Fibromyalgia is a debilitating chronic disease that affects 3% to 5% of Canadians. Symptoms of fibromyalgia include pain that can affect any area of the body, fatigue, sleep problems, brain “fog,” stiffness, muscle cramping and weakness, migraine headaches, and digestive problems. The condition can be aggravated by factors such as weather, hormones, stress, anxiety, and depression.
Fibromyalgia can be treated with a combination of pain medication, non-drug therapies, and self-help techniques. However, because it can be difficult to arrive at the right combination of medications, people with fibromyalgia are often referred to clinics that specialize in pain care.
Specialists in pain management have expertise in prescribing medication for the condition, and they may also recommend medical procedures, such as trigger point injections that will help to manage intense pain.
If you have fibromyalgia, ask your doctor to refer you to an Ontario pain care clinic. Maximize your quality of life!
with fibromyalgia are often referred to pain care clinics. The doctors at these
facilities have a great deal of experience dealing with the condition and have an
encyclopaedic knowledge of the range of pain medication available. Working in
concert with the patient, these specialists can help to find ways for them to
manage pain effectively.
are several ways that pain care specialists work to control pain. First, the
brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine often work to tone down pain
messages. Anti-depressants raise the levels of these two substances, so they
are often prescribed for fibromyalgia pain. Next, with fibromyalgia, muscles
and tissues send constant signals of pain to the brain. Certain anti-epileptic
drugs slow down these messages, so these drugs can be part of the medication
mix. Fibromyalgia patients often have tight, knotted muscles. Adding a muscle
relaxant to their drug therapy can help to relieve this. In people without
fibromyalgia, dopamine is released to ease pain whenever it occurs. However,
fibro patients don’t experience this dopamine boost. Medication that mimics
dopamine may also be useful. And, of course, conventional pain medication is
also part of the treatment. Mild opioids are often prescribed, although those
with more severe pain may require stronger drugs.
pain, fatigue is cited as the second worst symptom of the disease. Agents to
combat fatigue may also be prescribed. Fatigue can also be a sign of a
hypoactive thyroid, which is present in approximately 30% of fibromyalgia
patients, so specialists should check to see if thyroid medication is
major symptom of fibromyalgia is difficulty with sleeping. Therefore, doctors
may prescribe insomnia medication. And, because roughly one-third of fibromyalgia
patients suffer from restless legs syndrome, doctors sometimes treat for this
therapies such as massage, osteopathic treatments, or acupuncture help some
patients. In addition, your doctor may feel that a medical therapy such as
trigger-point injections is indicated.
you have fibromyalgia, ask your doctor about a referral for one of Ontario’s
excellent pain care clinics.