January 01, 2020

Fibromyalgia

Taking your life back

With better scientific understanding of often-misunderstood condition has come improved treatment strategies that allow for an individualized approach to addressing pain and many other symptoms that can be at play.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a term many people know, but it's much less common for people to truly understand the disorder. Fibromyalgia doesn't make you look any different. There's no one test that can say for sure that you have it. In addition, there is a wide range of symptoms, which can vary from person to person. You may have heard that fibromyalgia is not a "real" disease or that the symptoms are "all in a person's head" or that people with fibromyalgia are hypochondriacs or simply depressed or stressed.

Make no mistake: Fibromyalgia is a real, long-term health condition that science is just starting to understand. The core symptom is widespread pain occurring throughout much of the body at about the same level for at least three months — with no other explanation for the pain. Improvements in brain imaging and pain testing in recent years have helped doctors gain critical insight into its cause. In particular, fibromyalgia is now understood to be caused by changes in the central nervous system — a disorder called central sensitization, which is linked to many other chronic pain disorders.

With better understanding of fibromyalgia has come improved treatment strategies that allow for an individualized, whole-person approach to address the pain and many other symptoms that can be at play in addition to pain.

At the heart of many therapy options and lifestyle steps is the goal of retraining the brain and nervous system so that the "shouting" of pain signals grows quieter, allowing...