It’s estimated that one in every 50 people in the United States has fibromyalgia. This disorder can be one of the most difficult to diagnose and manage, often requiring a team of professionals. To find your fibromyalgia pain treatments in Colorado, first consider what science knows about this disorder.
Fibromyalgia is technically considered a syndrome, rather than a disease or illness.
This is because it’s diagnosed on the basis of an established group of symptoms. The most well-known symptoms are widespread pain at certain tender points throughout the body, typically occurring on both sides of the torso, as well as both above and below the waist; fatigue; and confusion, or “fibro fog.” Sleep disturbances are quite common with this disorder, as well. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, so the symptoms must last for a minimum of three months to be considered chronic.
Additional potential symptoms may include:
- Intolerance to hot or cold
- Muscle spasms
- Tingling in the hands and feet
- Bladder or bowel incontinence
- Poor balance
- Restless leg syndrome
There is no single known cause for fibromyalgia. Age, gender, heredity, trauma, and poor physical conditioning are all risk factors. However, there are some individuals with fibromyalgia who meet few or none of the identified risk factors. It’s believed that fibromyalgia is brought on by a combination of risk factors and metabolic, biochemical, and immune dysfunction.
Diagnosing fibromyalgia requires consideration of a detailed past medical history. Additionally, other diseases must be considered as culprits for some of the symptoms, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), hypothyroidism, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It should be noted, though, that not only can certain diseases and disorders cause similar symptoms, but they can co-occur. It is possible to have a diagnosis of multiple conditions.
It’s vitally important to seek pain treatments in Colorado if you live here and have fibromyalgia.
Because there is no cure for fibromyalgia, it may be tempting to forgo medical treatment, or to see just a primary care physician or rheumatologist. However, getting pain treatment is important, too. Pain interferes with day-to-day life and directly affects the quality of life. Getting pain treatments in Colorado is also important because the longer symptoms go without treatment, the more severe the symptoms may become, and the more difficult it may be to get them under control later on.
A primary care physician or rheumatologist is an important part of your healthcare team. He or she should be able to help you manage most of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, as well as suggest several potential pain management techniques. Fibromyalgia has such a wide array of pain symptoms, though, that this still may not control pain symptoms sufficiently.
Searching out local, knowledgeable pain treatments in Colorado can make a world of difference. Physicians who specialize in pain treatment will be able to offer a much larger array of possible ways to manage pain symptoms. Pain specialists are just one more tool to use against the effects of fibromyalgia.
If you’re looking for pain treatments in Colorado, you will likely first be offered drug therapies to control symptoms.
There are several types of drug therapies that may be effective at controlling fibromyalgia pain symptoms. For instance, low-dose tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) have been proven effective at treating the pain, mood disorders, and sleep disturbances that accompany fibromyalgia. In fact, TCAs are used to treat disorders like fibromyalgia more often than depression.
Another type of antidepressant, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), has also been proven to help with fibromyalgia. This type of drug is particularly good for treating the mood disorders that often go along with fibromyalgia.
There are also several medications, called analgesics, that specifically treat pain and may prove useful in managing fibromyalgia. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most popular analgesic, often available over-the-counter. They function by controlling the inflammation, or swelling, that causes pain. Opioid pain medications are also an option, but these drugs have a high risk for abuse and dependency, so they should be used with caution and, if possible, for a relatively short amount of time.
Additional types of drugs that may help with the symptoms of fibromyalgia include muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety medications, anticonvulsants, or antipsychotics. However, medications don’t do the trick for some people with fibromyalgia. This may be due to severe, adverse side effects, or it may be because the medications simply don’t work for you. Perhaps you just want to cut back on the amount of medications you take every day. Whatever the case, don’t settle for a fibromyalgia treatment plan that you’re not satisfied with.
If drug therapies aren’t sufficient, or if you simply want to explore other options, alternative treatments can be effective, too.
Seeking out pain treatments in Colorado can help you find lots of alternative treatment options. For instance, you may be given several suggestions as far as dietary and lifestyle changes that can help manage your fibromyalgia symptoms. Exercise is often suggested to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms. Because of its low-impact nature and emphasis on stress-reduction and relaxation techniques, yoga is often a great choice for exercise.
Additionally, your pain treatments in Colorado may include complementary treatments like chiropractic manipulation or massage. Acupuncture can also be effective. Biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which both help you learn ways to manage your pain, can also make a big difference.
This is why searching out pain treatments in Colorado can be so beneficial. Finding a pain doctor, like those at Pain Doctor, will give you more tools to help you learn to live your life to the fullest with fibromyalgia.
Have you benefitted from pain treatments in Colorado?
Image by Zach Dischner via Flickr