Athens Spine Center
Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Athens, GA
Are you one of the more than 4 million Americans living with fibromyalgia? Though painful, it’s possible to manage your symptoms and maintain your quality of life. The team of board-certified interventional pain management specialists at Athens Spine Center in Athens, Georgia, focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia using safe, effective, and long-lasting means. To schedule your appointment, call the office today.
Fibromyalgia Q & A
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic rheumatic disorder characterized by musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Many people with fibromyalgia also experience sleep, mood, and memory problems, affecting their ability to participate in routine tasks like work, running errands, or spending time with friends and family.
Sometimes, fibromyalgia occurs as a result of physical trauma, psychological stress, or surgery. Other times, it develops gradually over a long period without one single, triggering event. Though there’s no cure for fibromyalgia, it is possible to manage your symptoms and live a healthy, active life.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia affects everyone differently. Common symptoms include:
- Widespread chronic pain
- Cognitive difficulties
Many people with fibromyalgia also experience painful co-occurring conditions, including:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Other types of headaches
- Painful bladder syndrome
If you have fibromyalgia, you might also experience jaw pain or jaw tension, commonly called temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders.
Who is at risk of fibromyalgia?
Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, but several factors increase your risk, including:
- Being a woman
- Having rheumatoid arthritis
- Having lupus
- Having osteoarthritis
You’re also more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia if you have a family member with the condition. For example, if your parents or grandparents had fibromyalgia, you’re more likely to as well.
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
Fibromyalgia isn’t always easy to diagnose because it affects everyone differently. That said, if you experience widespread pain for three months or longer, you may have fibromyalgia.
During your initial consultation, your Athens Spine Center provider conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks questions about your symptoms. To better pinpoint the source of your discomfort, your Athens Spine Center provider might recommend one or more blood tests. To rule out other potential health problems, they might request a:
- Complete blood count
- Thyroid function test
- Rheumatoid factor test
- Cyclic citrullinated peptide test
These measures can provide additional insights and assist your doctor in developing a treatment plan.
How is fibromyalgia treated?
Treatment for fibromyalgia depends on the severity of your symptoms. Whenever possible, though, the team at Athens Spine Center recommends conservative, noninvasive treatments such as rest, physical therapy, and over-the-counter painkillers. If your symptoms persist or get worse, they might prescribe anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, or pain relievers.
Some evidence suggests alternative measures like acupuncture, massage therapy, and stress management can also provide relief.
To learn more about the various treatment options for fibromyalgia, schedule an appointment at Athens Spine Center by calling the office today.
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