Unexplainable widespread pain is common among people diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  Even when you haven’t exercised or used your muscles, they may feel as though they have been severely overworked, and you may experience burning pain, searing pain, pounding or throbbing pain, or a deep stabbing pain. Some fibromyalgia patients feel a constant ache surrounding the joints in their hips, shoulders, back and neck, making it extremely difficult to sleep, exercise, or even get through day-to-day activities. S

ome believe Fibromyalgia pain is caused by a “glitch” in how the body processes pain. Research has shown that those who suffer from Fibromyalgia also have reduced blood flow to the areas of the brain which normally help the body deal with pain.

For most fibromyalgia sufferers, the dominant symptom is widespread pain commonly in the back of the head, upper back, neck, elbows, hips, and knees. Fibromyalgia flare-ups may also come with the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms (e.g., constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain)
  • Persistent pain often accompanied by stiffness
  • Mood disorders (anger, irritability)
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches with facial pain related to tenderness experienced in the neck and shoulders
  • Increased sensitivity to pain (hyperesthesia)
  • Urinary frequency
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Tingling and/or numbness in the hands, legs, feet or arms

Central sensitization syndrome (also referred to as allodynia) is often cited as both a cause and a symptom of fibromyalgia. This common complication of chronic pain is a development that involves both the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and the central nervous system (CNS). Local tissue injury and inflammation activate the PNS, which sends signals through the spinal cord to the brain. Central sensitization occurs when there is an increase in the excitability of neurons within the CNS.

Between two and 4% of people in the U.S. suffer from fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is most commonly seen in women ages 20 to 55, occurring at about nine times the rate in women as men.

Other than gender, risks factors for fibromyalgia include:

  • Genetics: People with first-degree relatives who suffer from fibromyalgia are also eight times more likely to have it themselves
  • Poor sleep: A 2014 study found that people with poor sleep were more likely to suffer widespread, chronic pain conditions
  • Chronic inflammatory or autoimmune disorders: Hepatitis C infections and other rheumatic disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and osteoarthritis (OA), are risk factors for fibromyalgia

Trauma: Patients with trauma, either physical or psychological, are more likely to suffer from chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia

The best fibromyalgia treatment protocols are holistic and address both your physical and psychological aspects of pain. Living with a chronic pain condition is not just about how much it hurts your body. A mental toll is taken as well. The following treatments can help with both aspects of this condition.

  • Exercise
  • Healthy Diet
  • Behavioral Health Treatment (Meet with a SPA Psychologist)
  • Medications (OTC or Prescription)
  • Acupuncture
  • TENS Unit Therapy
  • Trigger Point Injections
  • Adequate Sleep

Are you ready to stop living life in pain?