People with fibromyalgia experience widespread musculoskeletal pain, along with fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory problems, and mood issues. Medical experts haven't established the cause of fibromyalgia, but they believe it’s likely due to misprocessed pain signals from your nerves.
Anyone can develop the condition, but it certain factors make you more susceptible:
Physical trauma, infection, or psychological stress sometimes trigger fibromyalgia. Other people have mild symptoms at first, and their symptoms intensify and multiply over time. Many people with fibromyalgia also have other painful conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, or TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders).
In addition to widespread pain, people with fibromyalgia experience:
The pain of fibromyalgia and the accompanying lack of sleep can affect your mental health and daily function.
Dr. Berkower considers your medical history and may run a few blood tests to rule out other causes before he makes a diagnosis. But, if you have unexplained, widespread pain for three or more months, fibromyalgia is a likely cause.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are steps you can take to manage your condition and reduce your pain. Dr. Berkower recommends regular exercise, which helps improve your symptoms and helps you maintain range of motion. Reducing stress is also important, as stress can trigger and magnify symptoms. Dietary changes, particularly eliminating caffeine, can also help. Caffeine increases your feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and unease—all of which can cause undue stress on your body
Dr. Berkower’s primary goal is reducing your pain levels so that you can regain your optimal function level. He may prescribe specific medications, including pain relievers, antidepressants, and sleeping aids, and offer physical therapy to help you manage the pain of fibromyalgia, too. Dr. Berkower may also use trigger point injection (TPI) therapy to treat your fibromyalgia inflammation points. TPI involves injecting an anesthetic or corticosteroid into your trigger points to relieve your pain.
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