Currently, it is estimated that more than 10 million people suffer from fibromyaligia in the United States. The condition can be uncomfortable and discouraging with symptoms that can be characterized by pain in the joints, muscles, tendons, and bones.
In addition to musculoskeletal pain and sensitivity, fibromyalgia symptoms can also include headaches, overall fatigue and exhaustion, trouble focusing, and even changes in mood. Fortunately, an experienced healthcare provider can help you find relief from your pain and identify a personalized approach to managing your fibromyalgia.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
While fibromyalgia can occur in either gender, women are significantly more likely to be diagnosed. Symptoms may occur suddenly following an injury, new medical condition, or particular event or life change, or may develop gradually. Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose as many of the symptoms commonly occur in other conditions, with patients frequently describing their symptoms by explaining that it's “hurting everywhere”.
Currently no conclusive diagnostic tests exist; however, your trusted physician will conduct a thorough physical examination, consider your medical history, and work with you to understand your individual symptoms and how to best proceed.
While fibromyalgia cannot be cured, providers rely on a variety of traditional and complementary approaches to help sufferers manage their pain and live the healthiest life possible. Physicians may prescribe medications to help with the symptoms, as well as recommending activities such as sleep therapy, yoga, meditation, tai chi, and biofeedback.
Some individuals have found acupuncture and massage therapy to be helpful, as they may alleviate aches or soreness. In other instances, your healthcare team may advise changes to your diet, including the addition of vitamins and supplements.
One treatment option that has been shown to be effective is called cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT involves working closely with an experienced therapist to explore how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors may be impacting your condition and level of pain. Therapists can help you find solutions that work with your lifestyle, helping you live a happier, more pain-free life.
Contact a Provider
If you believe you may be suffering from fibromyalgia, schedule an appointment with your Intermountain healthcare provider. Also, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new activities or taking any supplements to treat fibromyalgia to avoid undue strain or dangerous interactions with other medications that you may be taking.
© 2018 Intermountain Healthcare. All rights reserved. The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.