfectly for all patients. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- Medication: These include muscle relaxers, antidepressants, pain relievers and anti-seizure drugs.
- Exercise: Regular moderate to low-impact exercise will help you develop endurance and build stronger muscles. Exercise will also relieve stress and help you sleep well.
- Physical therapy: A physical therapist can teach you the exercises that will give you stamina, flexibility and strength. Swimming can also be helpful.
- Occupational therapy: With the help of an occupational therapist, you can modify and re-organize your work area. You can also adjust the way you perform tasks to reduce stress on your body.
Contact Spine Institute of North America for more information on this condition and its treatment options.