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Fibromyalgia; Symptoms and Treatment

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Fibromyalgia; Symptoms and Treatment

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder known to cause widespread pain, tenderness and a variety of other symptoms. The degree of pain and associated symptoms varies from one patient to another. People with fibromyalgia are believed to have altered pain processing, causing them to experience pain more easily and with greater intensity than those without the condition.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Some symptoms that can occur with fibromyalgia are:

  • widespread pain and tenderness throughout the body
  • fatigue or lack of energy
  • sleep disorders
  • headaches
  • digestive problems
  • numbness or tingling 
  • forgetfulness or poor concentration (also known as "fibro fog")
  • increased sensitivity to temperature, light or noise
  • increased worry, irritability or low mood
  • leg spasms/restless leg syndrome.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

Scientists do not exactly understand what causes fibromyalgia. Imaging studies have revealed altered nerve signaling pathways that transmit pain in patients with fibromylagia. Fibromyalgia also appears to run in families, which suggests a possible genetic component. However, there also appears to be an evironmental role in the condition, as other illness and traumatic events have been associated with the onset of symptoms. 

Fibromyalgia Treatment

There is a range of medications, treatments, and therapies for people living with fibromyalgia. These treatments will focus on the central nervous system, sleep patterns, and methods to alleviate pain and tenderness. In addition to medication, a treatment plan may include:

  • Evaluating sleep

Adequate sleep and a consistent schedule is important in any chronic pain condition. A sleep evaluation includes looking for conditions like sleep apnea and assessing overall sleep hygiene. This will help improve the sleep patterns of people living with fibromyalgia.

  • Physical therapy

A graded program of physical and exercise therapy can improve pain and fatigue in fibromyalgia patients. This may help to increase energy levels and prevent further worsening of muscle cramps or atrophy.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Talk therapy may help people living with fibromyalgia manage their cognitive problems such as poor concentration and forgetfulness, by helping to improve their thinking patterns, behavior and reactions to situations.

As fibromyalgia is a long-term condition, recovery varies among individuals. There is no known cure, but there are treatments, therapies and self-management techniques to help manage this disorder.

At Lakeshore Pain and Spine Center, we work with patients suffering from systemic conditions like fibromyalgia to develop treatment plans to help ease pain and improve their symptoms significantly. Do schedule an appointment with us today.

Whether you’re dealing with fibromyalgia or other pain conditions, call us at 262-484-4035 or request an appointment online