If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you may find yourself faced with a lot of questions. We understand how unsettling that experience can be. The good news is that getting answers to your questions is not only helpful, but also therapeutic. To that end, we’ve put together this blog for patients and their loved ones on the basics of living with fibromyalgia.
What is Fibromyalgia?
This chronic condition is believed to be a type of interference with the way your brain processes pain signals. It leaves you highly sensitive to pain. If you have this condition, you may feel persistent, daily pain throughout your body.
Causes & Symptoms
Doctors aren’t completely sure why fibromyalgia develops, which makes it a challenging condition to diagnose. Researchers have found that this condition appears to affect women more than men. Factors that may play a role include genetics, certain infections and even physical or emotional trauma.
As with many conditions, symptoms can vary from person to person. The following are a few of the more common symptoms:
- Decreased focus
- Excessive fatigue
- Struggles staying asleep
- Sleep disruptions such as restless leg syndrome, discomfort and sleep apnea
- Dull full-body pain
- Muscle tenderness/sensitivity to touch
If you or someone you love has been experiencing three or more of these symptoms for more than 3 months, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a chronic pain management specialist. He or she will assess your health history and perform a thorough diagnostic analysis of your symptoms. If you don’t currently have a chronic pain management specialist, CPI has Bedford doctors accepting new patients (also in Benbrook).
Impact on Daily Life
Similar to the challenges of any chronic pain condition, life with fibromyalgia can be challenging. Even ordinary tasks become daunting and tiring when they are painful to accomplish. Over time, this level of difficulty has an impact on the person’s mental health. This can lead to co-existing conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Our Benbrook and Bedford pain and wellness center specialists commonly see a few other co-existing conditions within patients who are living with fibromyalgia, which adds to the complicated impact on daily life. For example:
- Painful bladder syndrome
- Migraines and/or tension headaches
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Because there is currently no known cure for fibromyalgia, treatments and therapies are focused on management of symptoms and improving quality of life. The key to success is often found in a combination of therapies and/or medications. Some of the possible combinations may include:
- Medications (antidepressants, pain relievers and anti-seizure medication)
- Physical therapy
- Pain psychology
- Relaxation techniques
We encourage our patients and their family members to be patient and trust the process. Many fibromyalgia patients find it helps to have a strong support system of loved ones and professionals who can help offer encouragement and comfort in the treatment journey.
At CPI we seek to be the healthcare provider patients choose. Our mission is to provide compassionate, innovative healthcare that exceeds our patients’ expectations. Our core values are honor, excellence, commitment and compassion. We treat patients like family, honoring their humanity. We focus on YOU the person, and not just the pain.