How Does Fibromyalgia Feel?
If you’re familiar with fibromyalgia, you are likely aware of the chronic pain that it brings to those who suffer from it. Other than that, the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be a bit difficult to specify. Like most chronic pain conditions, it brings along more than just symptoms of pain. You may experience, to varying degrees, fatigue, memory issues, or mood swings. Some believe that fibromyalgia “amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals,” per the MayoClinic.
Exactly how fibromyalgia feels is a complicated question, with a complicated answer. It varies from person-to-person, like many chronic pain conditions. Primary symptoms typically include:
- Widespread pain: Fibromyalgia pain usually takes the form of a dull ache lasting for long periods of time, even months. For pain to be classified as “widespread,” it must be occurring on both sides of the body as well as both above and below the waist.
- Fatigue: Even though you may get more sleep with fibromyalgia, you will likely still find yourself tired and weak a good portion of the time. Fibromyalgia often co-occurs with sleep disorders, like restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea, which can further contribute to these feelings.
- Cognitive difficulties: You may have heard of the “fibro fog,” the nickname for this condition’s effect on the way you think, focus, or concentrate.
Other conditions that often co-occur alongside fibromyalgia include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Migraines and headaches
- Interstitial cystitis
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
- Postural tachycardia syndrome
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
The metaphorical jury is still out on what exactly causes someone to develop fibromyalgia. It may have something to do with repeated nerve stimulation that causes a person’s brain and spinal cord to change. Other possible factors include:
- Genetics: You are more likely to develop fibromyalgia if you have any blood relatives with this condition.
Infections or Illness: Other health conditions (such as the ones mentioned above) can contribute to the development of fibromyalgia.
- Physical Events: Some people find their fibromyalgia triggered by an injury or other kind of physical event.
- Stress: Psychological stress, especially prolonged stress, is thought to play a role in the development of fibromyalgia.
Other Conditions: Other conditions or illnesses like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus may make you more likely to develop fibromyalgia as well.
Fibromyalgia Treatment Options
Ketamine for Fibromyalgia Treatment
You may have heard of ketamine already due to its use as an anesthetic and pain reliever. In recent years, ketamine has proven to be a powerful treatment for chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia. Ketamine “appears to reduce the central nervous system sensitization associated with increased pain in both disorders. An NMDA receptor antagonist Ketamine appears to increase levels of glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, precisely where FM and ME/CFS patients may need it – in the prefrontal cortex of the brain,” per Health Rising.
Medications for Fibromyalgia Treatment
Some healthcare providers will recommend over-the-counter pain-relieving medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. In more severe cases, doctors may prescribe antidepressants or anti-seizure drugs for your fibromyalgia pain.
Therapy for Fibromyalgia
Therapeutic treatments — physical therapy, occupational therapy, talk therapy, etc. — can be quite useful in terms of learning to manage the physical and psychological symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Can Ketamine Help With Your Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic pain as a result of fibromyalgia, contact Specialized Infusions, the premier ketamine treatment provider in Portland, OR, and surrounding areas.