Fibromyalgia

What is fibromyalgia? Chronic condition associated with pain, fatigue, memory loss and mood changes.  Average age of onset is 30-50 yrs.  Severity in symptoms does vary, however most symptoms do not become worse as time goes on.  Fibromyalgia is common in people with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and lupus.  Most people do very well with proper treatment.  Causes of fibromyalgia are unknown and are associated with abnormal communication with the brain stem in regards to pain. 

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed? Physical exam and good health history help to diagnose most patients.  Lab tests will be negative but are helpful to be sure there's no other associated problems.

What are the symptoms? Widespread pain is the most common symptom.  Pain is often described as burning and aching and can vary with stress levels or temperature changes.  Patients have tender points on their body.  Sleep disturbance is common and associated with fatigue.  Mood and concentration levels are often altered. 

How is fibromyalgia treated? I check all my patients Vitamin D levels and believe that low levels of Vitamin D affect fatigue and joint pain.  Most fibromyalgia patients will need to be on some kind of oral medication such as: Lyrica, Cymbalta, Savella, Neurontin as well as an anti-inflmmatory.  Some patients need to take medications for sleep disorder. 

Most fibromyalgia patients do best without pain medications and find that this medication inhibits fatigue and other undesired side effects.  Studies show the physical exercise is extremely important for fibromyalgia patients. I try and put all fibromyalgia patients in some kind of physical therapy and find they do very well with aquatic therapy.  Patients often choose to do this at home on their own and I encourage them to exercise every single day for 10-20 min on 2 occasions to avoid stiffness and pain. 

Pt.s often benefit from corticosteroid injections and often have symptoms of bursitis in their hips. 

Think you might have fibromyalgia? Contact Innovative Healthcare and get relief today.