CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center
Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Pain Management located in Lanham, Hyattsville, Gaithersburg, Dundalk, Baltimore, Rosedale, Olney and Oxon Hill, MD
Chronic pain all over your body may be a sign of fibromyalgia, which affects between 2-4% of American adults. For proper diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia, visit the pain management specialists at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center. Located in Olney, Rosedale, Hyattsville, Lanham, Gaithersburg, Dundalk, and Baltimore, Maryland, the team provided specialized treatment for men and women throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. To schedule a visit, call the nearest office or use the online booking option.
Fibromyalgia Q & A
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain throughout your muscles, ligaments, joints, and tendons, as well as fatigue and tender points all over your body. With fibromyalgia, slight pressure causes pain. While it’s more common among women, fibromyalgia can affect men, too.
Fibromyalgia may also be called fibrositis, chronic muscle pain syndrome, psychogenic rheumatism, and tension myalgias. It can vary in severity and pain may come and go, depending on your overall health and well-being.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia symptoms can range from mild to severe pain and cause tenderness throughout your body. It may also present with additional symptoms, including:
- Fatigue and sleep disturbances
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Headaches and facial pain
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
- Heightened sensitivity to touch and pressure
- Mood changes, including depression and anxiety
- Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
- Dry eyes, skin, and mouth
- Painful menstruation
Certain factors may reduce or amplify symptoms, including the weather, your stress levels, and physical activity. The team may recommend you keep a log of your symptoms in order to identify potential pain triggers or patterns that cause flare-ups.
What causes fibromyalgia?
Unfortunately, the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. A current theory — called central sensitization — states that people with fibromyalgia have an increased sensitivity to pain in their brains, which leads to lower thresholds for sensing pain. Studies of this theory show that in the brains of patients with fibromyalgia, specific chemicals and neurotransmitters decrease the natural pain threshold and make you more sensitive to nonpainful stimuli.
Other factors that may cause or contribute to fibromyalgia symptoms include:
- Sleep disturbances
- History of trauma or physical injury
- Viral or bacterial infections
- Changes in muscle metabolism
- Abnormalities of the autonomic (sympathetic) nervous system, which controls your heart rate, blood vessel contraction, and digestion
Based on your medical history and physical exam, the team may be able to identify potential causes of your symptoms.
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed and treated?
Since the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, there is no test to diagnose it. Instead, fibromyalgia is diagnosed through a process of exclusion when all other potential causes have been ruled out. The team completes a thorough exam and blood testing to rule out other causes of your pain before confirming a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
Treatment options for fibromyalgia include:
- Over-the-counter and prescription medications for pain
- Muscle relaxants
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Relaxation techniques
- Chronic pain education
The team takes a multidisciplinary approach to address your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that works for you.
To set up an exam if you suspect you have fibromyalgia, call CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center or schedule an appointment online today.
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