Living with Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia impacts the lives of over 4 million people across the U.S. on a daily basis. This painful disorder can be felt all over the body and has numerous symptoms and causes. To better understand this disorder, US Pain & Spine Institute, a Houston pain management clinic, is dedicated to helping others understand and cope with its ongoing side effects.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a physical disorder that is identified by musculoskeletal pain all over the body. It can affect every aspect of one’s life through extreme fatigue, sleep, and memory issues. It is believed that the disorder changes the way the brain perceives pain signals, which in turn exaggerates them.
Fibromyalgia affects women more but is commonly found in both genders. Symptoms often begin showing after surgery or a psychologically traumatic event. People who have fibromyalgia have also been known to suffer from anxiety, depression, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), tension headaches, and irritable bowel syndrome.
As of now, there is no cure for fibromyalgia, but its symptoms can be treated with various medications as well as exercise and stress relieving methods.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
While fibromyalgia cannot be pinned down to a specific cause, it is believed to be the result of several conditions or factors. To better understand this disorder, here are a few things that might cause or contribute to it:
- Emotional Trauma – Extreme emotional distress can certainly take a toll on the body and cause several conditions including fibromyalgia.
- Physical Trauma – Physical trauma, such as an injury, has also been known to lead to fibromyalgia or similar conditions.
- Infections – Various infections can affect the body in numerous ways and can cause or contribute to fibromyalgia.
- Genetics – In many cases, fibromyalgia is beyond one’s control. The genetic makeup of an individual can make them more prone to the disorder and is known to run in family lines.
What Are the Symptoms?
- Widespread Pain – Many individuals characterize fibromyalgia with several weak sensations of pain on both sides of the body. The pain typically lasts for a few months and can be worsened with other mental or physical conditions.
- Overall Fatigue – Those that suffer from the disorder may wake up feeling unrested or considerable fatigue. Sleep can also be interrupted by fibromyalgia and goes hand in hand with other conditions such as sleep apnea and restless leg disorder.
- Mental Difficulties – Several people who experience fibromyalgia pain can also have difficulties concentrating or remembering simple things. This lack of focus can also be attributed to the sleep issues the disorder causes.
Ways to Alleviate Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Various medications can help alleviate fibromyalgia pain. Over the counter pain medications such as Tylenol, Aleve, or Advil can certain help without causing dependency. In fact, addictive pain medications could eventually make the pain even greater over time and lead to withdrawal symptoms. As an alternative, physicians may prescribe safer medications such as tramadol.
Therapy can also greatly reduce the amount of suffering fibromyalgia may cause. Physical and occupational therapy, as well as one-on-one counseling, have been known to have a positive impact on patients. Exercise, especially water-based, can improve the flexibility and stamina of fibromyalgia sufferers which will relieve fatigue over time. In turn, occupational therapy and counseling can decrease a patient’s stress levels and help them with day-to-day issues at home or work. All of these treatments can work seamlessly together to reduce pain and help individuals become productive in their everyday lives.
If you’d like to learn more about fibromyalgia and its various medications and treatments, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pain doctor. At US Pain & Spine Institute, a Houston interventional pain management center, we strive to help fibromyalgia sufferers with personalized solutions and innovative treatments. Stop living in pain and start living your life with US Pain & Spine Institute.