Effective Treatment for Fibromyalgia Pain
Many diseases limit a person’s ability to fully engage in and enjoy their lives, but none are quite like the pain and suffering a person endures because of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 5 million people, 80% to 90% of whom are women. It’s a serious disease with no cure, no known cause and very few options for long-term relief. Fibromyalgia patients suffer inexplicable widespread pain, fatigue and psychological distress, headaches, trouble sleeping and cognitive problems with concentration and memory. Though most are diagnosed around middle age, anyone in any age group could be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Though children born to parents diagnosed with fibromyalgia are more likely to develop it, and there is some evidence that traumatic events can spark the disease, around 40% of cases appear randomly without any clear cause.
Fibromyalgia is the most common musculoskeletal affliction after osteoarthritis. Sufferers endure constant, crippling full body aches and fatigue and sensitive spots that may be painful to the gentlest touch. Sometimes it feels as if the muscles have been pulled or overworked; or you may experience a deep, stabbing pain or tingling, twitching and burning muscles. The pain seems to come from nowhere, unprovoked by physical activity, and can be randomly more or less severe on any given day.
Typically, people diagnosed with fibromyalgia take off work an estimated 17 days per year to deal with their pain. Most who suffer from fibromyalgia report a low quality of life, as the pain limits their ability to enjoy time with their families, be productive at work and engage in activities that make them happy. According to studies, 70% experience a loss of intimacy with their partner; 85% miss significant experiences in their lives and see their relationships suffer directly due to fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia patients are three times more likely to develop depression. Because fibromyalgia can isolate those diagnosed with it, it creates many social stresses and general anxiety that causes people to become more withdrawn. It also limits people’s ability to be physically active, even for short periods of time. Though it is unclear whether or not fibromyalgia leads to depression, some studies suggest that depression may just be another symptom. Whichever is the case, these two are indisputably linked, which makes the disease even more challenging to adequately manage.
Treatment Options to Manage Chronic Pain in Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a complex disease with a lot of different symptoms that must be individually assessed. Finding the best method of treatment for each individual with the disease will require a unique solution.
Interventional anesthesia is a superior treatment option because it helps the interventional pain anesthesiologist fully understand the patient’s needs and form a specific, customized treatment plan that pinpoints the exact areas of pain and helps the patient manage that pain on their own special terms. Treatment options can include epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablation, spinal cord stimulator, facet joint injections, lumbar sympathetic plexus blocks and trigger point injections. These are minimally invasive procedures that isolate and attack specific areas where the pain is the worst. If you a good fit for interventional anesthesia, we may suggest that you undergo a specific combination of outpatient treatments that will best help you manage your pain.
An Interventional pain anesthesiologist could be a better choice for people who suffer from fibromyalgia because he or she offers an alternative to drugs, which can dull the senses and leave you feeling as fuzzy as you would with untreated fibromyalgia. Our goal is to provide you with the most comfortable, best-suited pain management program. Helping you choose the right procedures is much better than simply prescribing drugs. We are here to listen, help you prioritize and find the treatment option that will give you the best relief possible.
Tips For Dealing With Fibromyalgia
Take time for yourself. Even if it’s just sitting still, listening to music, do whatever makes you happy and:
- Avoid caffeine. The constant wide-awake feeling that persists after you’ve consumed a lot of caffeine will not help you, especially if you already struggle with sleep. Remember that coffee isn’t the only product that contains caffeine; soda, chocolate, tea, etc. should all be on your radar to avoid.
- Do not work out before you go to bed. Exercising before bed may keep you wired and awake when you finally lie down to rest.
- Create a safe space. It doesn’t matter where or what it is, devote one area completely to yourself, and outfit it with things that make you comfortable. Find a super-comfortable chair that you can lounge in.
- Take sleep seriously. If you need to take naps in the day and it won’t affect your sleeping through the night, do it. Wind down before bed with a warm bath. Practice slow breathing exercises to calm your racing thoughts before bed.
- Get enough vitamin D. A deficiency may worsen the pain in your muscles and bones. Take time to get some sunlight every day.
- Give occupational therapy a shot. If you are overwhelmed by the pain you feel doing everyday tasks, occupational therapy can help you perform those tasks in ways that limit your pain.
- Eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Random as it sounds, studies have shown that after a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, patients reported less pain.
- Ask for help. Depression often accompanies fibromyalgia. Talking to someone about the mental anguish you’re experiencing may help you deal with the physical pain. Don’t face depression alone.
No matter what treatment you choose, we are also always here to help. If you are suffering from fibromyalgia and thinking about seeking treatment, please call us to talk about a consultation.
Discover specialized care for cancer pain. Call 626-345-9735 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form.We are accepting new patients, have minimal wait-times and are eager to help you overcome pain. Patients come to us from Altadena, Glendale, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Rosemead and neighboring areas.
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