Body pain is a common patient complaint that we deal with at Spine Care and Pain Clinic in Spring Hill. It can manifest due to various diseases and a thorough evaluation is needed to determine the exact condition. One of which is a disorder known as fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes extreme tiredness, stiffness in the muscles and joints, and widespread aches and pains all over the body. This condition remains an enigma for medical doctors as its exact cause has yet to be discovered.
Instead, fibromyalgia manifests as a series of symptoms that vary from patient to patient who could mistake the condition for arthritis. What’s common among these patients, however, is that they experience episodes of fatigue, pain, and even depression and anxiety, according to Harvard Health.
Here are some basic facts about fibromyalgia:
Dr. Alsabbagh, the medical director of Pain Management, Spring Hill talks about the following basic facts about fibromyalgia:
1. It is not a disease of the joints.
Around 2-4% of the general population suffer from fibromyalgia and most of them are middle-aged women, according to the American College of Rheumatology. Researchers say that, unlike arthritis, fibromyalgia does not cause inflammation – hence, it is not a joint disease.
To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, however, the patient has to have a history of widespread body pain, for at least three months, in all of the body’s four quadrants. These are the upper body or above the waist on the left and right side, and the lower body or below the waist on the left and right side. The pain must also be persistent in the body’s 18 pressure points, whereby patients will complain that they hurt all over her body.
2. It’s possible for fibromyalgia to develop as a secondary condition.
Most patients who suffer from rheumatic diseases end up having fibromyalgia as a secondary condition. In other words, if a patient suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, he has higher risks of developing fibromyalgia.
The problem with fibromyalgia is that its symptoms can go undetected for years. Its indications may also overlap with other joint and muscle conditions, which is why it’s so commonly overlooked.
According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, it takes at least three to five years to get an accurate diagnosis for this condition.
3. There is no definitive test to diagnose fibromyalgia.
Adding to the mystery of fibromyalgia is the fact that there is no definitive diagnostic test to determine if the symptoms a patient experiences are of fibromyalgia. Unlike other conditions that can be determined by blood tests, ultrasound, x-rays or scans, fibromyalgia diagnosis has no concrete tools.
Instead, if a doctor orders some tests it is usually because he wants to rule out other conditions in relation to the symptoms. Aside from the pain and fatigue, a person with fibromyalgia may also develop:
- Sleep disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Restless leg syndrome
- Frequent headaches
- Sensitivity to cold or heat
- Memory loss or memory fog
- Pelvic and urinary problems
- Weight gain
- Vision problems
4. Treating fibromyalgia requires constant medical attention.
Because the condition is largely unexplained by medical experts, treating fibromyalgia will have to rely on symptomatic management, which also depends on what the patient can tolerate. Aside from medications to manage the pain or antidepressants to deal with the anxiety, the patient may also undergo other treatment protocols to relieve pain.
The good news is that fibromyalgia is not a fatal disease and it’s also not a degenerative condition. With proper management, many people with this condition have experienced improved outcomes and coping mechanisms over the years.
Pain Management & Spine Care’s Medical Director, Dr. Eyad Alsabbagh, is a fellowship-trained Interventional Pain Medicine pain doctor in Hernando County. He is trained and educated to provide the highest quality of service to patients suffering from multiple conditions, varying from narcotics addiction to back pain. He utilizes state-of-the-art technology at his pain management clinic in Brooksville.
Dr. Alsabbagh understands that pain is a very personal experience, which is why he evaluates each patient’s individual needs and determines what sort of treatment will be most beneficial for that particular person. Our goal is to help you ensure a fuller, pain-free life.
If you have further questions about nerve blocks, or anything that is related to pain management, don’t hesitate to contact us.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.