Fibromyalgia pain is a chronic pain condition that causes widespread pain in muscles, tendons and joints. This pain is often accompanied by feelings of fatigue, sleep problems, and can even be associated with irritable bowel syndrome. This can also create tender points which are places on the body where even slight pressure is very painful.
Fatigue is seen in up to 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients and can be related to abnormal sleep patterns. Patients with this pain typically do not get enough restorative sleep, also called rapid eye moving (REM) sleep which can lead to chronic fatigue symptoms.
The following symptoms can also be seen in patients in different combinations:
- Poor concentration
- Memory problems
- Mood changes
- Abdominal pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Bladder problems including frequent urination
- Migraines and Tension Headaches
- Paresthesias- numbness and tingling sensations in different parts of the body
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
There is no known cause for fibromyalgia pain, but these symptoms can often develop after a physical or emotional trauma. Additionally, genetics and infections can trigger these types of pain. It is believed that a process called central sensitization is the reason behind the painful symptoms, causing those with fibromyalgia to have a lower threshold for pain. Central sensitization leads to increased sensitivity in the brain to pain signals. With repeated nerve stimulation, fibromyalgia can lead to changes in the brain and processing of pain signals. These changes can cause disturbances of pain perception leading patients to become over reactive to pain signals.
Women are more susceptible, as well as those with a family history of fibromyalgia or rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
To be diagnosed, a person must have widespread pain lasting at least three months and at least 11 out of 18 total possible tender points. Blood tests also are done to rule out conditions with similar symptoms. Once these are excluded, then the diagnosis of fibromyalgia (a diagnosis of exclusion) can be made.
Pain Treatment Options:
At Center for Advanced Medicine, our doctors value the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. There are a number of treatment options we offer at Center for Advanced Medicine that help tremendously with pain caused from fibromyalgia, which include:
- Myofascial Release
- Medication Managment
- Trigger Point Injections
- Chiropractic Adjustments
- Massage Therapy
- Treatment of Underlying Contributing Pain Generators
- Physical Therapy
We at the Center for Advanced Medicine are committed to providing an innovative health system that is customized to the needs of the individual. Our approach is not only designed to address the cause of a patients pain and discomfort, but to return the body to its natural state of health and function. Our goal is simple: to help people feel better, age gracefully, and enjoy a more active lifestyle.