Fibromyalgia — a condition that causes musculoskeletal pain, stiffness, and significant impacts on sleep, mood, and memory — continues to frustrate physicians looking for the best possible treatment.
The latest research suggests that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way the brain processes pain signals.
Accompanying symptoms often include headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, anxiety, and depression. Despite the absence of a cure, various treatments can help manage and relieve symptoms, as The Pain Experts of Arizona have seen firsthand.
Fibromyalgia diagnosis is very challenging to diagnose because there’s still no lab test that can definitively confirm it.
In lieu of a reliable test, physicians rely on a review of medical history, physical examination, and various blood tests to exclude conditions with similar symptoms. These tests may include:
- Complete blood count
- Cyclic citrullinated peptide test
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
- Rheumatoid factor test
The cause of fibromyalgia is complex and still being studied. But most doctors now believe it involves several factors, including:
- Genetic predisposition
- Physical trauma
- Conditions like anxiety, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome
It’s worth noting that fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, often lasting a lifetime, with more women affected than men.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Patients with fibromyalgia typically experience constant, dull pain, fatigue, and muscle stiffness. It can also cause irritable bowel syndrome and sleep disorders.
Cognitive difficulties, colloquially referred to as “Fibro fog,” impact concentration. Pain is usually widespread throughout the body.
Treatment of Fibromyalgia
Treating fibromyalgia requires a long-term collaboration with several medical professionals.
Treatments encompass a wide range of options, from physical activities like exercise, yoga, and relaxation techniques. Other treatments could include acupuncture, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
Medications, including pain relievers, opioids, antidepressants, and antiseizure drugs, often play an important role in helping patients manage day-to-day life. Supportive therapies like counseling and weight management can also help.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Navigating the complexities of fibromyalgia can be overwhelming. But, with a personalized approach, it’s still possible for patients to return to an active lifestyle.
If you’re in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek, or the Phoenix area, reach out to The Pain Experts of Arizona.
Give our team the chance to help you. We can manage your pain and overcome the challenges posed by fibromyalgia — together. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation, or call us at (480) 542-6487.