Our Team Will Develop a Comprehensive Plan to Help You Cope with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that manifests as pain in various parts of the body. It generally is accompanied by fatigue and sleep problems as well as emotional or mental distress.

Pain sensitivity may be increased in individuals with fibromyalgia. The exact reason for this is unknown. Some studies suggest that fibromyalgia is accompanied by distorted pain perception. This can cause individuals to be more sensitive to sources of chronic pain within their bodies.

Fibromyalgia is considered a musculoskeletal condition, but it commonly features a variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms, including things like memory loss and mood regulation issues due to persistent pain. Tenderness is also common with this chronic condition.


Risk Factors for Developing Fibromyalgia

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but research suggests several risk factors contribute to its development.

Age is the most prevalent risk factor for developing fibromyalgia. Chronic pain can affect individuals of all ages, but the risk for fibromyalgia increases as you get older.

Researchers believe that some non-environmental factors can also increase the likelihood of developing fibromyalgia. Because it is closely related to widespread pain, other conditions that may cause consistent pain, such as mental health disorders or rheumatoid arthritis, may be linked to fibromyalgia. Additionally, women are more likely than men to experience this condition.

Other possible factors to take into consideration include:

  • Family history
  • Repetitive injury or trauma
  • Traumatic events
  • Infection

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Symptoms of fibromyalgia are often described as a dull ache that permeates the entire body for weeks to months at a time. The persistent pain can cause sleep problems and difficulty concentrating and thinking.

Prominent symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Persistent pain
  • Stiffness throughout the body
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Headaches and migraines

Fibromyalgia often coexists with other chronic pain conditions such as temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In these scenarios, symptoms may include pain in the jaw or digestive issues.

The pain from other conditions or lifestyle choices may also exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms, resulting in pain flare-ups. This is common with fluctuations in hormones, increased stress levels or changes in medication.

How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed through a physical evaluation and assessment of pain levels all over the body. This may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Physical exam
  • Assessment of all relevant symptoms
  • Accounting for the number of sensitive spots on the body
  • Patient descriptions of pain sensations
  • X-ray or other imaging technology to rule out other conditions

Certain conditions, like an underactive thyroid, may present similar symptoms to fibromyalgia. Because no one lab test will identify this condition, blood tests and X-rays may be used to determine if you have another ailment and help to provide a more accurate diagnosis.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia Pain Management

Treatment plans for fibromyalgia typically focus on self-management, lifestyle changes and non-invasive pain reduction strategies. 

Fibromyalgia is thought to directly affect the way individuals perceive pain. One common strategy for dealing with the condition is seeking ways to address any underlying mental or emotional disorders that may be affecting the patient's perspective.

Non-surgical treatment can help to improve your quality of life while dealing with chronic pain. A healthcare professional who specializes in the treatment of fibromyalgia can help you develop the best path forward.

Non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Physical Exercise: Aerobic exercise, like walking and swimming, has been shown to help reduce pain and lower stress that may exacerbate pain in individuals with fibromyalgia.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter medications and prescriptions can be used to treat chronic pain.
  • Stress Management:  Extreme levels of stress wear on your body and can contribute to fibromyalgia symptoms or flare-ups. Stress management tactics may include meditation, yoga or even therapeutic services to treat underlying anxiety causing additional stress.
  • Mental Health Care: Mental health disorders are sometimes identified as trigger factors for fibromyalgia patients. By seeking mental health services like behavioral therapy, you can treat underlying conditions that may be causing fibromyalgia pain flare-ups.

Learn About Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia in Georgia

Non-surgical treatments are often the most effective way to manage fibromyalgia and improve your quality of life. At Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, we serve Carrollton and Marriott patients by identifying the best path toward pain management and recovery.

To learn more about treatment options or to look into getting a diagnosis for fibromyalgia, call us at 770-421-1420 to schedule an appointment.