Fibromyalgia

Woman waking from sleep due to fibromyalgia pain.

Med1Care Therapy Partner’s physical therapists are knowledgeable in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgiais a disorder that can begin over time or may occur after a triggering trauma, such as a car accident, injury, surgery, infection or period of consuming psychological stress.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread musculoskeletal pain along with medium to severe fatigue, sleep difficulty and memory trouble. Fibromyalgia may co-exist with tension headaches, restless legs, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), difficulty thinking clearly, painful menstruation and temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Depression and anxiety are common side effects of Fibromyalgia. While at present there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment, such as medication, counseling, relaxation support, exercise and physical therapy can help with symptom control.

Causes and Treatment of Fibromyalgia

Many fibromyalgia researchers believe the disorder is caused by adaptations to the signaling patterns in the brain and spinal cord that hyper-activate pain-signaling chemicals along neural pathways.

Fibromyalgia disproportionally affects women and appears to also have a genetic component.

Because the condition is systemic, fibromyalgia is diagnosed by its symptom list and the ruling out of other conditions. Health care providers may also administer a blood test that identifies immune system markers.

Once diagnosed, several medications (primary care physician approval is recommended) may help manage pain and fatigue. Three FDA-approved medications are currently used in the treatment of fibromyalgia:

  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) for increasing serotonin and norepinephrine and reducing depression
  • Lyrica (pregabalin) for nerve pain
  • Savella (milnacipran) for pain relief and reduced fatigue

Additional reading on fibromyalgia may be found here.

How We Can Help

Severe fibromyalgia often requires a multi-disciplinary approach that includes a primary care doctor, rheumatologist, physical therapist and pain management clinic. Mild cases can be managed with lifestyle changes and stress reduction.

Med1Care Therapy Partner’s experienced therapists are trained in treating fibromyalgia. Your treatment plan may include exercises that stretch the muscles and improve cardiovascular fitness, hot and cold treatments, stress reduction strategies and pain medications.  We will work with your pain management team to help reduce your pain, manage your symptoms and increase your quality of life.

Call us at 419.866.0555 to schedule a consultation.
Our specialists will help you chart a course forward.

Young woman suffering from fibromyalgia.Fibromyalgia often occurs side-by-side with other medical conditions, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Joint disorders
  • Migraine and headache
  • Painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis)
  • Post tachycardia syndrome

Senior woman in pain from fibromyalgia.Pain management programs for fibromyalgia may include medical management, such as over-the-counter medicines, prescription medications, and antidepressants. (Primary care physician approval is recommended.)

In addition to medical management, other tools include:

  • Hot and cold treatments to reduce stiffness and pain, particularly for arthritis
  • Physical and occupational therapy, such as sitting in a jetted hot tub or receiving massage
  • Exercise to decrease spasticity, joint contracture, joint inflammation and spinal alignment issues
  • Exercises to increase muscle strength
  • Electrical stimulation of nerve endings
  • Emotional and psychological support, including group therapy, stress management, training in meditation, relaxation, hypnosis or biofeedback

Accupuncture treatment for fibromyalgia.Acupuncture can reduce several types of chronic pain, and Fibromyalgiamay be one of them. While not overwhelming, the majority of studies indicate some benefit.

Read more about fibromyalgia and acupuncture here.