What is Fibromyalgia?
As one of the most common chronic pain conditions, fibromyalgia affects more than five million people in the United States. It can be difficult to diagnose, resulting in frustration for the patient. The condition is chronic, may be widespread, and is often accompanied by tenderness. Researchers believe that the painful sensations affect the way a person’s brain processes pain signals. Symptoms typically occur after surgery, infection, psychological stress, or physical trauma. At Tricity Pain Associates, our team of skilled physicians provides various treatments to treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia at our Texas pain management locations. To learn more, we invite you to contact one of our state-of-the-art facilities to schedule an initial consultation.
Muscular Pain Overview
Pains in the muscles are also called Myalgias. Muscular pains may involve a single muscle or a group of muscles that may develop from direct injury or stress to the muscle or to the ligaments or tendons related to the muscle.
Cerebral Palsy (Spasticity)
Cerebral palsy is a term describing a group of disorders that cause problems with balance, movement, and posture. It is caused by either abnormal development or injury to the brain prior to birth. Signs of the condition typically appear in infancy and result in failure to reach developmental milestones or delayed milestones. Symptoms include muscle stiffness (spasticity), poor muscular tone, lack of coordination, difficulty with walking, fine motor skills, and eating, and tremors. This may be associated with other neurological problems such as mental retardation, seizures, learning disabilities, and bowel problems. There is no cure for cerebral palsy but with early interventions with a team of specialists, signs and symptoms can be lessened. The mainstays of therapy include physical, occupational, and speech therapies, possible surgery to correct any deformations, and medications to include muscle relaxants, benzodiazepines, and dopaminergic medications that are typically used in Parkinson's disease, braces, Baclofen intrathecal pumps, and BOTOX injections may also be beneficial.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, multiple tender points, and fatigue. "Tender points" refers to tenderness that is found in precise areas, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. A person is considered to have fibromyalgia if they have widespread pain in combination with tenderness in at least 11 of 18 specific tender point sites, persisting for more than 3 months. People with this disorder may also experience other symptoms including sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, and anxiety. Most patients with fibromyalgia describe their pain as "aching all over," as if their muscles have been pulled or overworked. Sometimes their muscles twitch and at other times they burn. The majority of sufferers (90%) are women, diagnosed in their twenties and thirties, but the disorder has been found in people of all ages. Changes in the weather, cold drafts, hormonal fluctuations (premenstrual and menopausal states), stress, depression, anxiety, and over-exertion can all aggravate the condition and cause symptom flare-ups. Diagnosis is made by history and physical exam with your doctor. There is no blood test to diagnose fibromyalgia, but blood tests can be expected to rule out other causes of diffuse musculoskeletal pain.
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Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
The signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia may vary from patient to patient but typically include:
- Extreme fatigue: Despite receiving extended periods of sleep, fibromyalgia patients typically wake up tired due to sleep disrupted by pain or sleep apnea.
- Difficulty focusing on everyday tasks: Many patients with fibromyalgia experience difficulty focusing and concentrating on the tasks of their everyday lives.
- Pain throughout the body: Fibromyalgia pain can last around three months and exists on both sides of your body.
In several cases, fibromyalgia can be present alongside other unpleasant conditions and disorders, including migraines, painful bladder syndrome, TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), and irritable bowel syndrome.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown; however, there are several factors that are thought to be linked to the condition, including genetics, existing infections, and physical/emotional trauma. Additionally, certain individuals may be at a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia, such as females, those with a family history of the condition, or those with arthritis or lupus disorders. Typically, a blood test with be conducted to rule out any other conditions with similar symptoms in order to properly diagnose fibromyalgia.
Treatments for Fibromyalgia
There are several options for effectively treating the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. The most common include medication and physical/occupational therapy. There are also a few alternative treatments that have shown results for fibromyalgia patients, such as lifestyle changes, acupuncture, and meditation. Since fibromyalgia can be related to stress, relaxation and stress management techniques can offer some relief for patients. Depending on your current symptoms and past medical history, our team of pain management specialists will conduct a treatment plan that is ideal for your needs and concerns.
Experience Pain Relief
Tricity Pain Associates is here to determine the right treatment for your pain conditions. If you are currently experiencing symptoms of fibromyalgia, our reliable Texas pain management doctors are here to help. Contact one of our innovative facilities to learn more and to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled physicians. Our goal is to provide you will the best course of treatment possible to allow you to live a more comfortable life, free from the unpleasant symptoms of fibromyalgia.