Pinpointing a Fibromyalgia Treatment Plan
Most people experience intermittent pain in their bodies from time to time. However, when the pain never seems to subside and disrupts your daily life, you could suffer from a type of chronic pain called fibromyalgia. You can get treatment and adjust your life as necessary by learning what fibromyalgia is and how doctors address it with patients today.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a type of chronic pain that affects the musculoskeletal system. The prolonged presence of pain throughout the body causes side effects like excessive fatigue and sleepiness. It can also negatively impact one’s emotional stability and short term memory.
Fibromyalgia likewise impairs the brain’s ability to process and send out pain signals. While doctors do not know the exact cause of this type of chronic pain, they suspect that it can be caused by factors like:
- Physical trauma
- Psychological distress
Fibromyalgia often accompanies other disorders like TMJ, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic migraines, tension headaches, anxiety, and depression.
The Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia invites symptoms that can be difficult to live with on a daily basis. The most significant symptoms of this type of chronic pain include:
- Pain that lasts for three months or longer
- Severe fatigue
- Waking up tired on a regular basis
- Prolonged bouts of sleeping
- Restless leg syndrome
- Sleep apnea
- Impairment of memory, concentration, and ability to carry out mental tasks
Because it can cause pain throughout the body, fibromyalgia requires more than one form of treatment. Your doctor can recommend the best course of treatment based on the severity and presence of fibromyalgia in your body.
Treatment for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia responds well to several different courses of treatment. People with this condition require individualized treatment plans that accommodate the type of chronic fibromyalgia pain from which they suffer. Depending on where your pain is most often located as well as its severity, your doctor may recommend treatments like:
- Use of over-the-counter painkillers
- Prescription painkillers like hydrocodone
- Anti-seizure medications like Gabapentin
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Lifestyle changes like avoiding stress and getting more exercise
These remedies may shorten the duration of your fibromyalgia and relieve the worst symptoms of this example of chronic pain.
Fibromyalgia affects millions of people in the U.S. each year. It can be overcome or adapted to with lifestyle changes, therapy, and the use of prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers.