Over 10 million Americans suffer from a chronic pain condition called fibromyalgia, and up to 90% of these sufferers are women, and the incidence increases with age. Dr. Ashley M. Classen and the team at Trinity Pain Medicine Associates in Fort Worth, Texas frequently treat this mysterious and incurable condition, with no known cure, by using a variety of pain management techniques. Call the office today, or request an appointment online.
Typically featuring musculoskeletal pain throughout the body, fibromyalgia often carries symptoms of fatigue, sleep issues, poor memory function, and mood changes. Current understanding of the disorder suggests that pain signals in fibromyalgia patients get amplified in the brain, above normal levels. This could be why pain exists without physical cause.
Fibromyalgia symptoms may begin after an injury, infection, surgery, or a period of psychological stress, but often the condition develops over time with no known reason or cause. The disorder tends to run in families, suggesting that there are genetic links and mutations that increase your risks of developing fibromyalgia.
You’re more at risk of developing fibromyalgia if you’re female and if your family health history includes others with the condition. People with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus are also at greater risk.
The principle symptom of fibromyalgia is body-wide pain, most often described as a persistent dull ache that lasts for months. For a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, this pain must last more than three months and be present on both sides of your body, and above and below the waist.
Fatigue is another common symptom. You may wake up tired even though you’ve been asleep for a long time. Fibromyalgia pain may cause sleep disturbances that prevent you from entering deep stages of sleep, necessary to feel recharged.
A condition commonly called fibro fog describes the cognitive issues that frequently accompany fibromyalgia. You may have difficulty concentrating, focusing, or remembering things.
Because of the lack of physical causes, diagnosing fibromyalgia can be difficult. Increasingly, simply the presence of widespread pain for longer than three months is generally a key factor. You may also have several lab tests to rule out other conditions. There’s no test that confirms the presence of fibromyalgia.
Self-care is a key treatment for fibromyalgia. Remaining active, despite the pain of the condition, typically works better than resting. Exercise can reduce the effects of stress, a key trigger for fibromyalgia symptoms. Establishing a healthy sleep cycle is another important factor, including regular bedtimes and avoiding daytime napping.
When this isn’t enough to control fibromyalgia pain, a visit to Trinity Pain Medicine Associates may help with medication strategies to relieve pain. Dr. Classen can create a pain management plan that mixes over-the-counter and non-narcotic prescription pain medications. Some antidepressant and anti-seizure medications provide relief from fibromyalgia pain, even if you’re not depressed or suffering from seizures.