Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that affects the bones and muscles, creating widespread pain. Unfortunately, there is no cure. The key is to helping the patient manage the condition and handle the pain.
As a pain specialist, Dr. Trujillo and Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic are uniquely prepared and experienced both diagnosing fibromyalgia and then helping the patient handle his or her condition.
In this second November blog, let’s get into more about fibromyalgia.
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
The first threshold for diagnosis is that the patient has had widespread pain throughout the body for at least three months. In the past, doctors were to check 18 specific points on the patient’s body to see how many of them were painful when pressed firmly. That is no longer required.
Today, Dr. Trujillo looks for pain that occurs in four out of five areas. This has been the new standard since 2016, replacing the trigger points. These are the five areas:
- Left upper region, including shoulder, arm, or jaw
- Right upper region, including shoulder, arm, or jaw
- Left lower region, including hip, buttock, or leg
- Right lower region, including hip, buttock, or leg
- Axial region, including the neck, back, chest, or abdomen
Dr. Trujillo uses a combination of medications, treatments, and self-care strategies for his fibromyalgia patients. The goal is to minimize symptoms and improve the patient’s general health.
- Medications — Over-the-counter pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs are all used. Most not only reduce pain, but they can also improve the person’s sleep.
- Physical therapy — A physical therapist can teach you exercises that will improve strength, flexibility, and stamina. Water-based exercises are particularly helpful.
- Occupational therapy — An occupational therapist can help you make adjustments to your work area or the way you perform certain tasks that will cause less stress on your body.
- Counseling — Talking with a counselor can help you build your confidence and reduce stress that is fueling your fibromyalgia.
- Stress management — It’s important to avoid or limit overexertion and emotional stress.
- Sleep habits — Developing healthy sleep patterns and routines fights insomnia.
- Regular exercise — At first exercise may be painful, but over time it will decrease symptoms.
- Healthy lifestyle — Better diet, cutting out tobacco products, limiting caffeine, and seeking out things that you enjoy and fulfill you.
If you’re suffering from chronic widespread pain, you may have fibromyalgia. Please call Dr. Trujillo at (855) 768-4968. We can help.