Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that is characterized by fatigue, memory, and mood issues, as well as pain in the muscles and bones. Since many of the symptoms are subjective and unable to be measured by tests, fibromyalgia is often misdiagnosed or totally disregarded by medical professionals. Although it is now more accepted than in previous times, many researchers and doctors still do not consider it a real condition. This lack of validation and acknowledgment has created a stigma around the disorder—a stigma that has been known to increase depression in those suffering from the chronic disorder.
At NonSurgical Medical Group, we understand this plight, and we understand the desperation that accompanies living with life-limiting, ever-present chronic pain. In fact, our team of orthopedic, chiropractic, and physical therapy specialists is deeply committed to helping people suffering from chronic pain (fibromyalgia included) achieve lasting pain relief through non-invasive procedures. If you are starting to lose hope for treating your chronic pain, call us now to schedule an appointment and receive your free preliminary consultation.
Read on to learn more about fibromyalgia.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is often associated with areas of tenderness called trigger points. These tender areas can be triggered even by light pressure. Some researchers believe that these symptoms may be the result of nerves misinterpreting normal pain signals because of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Though this is in no way a comprehensive list, the following are some symptoms that may be experienced:
- Trouble sleeping
- Widespread pain
- Cognitive difficulties
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Part of what makes fibromyalgia so difficult and frustrating is that doctors don’t know what causes it. However, over the past few decades, researchers have devoted a great deal of time and energy into understanding its origin and believe that a combination of many factors may be the cause. These factors include:
As we mentioned, fibromyalgia isn’t something that can be detected using lab tests or any other type of measurement. Therefore, doctors will often use blood tests to rule out other possible causes for chronic pain, and if your pain persists for three months or longer with no identifiable cause, doctors will use fibromyalgia guidelines to make an official diagnosis.
Finding effective ways to treat chronic pain, especially fibromyalgia, can be infuriating. Because its causes are unknown and the pain can be so widespread, treating it often requires that you work closely with your doctor to target different trigger points and try out a variety of treatment methods. Below are some common treatments:
- Medication—In many cases, doctors will prescribe those suffering from fibromyalgia with medication. These medications often include pain relievers, antidepressants, and antiseizure drugs. Although these can be effective pain management solutions, they often don’t treat the root of the problem.
- Natural Treatments—Though some will try to treat this chronic disorder using medications, natural and non-invasive treatments have proven to be effective in reducing pain and improving overall health. Even lifestyle changes have been reported as helping reduce the severity of the pain. Some of the natural, alternative treatments for fibromyalgia include:
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
- Healthy diet
- Neuromodulation Therapy—Because chronic pain, like that caused by fibromyalgia, is engrained in your brain, the pain can persist despite all your efforts and treatments. In these situations—where the pain isn’t receptive to traditional forms of chronic pain treatment—neuromodulation therapy, also called Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), can be used. This non-invasive treatment works by sending magnetic pulses to parts of the brain affected by chronic pain, causing neuronal activity changes, thereby potentially eliminating chronic pain altogether.
At NonSurgical Medical Group, neuromodulation therapy is one of the ways we help patients achieve pain relief while avoiding palliative medications and invasive treatments. Learn more about neuromodulation here, or contact us today to schedule your free consultation.