Fibromyalgia

FIBROMYALGIA

Causes | Diagnosis | Treatment

Fibromyalgia is widespread pain in the muscles and soft tissues of the body, often accompanied by digestive troubles, sleep disorders, mental impairment, headaches, and extreme fatigue.  Fibromyalgia, which was once a very misunderstood condition, is now the third most prevalent rheumatologic disorder in the United States.  Currently there are over 6 million reported diagnosed cases of fibromyalgia in the country.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

Although there is no known cause for fibromyalgia, experts have some ideas, such as:

  • Overly sensitive nerve cells
  • Imbalance of chemicals in the brain
  • Disruption of the deep sleep phase affecting the amount of hormones released into the body

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

Diagnosing fibromyalgia may be difficult as patients tend to have normal neurological and imaging results.  Doctors diagnose fibromyalgia by ruling out other conditions and looking for characteristic symptoms such as multiple spots that are tender to palpation combined with other symptoms such as fatigue, generalized muscle and back pain, as well as any digestive or sleep issues.

Treating Fibromyalgia

Various treatments for fibromyalgia are available including medications, injections as well as exercise, diet and lifestyle changes.  The caring professionals at SCU Health know that no two patients are alike, and work with each patient individually to develop a customized treatment plan that works best them.  We believe it is important to educate patients about their various treatment options so they may make an informed decision and play a role in the treatment process.  Treatment options available at SCU include:

  • Acupuncture – studies have shown acupuncture to be effective in treating chronic pain in fibromyalgia patients.
  • Chiropractic Care – chiropractic techniques have been shown to alleviate pressure point pain, back and neck pain, shoulder pain, and headaches as it increases cervical and lumbar range of motion and decreases pressure on the spine.
  • Physical Therapy Modalities/Procedures – these may include cold laser, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and therapeutic exercise.
  • Whole-Person Assessment – in some complex cases, factors such as diet, lifestyle, sleep, stress, insulin-sensitivity, gene-environment interactions, and hormone levels may interfere with a person’s ability to heal, and may need to be addressed.

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