Fibromyalgia Las Vegas
FAQ’s on Fibromyalgia
What is Fibromyalgia?
The condition is characterized by widespread pain, weakness and fatigue. Over the past few decades, fibromyalgia has been known by various names including fibrositis, psychogenic rheumatism and chronic muscle pain syndrome.
The disorder is a true diagnostic challenge because it is such a subjective condition. This means very specific objective criteria do not exist, which makes it a bit hazy at times to be certain the condition is present. The desire is to avoid treatments that may be toxic or expensive by making an accurate diagnosis as much as possible.
How Common is Fibromyalgia?
3.4% of women in the US and 0.5% of men have fibromyalgia. Three fourths of those with fibromyalgia (FM) actually go undiagnosed.
With FM being such a heterogeneous disorder with different symptoms between patients being so common, it is tough to pinpoint accurately. Additionally, those with FM often have additional conditions overlying the FM such as Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS), chronic fatigue, TMJ and migraines.
How is the diagnosis of fibromyalgia made?
The term fibrositis was used for the condition up until 1981 when the term fibromyalgia was invented based on a combination of patient symptom history and tender points (Yunus). In 1987, an article in JAMA laid out 3 major criteria and 6 minor criteria.
Major Criteria for Fibromyalgia
- Generalized and chronic aches & pains or stiffness present for over 3 months in 3 or more anatomic regions.
- Multiple tender points at characteristic anatomic points.
- No other identifiable condition that the symptoms represent.
Minor Criteria for fibromyalgia
- Generalized fatigue.
- Chronic headaches.
- Neck and shoulder pain.
- Sleep disturbances.
- Bowel irritability.
- Subjective numbness, swelling.
Widespread, chronic pain is accepted as a requirement for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, however, the tender point portion of it is debated. When making the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, it is important to look at other conditions that can be present. Often times, fibromyalgia is a diagnosis of exclusion.
What Other Conditions May Be Present?
There are various hematologic, neurologic, autoimmune, infectious, psychological, nutrition and endoctrine disorders that may need to be addressed. Lab studies should be performed which include liver function testing, CBC, iron, magnesium, B12, folate, thyroid studies, vitamin D and more. In addition, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate should be checked to rule out an inflammatory condition.
Psychological disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety should be screened along with sleep disorders. There are autoimmune disorders such as lupus or RA which may be present or hematologic problem such as leukemia or lymphoma.
Infectious diseases such as Lyme Disease or the Epstein Barr virus can be present, or even HIV or hepatitis.
As you can see, there are quite a few disorders that can mimic fibromyalgia. The problems mentioned are less than half that should be considered. Once the diagnosis of FM is settled on, treatment needs to be individualized to patients.
What are the best treatments for Fibromyalgia in Los Angeles?
There is not one silver bullet when treating fibromyalgia. Often times a combination of traditional and alternative therapies works well. This may include chiropractic, acupuncture, PT, aromatherapy, homeotherapy and even yoga.
With regards to medication possibilities, here is a potential list of options:
- Muscle relaxers
- NSAIDS and Acetaminophen
- Antidepressant Medications
- Sleep medicine such as Ambien
- Opiate Medications
- Membrane Stabilizer Drugs such as Lyrica
- Meyers Cocktail Infusions
There has been recent data showing that multidisciplinary (combination) treatment works well for fibromyalgia (Rooks 2007). Options include:
- TENS Units
- Trigger Point Injections
- Massage Therapy
- Infusions of membrane stabilizers
- Behavioral Therapy, Prayer, Meditation
Fibromyalgia is a difficult condition, and pain management clinics in Las Vegas treat FM with customized treatments that fit well with the symptoms being experienced. Treatment is not one size fits all, but can be very successful when a combination of alternative and conventional Las Vegas pain management treatments are used.
Call a LV pain clinic today to get started!