Fibromyalgia is a poorly understood and life-altering illness that can be difficult to treat. One of the biggest obstacles for the affected patients is that they do not “look sick” and most diagnostic studies (including imaging or laboratory values) would be normal. From outward appearances, they look perfectly fine. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Fibromyalgia causes chronic pain, lack of sleep, low energy and low functionality. Unlike many causes of pain, fibromyalgia pain is not limited to a single area of the body. Instead, the patient has a heightened sensitivity to pain throughout multiple “tender points”. Patients with fibromyalgia have difficulty summoning the energy to perform everyday tasks. They may not feel up to participating in hobbies, or “having fun” with their loved ones. Isolation and depression are common.
Management of fibromyalgia is most successful when the patient partners with a healthcare provider who is able to recognize the seriousness of the disease, treat the symptoms and help the patient learn to manage remaining issues. Friends and family members can help by recognizing that fibromyalgia is just as debilitating as other, more visible, diseases. Management of fibromyalgia is most successful when patients are willing to participate in a multidisciplinary approach including physical therapy, pain psychology and pain management.
RMH Pain Management: 765-932-7600