Over 80 percent of people, regardless of health issues, will experience some sort of back pain in their life. There are many reasons why your back might be causing you pain, and fibromyalgia is one that is complicated to diagnose. Knowing the difference between fibromyalgia back pain and regular back pain can be challenging. Continue reading to learn more about fibromyalgia, symptoms to watch for, and possible treatments.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain. It’s a complex chronic condition that causes widespread pain and tenderness to the touch that may occur all over or in a specific area. Millions of Americans have fibromyalgia; more women are diagnosed with the disorder than men.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Despite its commonality among Americans, the cause of this disorder is widely unknown. However, some experts believe it is caused by an over-sensitive nervous system or a brain problem. There is a risk of other factors causing fibromyalgia, like:
- A stressful physical or emotional event, like a car crash
- Repetitive injuries
- Central nervous system problems
The condition could also be hereditary. Those with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or spinal arthritis have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia symptoms can appear at any point in life but commonly begin to appear around the age of 45. Back pain is a common symptom of fibromyalgia, but you’ll also experience other symptoms. If you’re only experiencing back pain, you more than likely do not have fibromyalgia.
Sleep problems are one of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia. Those with fibromyalgia may still sleep for hours but do not feel refreshed when they wake up. They could also wake up multiple times throughout the night due to pain or may experience restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea.
Many fibromyalgia patients say they have trouble focusing, holding conversations, or remembering things. This is known as fibro fog. One explanation of fibro fog is the lack of sleep, but some doctors suggest something unknown in the brain is unique to people with fibromyalgia.
Other Health Problems
Fibromyalgia often causes other health problems like irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and painful bladder syndrome. Additionally, fibromyalgia patients seem to have a hypersensitivity to cold, light, and noises.
How to Diagnose and Treat Fibromyalgia Pain
It may take some time for doctors to diagnose you with fibromyalgia. Since symptoms typically match hypothyroidism, doctors have to rule that out first. Additionally, there are no lab tests for fibromyalgia, leading to a longer diagnosing process. However, three criteria need to be met for a fibromyalgia diagnosis:
- Pain and symptoms have been ongoing for more than three months
- There was pain over the previous week in several of the 19 identified body parts, plus fatigue, restless sleep, or other cognitive problems
- There is no presence of another health issue that would cause the symptoms
No two cases of fibromyalgia are the same. Everyone experiences their own type of pain, which is why it’s important to develop a specialized treatment plan with your doctor. However, gentle stretching, pool exercises, and daily strengthening of the lower back are crucial. Doctors may prescribe antidepressants to help ease pain and fatigue as well.
Treat Your Fibromyalgia Pain at New Jersey Spine and Orthopedic
If you think you have fibromyalgia, consider reaching out to the medical experts at New Jersey Spine and Orthopedic. We’re a team of board-certified, award-winning doctors who specialize in alternative recovery techniques. If it’s determined that surgery will best be able to get you on the road to recovery, we will use state-of-the-art minimally invasive techniques.
Here at NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to navigate your health care needs. Call us today at (866) 272-9271 or complete a contact form. Our focus is always on you and your health.