OUR APPROACH TO FIBROMYALGIA
Fibromyalgia is believed to be a neurological condition that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain along with a handful of other symptoms. Because of this, fibromyalgia significantly impacts the quality of life of those living with it day in and day out.
WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes extensive pain in your muscles and bones. People with fibromyalgia can also experience fatigue, sleep problems, and sensitivity to touch.
According to the CDC, about 4 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, and the disorder is more common in women than men.
The disorder can be challenging to diagnose, and until recently, the medical world questioned whether it was an actual condition. However, if you or a loved one has suffered from fibromyalgia, you know all too well that it’s real.
The good news is, with the right treatment plan and the right team behind you, your fibromyalgia symptoms can be managed and improved.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF FIBROMYALGIA?
Fibromyalgia causes pain that moves around to different parts of your body. Common symptoms of the disorder include:
- All-over body stiffness
- Severe fatigue
- Sleep problems
- Trouble focusing or memory problems
- Digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Temporomandibular disorder (TMJ), a set of symptoms including face or jaw pain
- Increased sensitivity to pain, known as abnormal pain perception processing
These symptoms can occur together, travel throughout the body, and vary in intensity from day to day.
WHAT CAUSES FIBROMYALGIA?
Unfortunately, the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown.
Fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune or inflammatory disease. Instead, it’s a central nervous system disorder involving how your brain and spinal cord process pain signals from your nerves.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR FIBROMYALGIA?
Although fibromyalgia is not a genetic condition, it’s known to cluster within families. So, there may be specific genes that make people more likely to develop this disorder.
Typically, fibromyalgia is triggered by some precipitating event, such as physical or emotional stress, arthritis, injury, traumatic events, or repetitive injuries.
People with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can be at a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia. Although it can strike at any age, it most often presents during the middle-age years
HOW IS FIBROMYALGIA DIAGNOSED?
Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose because it can mimic other disease processes, and there are no tests that directly detect fibromyalgia.
Diagnosis is usually made based on your symptoms and how long you’ve had them. If widespread pain has been present longer than three months with no underlying medical condition, it could be fibromyalgia.
TREATMENT FOR FIBROMYALGIA
The good news is, fibromyalgia itself is not a life-threatening condition. But its symptoms can be debilitating, and there’s no cure for fibromyalgia. It’s an uphill battle, and it’s not uncommon for people with fibromyalgia to also suffer from depression – which can be life-threatening.
That’s why it’s crucial to find a healthcare team that will work with you and has the experience and compassion to help you effectively manage your pain. Because there are effective treatment modalities that help lessen or improve the symptoms of this chronic illness.
At OC Wellness Physicians Medical Group, we believe in comprehensive, holistic treatment plans provided with compassion. We start with the least invasive treatments first and move on to more advanced methods as necessary.
We utilize a variety of treatment modalities, including:
- Chiropractic care to improve spinal alignment, relieving pressure on the nerves that run along the spine.
- Diet and lifestyle planning to optimize your sleep habits and self-care routines.
- Massage therapy to reduce stress and pain.
- Pilates to improve your physical strength and mobility. Physical exercise is shown to be the most effective treatment for fibromyalgia. It may be tough at first, but it provides significant long-term relief.
- Acupuncture to provide relief from headaches, fatigue, and anxiety.
- Allergy testing to identify dietary and environmental sources of irritation within the body.
- Active Release Techniques (ART) to restore optimal texture, motion, and function of the soft tissues and release any entrapped nerves or blood vessels in the body.
If you’re suffering from fibromyalgia symptoms, OC Wellness Physicians Medical Group can help you decrease your pain and increase the quality of your daily life. We know it’s probably been a long, frustrating journey with this condition, and we’re here to help you through comprehensive, holistic care.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING MY FIRST VISIT?
Our team values a well-rounded, holistic approach to your care. We want to learn everything we can about your symptoms to come up with the best plan for you.
When you visit us for a consultation, here’s what you can expect:
- We’ll ask you about the duration and type of symptoms you’re experiencing.
- We’ll ask your permission to access any pertinent medical records from other facilities.
- You’ll fill out a detailed health history. (Or if you have a pre-written history we’re happy to review that.)
- We’ll perform a physical examination.
- We’ll order any necessary testing and form a diagnosis.
- Our physician team will meet to develop a recommended treatment plan customized for you.
- Our staff will contact your insurance company or work with you on a flexible self-pay plan if needed.
Our focus is always on your specific needs and goals, and we make sure you’re involved in every step of your care. Our priority is to help you manage your symptoms, both today and for the long term.
We look forward to helping you live your best life!