Though you may be relieved to finally have a diagnosis to explain your all-over-body pain, chronic fatigue, and brain fog, you may still have so many questions. Like, why me?
When it comes to fibromyalgia, researchers are still trying to find the answers to many questions.
Here at Interventional Pain Associates in Austin, Texas, Dr. Sarosh Saleemi, is a fibromyalgia expert who spent years conducting research to better understand this chronic pain condition.
Though there’s still a lot to learn, we want to share some questions you should ask your doctor about your fibromyalgia. Getting answers to these questions may help you finally get the help — and relief — you need.
Could it be something else?
There’s no single test for diagnosing fibromyalgia, and it’s possible your pain condition may be due to something else. However, we conduct a thorough exam to rule out other causes before landing on fibromyalgia as the cause of your chronic pain.
Symptoms, and ruling out other diseases, are the driving forces behind settling on a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
For a fibromyalgia diagnosis we look for:
- Widespread pain that lasts a week or more and has numerous tender points
- Feeling unrefreshed after a night of sleep
- Memory or concentration problems
These symptoms may come and go, but are a recurring problem that lasts three or more months.
Though it’s not part of the diagnostic criteria for a fibromyalgia diagnosis, a neural scan is oftentimes a part of your workup. This noninvasive test helps us pinpoint the source of your pain, which helps us better understand the cause.
In her fibromyalgia research, Dr. Saleemi used neural scans to better understand fibromyalgia pain. She discovered that in most of her study participants, nerve root problems were the underlying cause of their chronic pain condition.
Researchers are trying to find the answer to this question. However, it’s theorized that your fibromyalgia may develop from repeated nerve stimulation that increases pain-signaling chemicals in your brain.
Additionally, the pain receptors in your brain become sensitized to the pain. This means your nervous system makes you feel pain at a level much higher than most people, even when the stimulation is nonpainful.
Fibromyalgia seems to run in families, so your genes may make you more susceptible to the chronic pain condition. However, there’s usually an underlying event that triggers the neurological changes, such as an infection, injury, or stress (physical or emotional).
Will my pain go away?
Fibromyalgia is a multifaceted pain condition that affects your physical and emotional well-being. We have helped many people with fibromyalgia get long-term relief from their discomfort by taking a holistic approach to treatment, focusing on the health of your whole body, not just your pain.
We use many tools help you get pain relief from, such as:
Interventional pain management
Interventional pain management gives us an opportunity to treat the root cause of your fibromyalgia pain. Our treatments include steroid injections, spinal cord stimulation, and drug delivery systems.
We know moving may feel like the last thing you want to do when your whole body hurts, but exercise is one of the most important treatment tools for fibromyalgia. We refer you to our physical therapy experts who design exercise and stretching programs that match your needs.
We also prescribe medications to ease pain and support healing. The medications approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia help rebalance the chemicals in your brain that cause the pain.
We understand how chronic pain affects your emotional well-being and often recommend therapies that help heal the mind, such as counseling, relaxation therapy, and biofeedback, which is a form of therapy that reconnects your mind and body.
Though we may have many unanswered questions about fibromyalgia, we’re finding ways to help those struggling with this chronic pain condition get their life back.
Do you have questions about your fibromyalgia? We can help. Call our office or click the “book online” button to make an appointment today.