Understanding Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgiaFibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that is characterized by pain throughout your body, affecting your muscles and soft tissue.

It is often difficult to pinpoint an exact cause for fibromyalgia but it is frequently associated with illness, injury or chronic stress.

Common symptoms of Fibromyalgia may include:

  • Deep muscle and joint pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Morning stiffness
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Sleep problems
  • Numbness and tingling in extremities
  • Urinary symptoms such as pain or frequency

A typical sign of fibromyalgia is additional pain when pressure is applied to specific areas of the body. These are called tender points. Your tender points can be:

  • In between your shoulder blades or the top part of your shoulders
  • Your head, specifically the back part
  • Your neck
  • Parts of your chest
  • Joints like your elbows, hips and knees

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

Unfortunately, researchers are still unclear as to what exactly causes fibromyalgia. However, studies have led doctors to believe that it is most likely results from a number of factors like genetics, physical or emotional trauma, repetitive injuries or infections. There have been cases where fibromyalgia has begun spontaneously.

Another theory is that people suffering with fibromyalgia have a lower threshold for pain due to a malfunctioning with how their central nervous system processes pain.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Fibromyalgia

Even though fibromyalgia is a common chronic pain disorder, it is not well understood and as a result, it is often misdiagnosed. There is no blood test to identify fibromyalgia. However, if your doctor believes you are suffering from this disorder, blood tests may be performed to rule out other similar conditions.

Once you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia your pain specialist, Dr. Kerendian will provide you with a personalized treatment plan. Since fibromyalgia is a multifaceted disorder, it is best approached and treated with different techniques like:

  • Trigger point injections
  • Myer’s cocktail vitamin and mineral drip
  • Myofascial release therapy and osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT)
  • Medication management
  • Hormone optimization

Your treatment depends on your individual symptoms and work up.

Self-care is also a critical part of treatment. Make sure that you are taking care of your body through diet and exercise, healthy sleep habits, stress reduction and overall wellness.