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How Fibromyalgia Affects Your Entire Body

Fibromyalgia pain is all encompassing.

Fibromyalgia has been misunderstood and often misdiagnosed for centuries. Doctors first described the widespread and sometimes debilitating pain associated with fibromyalgia as muscle rheumatism. In 1904, the term “fibrositis” came into favor and stuck until physicians switched to “fibromyalgia” in 1976.

It wasn’t until 1981, however, that results of a controlled clinical study validated the known symptoms and painful trigger points so often identified with fibromyalgia. Since then, researchers and practitioners have discovered that there is often much more to fibromyalgia than just widespread pain, as if that isn’t enough.

Dr. Jason Ablett leads the team at Pinnacle Health Chiropractic in Kirkland, Washington. He’s a trusted specialist who is well-versed in the many facets of fibromyalgia. Dr. Ablett understands how difficult fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) can be to diagnose and treat and offers expert insight regarding this complex, but treatable disorder. You don’t have to live with your FMS symptoms.

What causes fibromyalgia?  

Medical science still can’t pinpoint exactly what causes FMS or where it originates in the body. The newest research indicates, however, that it’s likely related to how the nerves in your brain and spinal cord process pain.

Individuals diagnosed with FMS can sometimes link the onset of their symptoms to physical trauma, a serious illness, or significant psychological stress. Very often, however, FMS occurs without any known cause.

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?  

Identified now as a syndrome (collection of symptoms), FMS affects more women than men and is typically diagnosed between the ages of 35 and 50. You may, however, have FMS for years without realizing it because the symptoms can mimic a wide variety of other conditions.

For instance, FMS is often mistaken for arthritis but doesn’t cause the joint destruction associated with arthritis. And the pain is widespread. This means it occurs on both sides of your body, above and below the waist, and involves muscles and joints.

Along with the generalized aching pain of FMS, people also report:

Individuals with FMS are also often diagnosed with:

Frustratingly, pain medications/anti-inflammatories and antidepressants may help for a time, but repeated FMS flares are common, and symptoms may persist for months to years without significant relief. Narcotics are never recommended because of the potential for abuse, and they can actually worsen your pain.

What is the treatment for fibromyalgia?

We can do much to help you successfully manage FMS. At Pinnacle Health, we design a well-rounded care plan that addresses your symptoms as well as the impact of fibromyalgia on your overall health.

After a thorough exam and careful review of your previous medical records, including labs, X-rays, and other diagnostic studies, your FMS treatment strategy may include:

It may sound too simple, but routine exercise and healthy nutrition also play an important role in managing FMS. We’ll help you create a menu and activity schedule that you enjoy and works with your lifestyle. You can count on the staff at Pinnacle Health to become part of your FMS support team as you learn to take control of your health and your life.

If you think you might have fibromyalgia or have been diagnosed with FMS and are looking for a successful treatment plan, make an appointment at Pinnacle Health Chiropractic today. Call the office, or schedule your visit online.




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