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

Treatment For Fibromyalgia in Austin, Texas

There is unfortunately no specific test for fibromyalgia. It is considered a “diagnosis of exclusion,” meaning all other causes of pain symptoms should be ruled out first. A doctor can diagnose fibromyalgia by reviewing your medical history, examining you, and considering your list of symptoms.  A diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires components from both the history and physical exam, with symptoms enduring for at least 3 months. Your fibromyalgia specialist in Austin, at the Greater Austin Pain Center will review your symptoms, as well as treatments you have already tried, when assessing you for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

Relaxation and lifestyle changes can make symptoms of fibromyalgia better. A fibromyalgia specialist in Austin may  recommend physical therapy, aqua therapy, and patient education as part of a multi-modal approach to treating fibromyalgia. Regular exercise, pacing activities throughout the day, eating a balanced diet, and good sleep habits can help improve symptoms 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 on-going.

Our fibromyalgia doctors at Greater Austin Pain Center offer several non-medication treatment options as well. These include a variety of trigger point injections, platelet rich plasma injections, and steroid injections.

Learn more about our procedures and treatment options in Austin.

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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

What does Fibromyalgia feel like?

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Fibromyalgia can cause a range of nerve sensations and nerve pain, including “pins and needles” sensations, numbness, tingling, and uncomfortable feelings called “paresthesias” among other sensations.

What other symptoms can I expect if I have Fibromyalgia?

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Fibromyalgia can cause a myriad of symptoms, with pain being the primary symptom. You can experience pain on top of the skull or behind the eyes (often caused by tight muscles in the back of the neck), wide-spread pain and uncomfortable sensations, muscle twitching, among other symptoms.

Is fibromyalgia a form of depression?

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No. While depression often accompanies chronic pain and illness, fibromyalgia and depression are two very different conditions. That’s why it can be helpful to speak to a fibromyalgia specialist in Austin who can properly diagnose your condition, and prescribe the appropriate treatment options.

When should I see a fibromyalgia doctor in Austin?

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If you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms of fibromyalgia–pain or otherwise–you should visit a fibromyalgia specialist in Austin who can recommend a comprehensive treatment program designed for you. Moreover, if you think you may have fibromyalgia but aren’t sure, a fibromyalgia specialist can provide you with a sound diagnosis.

At Greater Austin Pain Center, our professional pain doctors will conduct a thorough examination to determine the cause of your pain, and recommend a custom treatment program designed to facilitate treatment. Schedule an appointment with one of our fibromyalgia specialists in Austin, Kyle, or Dripping Springs to get fibromyalgia treatment today!

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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