Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal disorder that can result in significant and ongoing pain. While more research is needed in this area, it is believed that fibromyalgia is related to the improper processing of pain signals by the brain. There is no cure for this disorder; however, pain management doctors can help patients manage their symptoms. Keep reading to learn if your symptoms could be the result of fibromyalgia.
Diagnostic Criteria Pain management doctors follow certain criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia. You must have experienced widespread pain in all areas of your body for at least four months. Your pain specialist will also evaluate 18 tender points on your body. You should experience a reaction to pressure applied in at least 11 of those areas. However, even if you do not have 11 tender points, your pain specialist might still diagnose you with the disorder if you meet the other criteria.
Causes and Risk Factors Little is known about the causes of fibromyalgia. It is thought that factors like genetics, infections, and physical or emotional distress might contribute to the development of the disorder. You may be at a higher risk of fibromyalgia if you’re a woman, you have a rheumatic disease, or you have a family history of the disorder.
Typical Symptoms A dull, aching pain all over your body is the most significant symptom of fibromyalgia. You might experience fatigue despite getting sufficient sleep, or sleep disorders like restless legs syndrome. You might also suffer from coexisting conditions like anxiety, depression, endometriosis, headaches, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Treatment Options Your pain management specialist can prescribe medications like antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and analgesics to manage your symptoms. Lifestyle changes like regular exercise, stress reduction, and sufficient rest can also help improve your overall quality of life.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, talk to a pain management doctor today. Residents of Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, and Irvine are encouraged to call Pain Specialists of Orange County to schedule an appointment. You can reach us at (888) 699-1334 or visit our website for more information.