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Fibromyalgia Treatment in Westminster Denver Colorado

Overview

       Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals.

       Symptoms often begin after an event, such as physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.

       Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.

       While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures also may help.

Symptoms

The primary symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

     Widespread pain. The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.

     Fatigue. People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for long periods of time. Sleep is often disrupted by pain, and many patients with fibromyalgia have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.

     Cognitive difficulties. A symptom commonly referred to as “fibro fog” impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.

Fibromyalgia often coexists with other conditions, such as:

     Irritable bowel syndrome

     Chronic fatigue syndrome

     Migraine and other types of headaches

     Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome

     Temporomandibular joint disorders

     Anxiety

     Depression

     Postural tachycardia syndrome

Causes

Many researchers believe that repeated nerve stimulation causes the brain and spinal cord of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain.

In addition, the brain’s pain receptors seem to develop a sort of memory of the pain and become sensitized, meaning they can overreact to painful and nonpainful signals.

There are likely many factors that lead to these changes, including:

     Genetics. Because fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder.

     Infections. Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.

     Physical or emotional events. Fibromyalgia can sometimes be triggered by a physical event, such as a car accident. Prolonged psychological stress may also trigger the condition.

Risk factors

Risk factors for fibromyalgia include:

     Your sex. Fibromyalgia is diagnosed more often in women than in men.

     Family history. You may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia if a parent or sibling also has the condition.

     Other disorders. If you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, you may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia.

Complications

The pain, fatigue, and poor sleep quality associated with fibromyalgia can interfere with your ability to function at home or on the job. The frustration of dealing with an often-misunderstood condition also can result in depression and health-related anxiety.

Diagnosis

       In the past, doctors would check 18 specific points on a person’s body to see how many of them were painful when pressed firmly. Newer guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology don’t require a tender point exam.

       Instead, the main factor needed for a fibromyalgia diagnosis is widespread pain throughout your body for at least three months.

To meet the criteria, you must have pain in at least four of these five areas:

     Left upper region, including shoulder, arm or jaw

     Right upper region, including shoulder, arm or jaw

     Left lower region, including hip, buttock or leg

     Right lower region, including hip, buttock or leg

     Axial region, which includes neck, back, chest or abdomen

 

Tests

Your doctor may want to rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms. Blood tests may include:

     Complete blood count

     Erythrocyte sedimentation rate

     Cyclic citrullinated peptide test

     Rheumatoid factor

     Thyroid function tests

     Anti-nuclear antibody

     Celiac serology

     Vitamin D

If there’s a chance that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend an overnight sleep study.

Treatment

       In general, treatments for fibromyalgia include both medication and self-care strategies. The emphasis is on minimizing symptoms and improving general health. No one treatment works for all symptoms, but trying a variety of treatment strategies can have a cumulative effect.

Medications

Medications can help reduce the pain of fibromyalgia and improve sleep. Common choices include:

     Pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) may be helpful. Opioid medications are not recommended, because they can lead to significant side effects and dependence and will worsen the pain over time.

     Antidepressants. Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella) may help ease the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. Your doctor may prescribe amitriptyline or the muscle relaxant cyclobenzaprine to help promote sleep.

     Anti-seizure drugs. Medications designed to treat epilepsy are often useful in reducing certain types of pain. Gabapentin (Neurontin) is sometimes helpful in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms, while pregabalin (Lyrica) was the first drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat fibromyalgia.

Therapies

A variety of different therapies can help reduce the effect that fibromyalgia has on your body and your life. Examples include:

     Physical therapy. A physical therapist can teach you exercises that will improve your strength, flexibility and stamina. Water-based exercises might be particularly helpful.

     Occupational therapy. An occupational therapist can help you make adjustments to your work area or the way you perform certain tasks that will cause less stress on your body.

     Counseling. Talking with a counselor can help strengthen your belief in your abilities and teach you strategies for dealing with stressful situations.

Our expert providers are experienced and skilled at treating fibromyalgia and are your source for expert treatment of fibromyalgia in Westminster and Denver Colorado. Not only are we the premier treatment for spine injuries and chiropractic in Westminster and Denver Colorado, but we also specialize in many other advanced treatment techniques such as shockwave, cold laser, graston technique, KT Taping, activator, instrument aided spinal alignments, drop table, toggle, in house rehab services, and on site digital xrays. We are your Premier destination for fibromyalgia treatment in Westminster Colorado and Denver Colorado Chiropractor.