Fibromyalgia: How We Can Help
Fibromyalgia is a complex disease characterized by a wide array of symptoms. Sufferers can experience chronic pain, joint problems, fatigue, insomnia, autoimmune disorders, and numerous other symptoms, often leading to a seriously reduced quality of life.
The cause of fibromyalgia is unclear and there’s no formally agreed upon diagnostic test. It’s typically used to explain a combination of co-existing illnesses, or as a ‘last resort’ diagnosis when all other options have been exhausted. Because of this, the disease is often misunderstood and even doubted within the medical industry, and reliable support can be hard to access.
Because many doctors are unequipped to help fibromyalgia those suffering from it are often told that the disease is ‘in their head’. Others are led to believe that learning to live with the disease is their best option. Understandably, many are frustrated and disheartened by the idea of facing a lifetime of painful symptoms. If you’re suffering from fibromyalgia, or you suspect you may be, then you may have felt this way, too. If so, there’s good news.
Our Approach to Treating Fibromyalgia
There’s no denying that treating fibromyalgia is a challenge, but it is possible to dramatically improve your quality of life with the right treatment provider. At Piedmont Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, we acknowledge that your symptoms are very real. We understand fibromyalgia and have taken a personal interest in developing a holistic, narcotic-free approach to treatment.
Reducing Total Load
We begin treatment by taking an in-depth look at your medical history. Because of the complex nature of fibromyalgia, it can be triggered or aggravated by any number of underlying conditions, not all of them obvious. These might include:
- Endometriosis, a painful condition in which uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus.
- Blood clotting disorders, in which the blood clots too much or in some cases, too little.
- Loose ligaments, which can leave the patient vulnerable to injury or wear and tear.
- Carriers of autoimmune disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
- A history of chronic, frequent, or hidden infections.
These factors all contribute to what we call your ‘total load’, the sum of all your body’s stressors. The more stress your body is experiencing, the more severe your fibromyalgia symptoms are likely to be. By reducing this total load, we can relieve symptoms and clear the way for your body to begin the healing process. One of the first steps in reducing total load is validating the presence of your complaints.
A Serious Look At Diagnosis
While there is no singular test for fibromyalgia that does not mean there are not ways to find out what is wrong or why you hurt. For example electrodiagnostic studies can determine if there is nerve damage, diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound can show weakened and loose ligaments or tendons, and medical thermology can validate the presence of weather sensitive pain. The point is that even if there is not just one study that can show everything that is wrong there are many studies that can help us to determine what the root causes of your pain are; we just have to look harder and take on one at a time.
Restorative Therapy and Fibromyalgia
Restorative therapy is often the first tool used to help relieve pain and suffering in fibromyalgia patients. Restorative therapy combines exercise, physical therapy, water therapy, massage and other modalities to help you get moving. When used in combination with other treatment options restorative therapy can help to improve function by relieving pain, stiffness, and tenderness in the soft tissues. It can also help you to build muscle tone, strengthen weak joints, and improve balance, co-ordination, and endurance. But exercise and wellness are not always enough. So at Piedmont Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, PA we take the extra effort needed to actually try and fix what hurts, to reverse disease and to put your body back on a healing path. Regenerative medicine is one example of a treatment intended to regrow or repair what is otherwise weak or injured.
Regenerative Medicine and Fibromyalgia
Regenerative medicine aims to stimulate your body’s natural healing response to help you find relief without the use of drugs or surgery.
Prolotherapy involves injecting safe, natural compounds into damaged tissues to encourage proliferation, or regrowth, of healthy cells. These compounds can be injected into lax or damaged ligaments to strengthen the tissue and encourage healing. This also helps the surrounding muscles to relax, meaning a reduction in pain, stiffness, and spasms. In more severe cases growth factors, platlet rich plasma, and even stem cell might be employed.
And There Is More
Much more. By helping to increase blood flow and quieting down the sympathetic nervous system we can reduce weather sensitive pain. By treating hidden infection, inflammation, or clotting problems we can help to reduce fibro fog, fatigue, and malaise. By reviewing with you our findings and teaching you how they contribute to symptoms such as irritable bowel or interstitial cystitis we can provide you with self-help tools that let you take back control of our life; just because you have fibromyalgia does not mean it has to have you.
Fibromyalgia doesn’t have to be a life sentence.
If you’re living with the symptoms of fibromyalgia, know that help is available. You don’t have to accept a lifetime of pain and discomfort. You can experience relief and improve your quality of life with a patient-centered, holistic treatment plan. Call our Greenville clinic now on 864-235-1834 to find out how we can help.