Chronic pain is defined as persistent, long term pain which can continue for weeks, months, even years after the supposed source of the issue has healed. While many cases of chronic pain can occur due to unknown causes, some cases can be traced back to other underlying injuries or conditions, such as fibromyalgia.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that affects millions of Americans annually, mostly women, and may be both physically and emotionally debilitating. Fibromyalgia stems from the Latin term for fibrous tissue (fibro) and the Greek words for muscle (myo) and pain (algia). Indeed, fibromyalgia sufferers experience widespread chronic muscle pain.
An interesting note: fibromyalgia was once considered a psychological disorder, but studies have proven that people with fibromyalgia may have a lower threshold for pain. This could be from emotional distress, harm, or levels of compounds from the brain but the cause is uncertain.
Individuals with fibromyalgia also report irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep disorders, and migraines. Physicians have yet to find the connection between these ailments and fibromyalgia.
Questions About Fibromyalgia
What are the signs of fibromyalgia?
Widespread pain is the most frequent symptom of fibromyalgia. However, patients typically experience several symptoms, such as extreme fatigue and pain. People with fibromyalgia additionally have nervousness and/or melancholy as well as problems sleeping.
What conditions co-exist with fibromyalgia?
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Irritable bladder
- Migraine headaches
- Raynaud’s Syndrome
- Restless legs syndrome
- TMJ or Temporomandibular joint disorder
What causes fibromyalgia?
Doctors have yet to ascertain fibromyalgia’s exact cause, though research findings are shedding light. Causes include abnormalities in nervous systems and the endocrine, genetics, muscle tissue abnormalities, and blood flow. It’s very possible that fibromyalgia does not simply have one cause many factors may impact your likelihood of developing the condition.
What are some treatment options to deal with fibromyalgia?
The type of treatment you’ll need will depend on your symptoms. For instance, your doctor can prescribe an antidepressant to not just lessen your pain but also address melancholy. If you are stressed or have difficulty sleeping, an exercise program will help.
Medicines to treat fibromyalgia include:
- Lyrica (pregabalin) is a nerve pain medicine
- Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride) an antidepressant that may help alleviate pain
- Savella (milnacipran HCI) is an antidepressant and medication for nerve pain
- Muscle relaxants
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
Some common treatment options include treatments such as massage and biofeedback therapy to help manage stress. Your doctor may recommend that you see a physical chiropractor, and a psychologist may address fibromyalgia’s mental and psychological toll.
Who treats fibromyalgia?
Your primary care physician (PCP) might be able to diagnose and treat your condition. But if your PCP doesn’t understand enough about fibromyalgia, a professional might be your best alternative.
Arguably more than any other physician, rheumatologists , closely follow fibromyalgia improvements and will have the best knowledge base on the status. You might also want to visit a neurologist for drugs to control your pain. Another choice is to consult with with a pain management doctor. These doctors treat all sorts of pain, such as that.
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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