It is estimated that 4million people in the United States have fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread body pain, fatigue, mental distress, sleep issues, and mood disorders. There is no clear indication as to what causes fibromyalgia. Still, research theorizes that it may be due to changes in the way the brain processes pain, becoming extra sensitive to pain signals in the body.

Fibromyalgia is often misdiagnosed since symptoms imitate other conditions, and no tests can confirm a diagnosis. Anyone can get fibromyalgia, including children. Women are twice more likely to get fibromyalgia than men. Symptoms may appear at any time. However, they are more prevalent between the ages of 30 and 50. Here are common signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Fatigue
  • Widespread pain
  • Pain or a dull ache in the lower abdomen
  • Digestive problems such as Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, or bloating
  • Sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Dry eyes
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Sleep problems
  • Bladder problems (Interstitial cystitis)
  • Restless leg syndrome

There is no known cause of fibromyalgia, but there may be a genetic mutation that may make family members predisposed to developing fibromyalgia. One may be at risk of developing fibromyalgia if they smoke or have an autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, injury, surgery, or emotional trauma. Some people acquire fibromyalgia later in life, with symptoms slowly progressing, making it difficult to pinpoint when they started. 

Although fibromyalgia is incurable at the moment, treatment options make it manageable. It is best to integrate physical and psychological therapies through medications, self-care strategies, lifestyle changes, and interventional pain treatments. Treatment options may include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Trigger point injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic 
  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Breathing and relaxation methods
  • Stress reduction measures such as antidepressant meditation and hypnosis
  • Massage and heat therapy
  • Pain medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs 
  • Aqua exercise and muscle-strengthening exercise
  • Establishing good sleeping habits
  • Gentle exercises such as Tai Chi and yoga
  • Dietary changes such as embracing healthy feeding habits

Our pain management specialists at Suncoast Family, Urgent Care & Wellness Center have the skills and expertise to treat fibromyalgia. We use a holistic approach in conjunction with traditional, modern medicine to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms and improve your quality of life.  We customize treatment plans that cater to our patient’s needs and requirements.

If you have fibromyalgia and would like to learn how to manage it, contact us today for more information or schedule an appointment.