Fibromyalgia is a relatively common, yet frequently misunderstood, diagnosis that affects millions of people in the United States. At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our pain management doctors have worked with hundreds of men and women living with fibromyalgia who are simply looking to have a higher quality of life. We’ve seen how frustrating this condition can be, so approach every case with comprehensive and individualized care to find what will work best for each patient.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Considered a chronic pain disorder, fibromyalgia is believed to be related to a disruption in the way that the central nervous system processes pain–almost as if the volume has been “turned up” on pain signals. There is also evidence to suggest that it’s related to widespread inflammation in the body, as other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are often co-present.
Fibromyalgia is typically diagnosable through a comprehensive patient history and physical examination, along with the help of certain diagnostic tests to rule out other disorders that may present in a similar fashion.
It’s been estimated that 10 million Americans have fibromyalgia, with women being affected more than men at a rate of 4 to 1. However, it’s important to note that both men and children can be affected, so it’s important to seek help if you’re experiencing any unusual symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Unlike certain other conditions we treat at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary significantly from person to person, and will even fluctuate in intensity and type for every individual. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Pain that is felt widespread throughout the body; this includes aching and tender muscles, muscle spasms, joints, chronic headaches, and TMJ (jaw) dysfunction
- Impaired sleep; people with this condition especially have a hard time falling and staying asleep
- Cognitive issues, including difficulties with memory and focus (often referred to as “fibro fog”)
- An overwhelming sense of fatigue
- A sensation of “heaviness” in the arms
- Parasthesias (abnormal sensations) including tingling, numbness, and/or “pins and needles” in the arms and legs
- Digestive problems (including IBS, overactive bladder, and gastrointestinal reflux disease, or GERD)
Such a variability in symptoms can be frustrating for the individual living with fibromyalgia and are often caused by or related to changing factors including stress, mental health, environmental changes (especially extremes of weather), hormonal changes (particularly menstrual changes in women), and extreme physical exertion and/or physical injury.
Fibromyalgia Treatment from Our Ramsey Pain Doctors
While fibromyalgia currently has no cure, it is manageable. Individuals living with this condition can do their best to control known symptom triggers, such as managing their stress levels and maintaining an appropriate exercise plan and non-inflammatory diet. Our Ramsey pain doctors also offer a multidisciplinary approach to fibromyalgia management that may include:
Our goal of treatment is to reduce the intensity, duration, and frequency of your symptoms while also maximizing your underlying health and function.
Is Your Fibromyalgia Holding You Back? Let Our Ramsey Pain Doctors Get You Moving Again
If you need a second opinion or are simply looking for a more effective way to manage your fibromyalgia symptoms, call or visit Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today. Our multidisciplinary team is standing by ready to help you reclaim a healthy active lifestyle–no matter what health condition you’re facing. Call (201) 962-9199 to book your appointment.