Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease with symptoms that come and go. Recognizing the symptoms and getting proper treatment is a step in the right direction.
One of the main symptoms of the disease is pain in the muscles, joints and tendons of the body. It is often a throbbing pain in the joints or muscles that gets worse with exercise. Sometimes the pain will cause numbing or tingling in the arms or legs. Often, pain is worse in the morning when waking up and often at night after using muscles and joints. Pain often is in the hands, arms, feet, and legs.
The body develops tender point that hurt when you apply pressure or touch them. Often a doctor treating fibromyalgia will examine these points. There are about nine areas in the body that develop tender points. The points are the:
- Back of the head
- Upper chest
Another symptom is called Fibro Fog. It means that a person has trouble focusing on tasks, concentrating on conversations, and remembering information. It produces fatigue and makes everyday tasks hard for the person to accomplish.
The pain of the disease often causes patients to have trouble sleeping. They may have trouble falling asleep or wake often through the night. Tossing and turning and not getting enough sleep makes it hard to function well during the day.
Psychological symptoms often develop because fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by an imbalance in brain chemistry. Some of the symptoms here are depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Support groups are often helpful for this aspect of the disease.
Pain Management and Treatment
A pain management specialist can provide you with a number of treatment options for pain, which is one of the major symptoms of this disease.
Often the doctor will prescribe medications to manage pain. There are different medications depending on the condition. Prescription pain relievers like Ultram and Conzip are often used. Sometimes antidepressants are prescribed to help with mood and sleep. These drugs may include Cymbalta, Savella, and Prozac. They also help with the pain. Medications used to treat epilepsy often are prescribed because they reduce the pain.
Botox injection are used to treat fibromyalgia symptoms. It is found that when small amount are injected into the muscles it causes weakening of the muscles thus reducing pain. This new method has not been studied by results on patients have been positive. It relieves pain for up to three to four months.
Trigger point injections are another new treatment for fibromyalgia. It involves injecting an anesthetic with a needle into the trigger points of the body where the pain occurs. Sometimes the injection is a combination of an anesthetic and cortisone or other medications. Other times just a needle is injected with no medication a procedure called dry needling.
This procedure is usually performed by the doctor with patients lying or sitting on the exam table. They find the site generally by touch and mark the site. The point of injection is cleaned and often a numbing spray is used too. The needle is injected and medications are given. Sometimes the injection hurts so ice, heat or over the counter medications are used for pain. The frequency of injections needed depends on the condition.