Why Is Fibromyalgia So Painful?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain and tender points on muscles. Although the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, there appear to be several factors that may contribute to it. In addition to lifestyle changes and physical therapy, recently FDA approved medications appear to ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia for some people. Greater Austin Pain Center understands how complicated a fibromyalgia diagnosis can be, and we take all the appropriate steps to helping patients manage it.

How Does Fibromyalgia Affect The Body?

Fibromyalgia is distinguished by points of pain and tenderness across the body. There are 18 of these tender points, distributed in nine laterally symmetrical pairs.

The location of these points are as follows:

  • Front lower sides of the neck
  • Upper chest
  • Inner elbows
  • Slightly above the inner knees
  • Base of the skull
  • Base of the neck/top of the shoulders
  • Upper back/shoulder blades
  • Upper buttocks
  • Hip bones

Causes

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. Theories for triggering causes include:

  • Hereditary factors
  • Stress
  • Changes in weather
  • Physical activity
  • Infection

Symptoms

  • Widespread pain originating from the muscles, often worse in the morning
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mood disturbances/anxiety
  • Sensitivity to light, touch, and sound
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing (“fibro fog”)

Treatments

Fibromyalgia Treatment in Austin, Texas

There is unfortunately no specific test for fibromyalgia. It is considered a “diagnosis of exclusion,” meaning all other causes of the symptoms should be ruled out. A doctor can diagnose fibromyalgia by reviewing your medical history, examining you, and considering your list of symptoms. When seeing Greater Austin Pain Center specialists about potential fibromyalgia, it is helpful to bring a written history of your symptoms.

Your doctor may conduct blood tests to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms. A diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires pain or tenderness reported at a minimum of 11 of the 18 tender point locations, with symptoms enduring for 3 months or longer.

Relaxation and lifestyle changes can make symptoms of mild fibromyalgia better. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy, patient education, support groups, and counseling. Regular exercise, pacing activities throughout the day, eating a balanced diet, and good sleep habits can help as well.

In recent years, researchers have made several breakthroughs with prescription medications to ease symptoms of fibromyalgia. Low doses of certain antidepressant medications and anti-inflammatory medications appear to help certain people. Since 2007, the Federal Drug Administration has approved the prescription medications Lyrica®, Cymbalta®, and Savella® for the treatment of fibromyalgia, and more studies are underway.

Our doctors at Greater Austin Pain Center offer several treatment options, including trigger point injections, platelet rich plasma injections, and steroid injections. Learn more about our procedures and treatment options.

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Am I At Risk?

Fibromyalgia develops most frequently in people between the ages of 20 and 50, although it can occur at any age, including during childhood. The risk of developing fibromyalgia appears to increase with age, and it occurs more often in women than in men. People with fibromyalgia have a tendency to develop other conditions as well, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, endometriosis, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lupus, osteoarthritis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and rheumatoid arthritis.

If you are suffering from chronic, unexplained pain that seems to stem from certain target areas within your body, please reach out to us. Greater Austin Pain Center has expertise in dealing with fibromyalgia, and we’re eager to help you find answers. While it is a frustrating condition, we can work with you to keep fibromyalgia from interfering with your life.

Testimonials

"I am so relieved I could cry! Finally a pain specialist who listens, cares, and wants to help! Dr. Alan Silberberg has given me so much hope! As someone who has seen pain specialists for decades in different states, this is where you want to come. You NEED him in your life! My only regret is not coming in sooner."

Sarah Jean C.

"The staff is very friendly and I was seen on time. The intake process was seamless and efficient. Dr. Jarzombeck is always very kind and thorough in her explanations. These folks are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend Greater Austin Pain Center and Dr. Jarzombeck!"

Kim D.

"Everyone is always very nice and courteous. Dr. Julia is amazing! He is friendly, kind and caring and so easy to talk with.  All the office staff I have had contact with has always been courteous and kind as well. Would highly recommend coming here!"

Lesley C.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is Degenerative Disc Disease diagnosed?

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Degenerative Disc Disease is diagnosed after an evaluation with your doctor by conducting a physical exam, assessing symptoms, and with imaging studies such as X-rays and MRIs.

Can you live a normal life with Degenerative Disc Disease?

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Yes! There are many pain management options that can help you to lead a normal life.

Is there a cure for Degenerative Disc Disease?

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Unfortunately, there is no cure for Degenerative Disc Disease. However, there are many treatment plans that can help you return to a more normal life.

Lunch & Learn With Our Doctors

Curious about Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerve Stimulation? Join our doctors for an in-person lunch and learn session to find out more about these treatments and ask any questions you may have. This event will be 12–1pm, sign up below to receive more details and RSVP.

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Treat Your Fibromyalgia at Greater Austin Pain Center

If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort from Fibromyalgia in Austin, TX, reach out to the Greater Austin Pain Center. Our pain specialists have experience in treating Fibromyalgia, and we’re ready to help provide you relief from your symptoms. For Fibromyalgia treatment in Austin, TX and the surrounding areas, choose the experts at Greater Austin Pain Center.

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