Studies have shown that 4.7-13.2% of people have generalized chronic widespread pain. Fibromyalgia is one of the most common diagnoses associated with generalized pain.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition associated with chronic and widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and cognitive alteration.
What causes fibromyalgia?
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is not known. However, studies have shown a variety of factors may increase one’s risk of developing fibromyalgia such as early life trauma, physical trauma, infections, autoimmune disorders, and emotional stress. Fibromyalgia is thought to be a disorder of the central processing of pain and remodeling of nerves causing a hypersensitivity to pain.
Why does it hurt?
Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters). In addition, the brain's pain receptors seem to develop a sort of memory of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they can overreact to pain.
What are some symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Some symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, cognitive dysfunction, and sexual dysfunction.
How is Fibromyalgia Treated
Fibromyalgia must be treated with a holistic approach. Patients should be encouraged to exercise and participate in physical medicine. A multidisciplinary team including psychological and rheumatology specialties is critical. Pharmacological treatments include antidepressant, anti-seizure, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic medications. Interventional pain management treatments include trigger point injections to improve muscle pain.
Doctors do not know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together. These may include:
- Genetics - Because fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder.
- Infections - Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
- Physical or emotional trauma - Post-traumatic stress disorder has been linked to fibromyalgia.
At Modern Pain Consultants, our specialists excel with fibromyalgia and are ready to tackle this complex disorder with you. Together we will develop an individualized pain management plan to reduce fibromyalgia flares and improve daily functioning.