Fibromyalgia: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment
- Chronic pain syndrome
- Chronic back pain, neck pain, knee pain, pelvic pain, etc.
- Chronic headaches
- Piriformis syndrome
- Repetitive stress injury (RSI)
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)
- Chronic tendonitis
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
Symptoms of fibromyalgia
- Widespread stiffness
- Brain fog
- Trouble sleeping
- Not feeling rested after sleep
- Memory lapses
- Trouble focusing or paying attention
- Pain or a dull ache in the lower belly
- Dry eyes
- Bladder problems, such as interstitial cystitis
- Painful periods (in women)
Causes and risk factors of fibromyalgia
- Having a high chronic stress load
- Experiencing a physical or emotional trauma (a virus, an accident, an emotional event, etc.)
- Experiencing traumas in close succession
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
- 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, which includes neck, back, chest, or abdomen
How is fibromyalgia treated?
Medications can help temporarily reduce fibromyalgia pain and improve sleep. Common choices include:
- Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, may help temporarily reduce pain and, consequently, improve sleep. These medications, however, do nothing to address the root neurochemical cause of fibromyalgia and can lead to dependency.
- Antidepressants: Certain antidepressants, such as duloxetine (Cymbalta), may help reduce pain and improve sleep and mood, however, they also do not address the root limbic system impairment. Additionally, antidepressants come with a long list of potential side effects and many people have difficulty discontinuing use.
- Anti-seizure drugs: Certain medications designed to treat epilepsy, such as gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica), may help reduce pain levels. Once again, these types of drugs do not address the underlying problem and come with many possible side effects and the risk of dependency.
Diet & detoxification
Some medical practitioners, especially naturopaths, functional medicine doctors, and integrative medicine doctors, will suggest a certain diet or detoxification protocol aimed at lowering a patient’s inflammation levels.
Individuals may see some improvement in their symptoms through diet and detoxification due to a reduction in inflammation, however, most people aren’t able to fully and permanently resolve their symptoms via this route. Additionally, when symptoms are lowered in this way, the person must stick to the protocol indefinitely. For example, if a certain diet reduces a person’s symptoms, that person will typically find that their symptoms flare up the second they stray from their diet plan. This can be very limiting, as strict diets and protocols often need to be continuously enforced. It’s also important to note that following diet and detoxifications protocols can be very expensive, as they generally require specialty, high-priced foods and loads of supplements.
Diet and detoxification is ultimately not effective because inflammation isn’t the root cause of fibromyalgia. Rather, chronic inflammation is a symptom of an impaired limbic system. Once the limbic system dysfunction is addressed, inflammation levels will naturally return to normal.
How we approach fibromyalgia and other pain conditions
How to live and cope with chronic pain and fibromyalgia
There are many suggestions out there for living and coping with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, some of which include resting, avoiding certain activities, joining a support group, and practicing relaxation techniques. While all of these things may offer some short-term benefits, they don’t get to the root of your fibromyalgia symptoms.
At re-origin, we believe that nobody should have to live or cope with chronic pain. We want you to eliminate your pain so that you can resume doing all of the things you love. Our program involves applying an easy-to-follow, five-step neurocognitive technique to override and rewire faulty conditioning in the brain and create new, functional neural pathways. The key to overcoming fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions lies in applying our techniques and being persistent in your efforts. With dedication and repetition, you can create new, pain-free neural pathways in your brain. Learn more about the re-origin program with a free trial at re-origin.com/freetrial.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Final Word from re-origin
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- Nampiaparampil, D. E., & Shmerling, R. H. (2004). A review of fibromyalgia. The American journal of managed care, 10(11 Pt 1), 794–800.
- Kong, J., Huang, Y., Liu, J., Yu, S., Ming, C., Chen, H., Wilson, G., Harvey, W. F., Li, W., & Wang, C. (2021). Altered functional connectivity between hypothalamus and limbic system in fibromyalgia. Molecular Brain, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13041-020-00705-2. Available From: https://molecularbrain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13041-020-00705-2