If you don’t live with fibromyalgia, it’s hard to understand the depth of the pain and fatigue caused by this chronic disorder. To make matters worse, there are very few effective treatments. The specialists at the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona offer treatment options for those suffering from fibromyalgia. As experts in pain management, they stop the pain at its source: the nerves transmitting the pain signals. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices throughout Tucson, Oro Valley, Green Valley, Safford, Benson and Willcox, Arizona, or request a consultation online.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that’s defined by a group of symptoms:
When you have fibromyalgia, these generic-sounding symptoms are debilitating. The pain and fatigue are so severe they interfere with your ability to complete daily activities.
Many patients with fibromyalgia become very sensitive to lights, sounds, and temperature changes. You’re also at risk for depression and anxiety.
Most patients go through symptom cycles. Sometimes their symptoms are mild or in remission, then they have a sudden flare-up of severe symptoms.
The exact cause of fibromyalgia hasn’t been determined. However, the experts know that it’s associated with a condition called central sensitivity. Central sensitivity occurs when chronic pain leads to chemical changes in your central nervous system. When that happens, you become hypersensitive to pain. As a result, you experience pain in response to sensations that aren’t normally painful, like the touch of clothing.
When you have fibromyalgia, most conventional doctors prescribe one of only a handful of medications that are available. These medications may help you, but they’re not effective for everyone, and they can cause unwanted symptoms. The specialists at the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona have other options.
They specialize in treatments that block the nerve signals responsible for your pain. No matter where the pain originates in your body, the message is picked up by sensory nerves and carried to the spinal cord. From there, nerves carry the signal to your brain. If the message is blocked before it gets to your brain, you don’t experience the pain.
Pain can be intercepted as groups of nerves enter the spinal cord, or at specific peripheral nerves carrying the message from a certain part of your body. Your doctor injects a local anesthetic, steroids, or both at the targeted nerves. The anesthetic provides quick pain relief and may help desensitize nerves, while steroids reduce inflammation.
Exercise is also an important part of your treatment, as it promotes long-term pain relief, improves muscle strength, and keeps your muscles flexible and active. When you can’t tolerate exercise due to pain, a nerve block can deliver enough pain relief to allow you to participate in physical therapy.
To learn more about how the team at the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona can help with fibromyalgia pain, call the office or request an appointment online.