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What Most Don't Understand About Fibromyalgia

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What Most Don't Understand About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that changes how you perceive pain. Although fibromyalgia affects four million adults, it’s often a misunderstood condition, which makes it even more challenging to both those who live with it and those trying to comprehend its complexities.

Double board-certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine, Bradley A Silva, MD, and the Lakeshore Pain and Spine Center team offer several treatments for fibromyalgia and want to spread awareness about the condition. 

Read on as our team sheds light on four facts most people don’t understand about fibromyalgia. 

1. Fibromyalgia is an invisible condition

One of the most common misunderstandings about fibromyalgia is the nature of the pain and fatigue it brings. Unlike visible injuries or illnesses, fibromyalgia manifests as an invisible struggle, which makes it challenging for others to recognize the profound impact it can have on your daily life. 

The pain is often widespread, affecting your muscles and joints and even causing headaches, but it doesn't leave visible signs. Likewise, you might feel too exhausted to commit to social plans 一 even if you slept enough hours. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with an invisible condition, it can be frustrating when met with confusion about your issue. These feelings can also lead to isolation. If you’re feeling alone in your diagnosis, you might find solace in community or support groups. 

Learning more about fibromyalgia and sharing information about it helps spread awareness and break the stigma about invisible diseases. 

2. Fibromyalgia causes a multitude of symptoms

Fibromyalgia isn't solely characterized by pain; it encompasses a spectrum of symptoms. These can include cognitive issues, commonly referred to as fibro fog, sleep disturbances, sensitivity to stimuli, and mood disorders. 

3. Getting to a fibromyalgia diagnosis is not straightforward 

Getting to your fibromyalgia diagnosis can be a lengthy and complex process. It often involves ruling out other conditions with similar symptoms, and there is no definitive test for fibromyalgia. The lack of a clear-cut diagnostic method contributes to misconceptions surrounding the legitimacy of the condition.

4. Fibromyalgia affects your mental health

Fibromyalgia doesn't only affect your body; it also takes a toll on your mental health. The chronic nature of the condition, coupled with the stress of managing chronic pain and brain fog, can lead to anxiety and depression. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that 20% of people with fibromyalgia also have anxiety or depression.

To compound matters, the lack of sleep (from chronic pain) can also take a toll on your mental wellness. 

The bottom line is that fibromyalgia affects your mental health in many ways. Recognizing and addressing the mental health aspect is non-negotiable when it comes to comprehensive fibromyalgia care, which is why stress management and sleep hygiene often get incorporated into fibromyalgia treatment plans. 

How we can help

At Lakeshore Pain and Spine Center, Dr. Silva doesn’t just want to reduce your pain but has a mission to improve your overall quality of life. Even though there isn't a cure for fibromyalgia, the correct treatment can improve your quality of life.

Depending on your symptoms and specific needs, he may recommend any of the following as part of your treatment plan:

If you suspect you have fibromyalgia or would like to explore other treatment options, call our  Kenosha, Wisconsin, office at 262-484-4035. You can also click here to request an appointment online.