Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease characterized by pain that can affect many parts of the body. It is widespread – about 10 million Americans suffer from it – and more women develop it than men. Other than osteoarthritis, it is the most common musculoskeletal disorder diagnosed in the United States.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, or collection of persistent symptoms, focusing on chronic pain. The pain may be centered in one particular area of the body, it may migrate throughout the body over time, or it may present in many different parts of the body at once.
For now, nobody knows exactly what causes fibromyalgia. There are a number of theories. For example, stress may be a factor. Others believe that micro-traumas to the muscles create a long-term cycle of pain and fatigue that the body is unable to recover from.
There may even be a neurochemical component to fibromyalgia. Sometimes, the brain may lose the ability to produce sufficient amounts of serotonin; a chemical associated with pleasure and elevated moods. Combined with a high concentration of substance P – which amplifies pain signals – fibromyalgia sufferers may perceive physical pain others would not notice.
Common Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Persistent muscle pain is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia. Other symptoms can include:
- Chronic headaches
- Mouth, nose, and eye dryness
- Sensitivity to temperature extremes
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Bowel or digestive problems
- Tingling or numbness in the extremities
- Overall body stiffness
Fibromyalgia can be diagnosed through a complete physical exam coupled with a specialized blood test that measures immune activity. Not all patients will require the blood test in order to receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Likewise, not all symptoms need to be present for a positive diagnosis to be made. Instead, it’s necessary to look at your whole medical history.
Fibromyalgia Treatment at Turtle Creek Medical Center
Many different types of treatments can be used for fibromyalgia. The right approach for you will depend on the symptoms you feel and their severity. Fibromyalgia pain relief can be produced through a regimen of appropriate exercise, relaxation techniques, and other self-care. A variety of natural and organic remedies can be combined with conventional medication.
If you need a fibromyalgia pain management doctor in Dallas, Turtle Creek Medical Center can help you. We develop personalized, results-focused treatment plans built on your needs and the latest medical science. To find out more, contact us.