If you’re experiencing the symptoms of fibromyalgia, you know it’s a complex disorder that’s about more than chronic pain. Dr. Carlos Diaz is a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Spine, Sport & Physical Medicine Center in Sarasota, Florida. He has considerable experience in identifying and treating fibromyalgia. This debilitating condition is often hard to diagnose and can make it difficult for you to participate in everyday activities, but you don’t have to just live with it. Call today to schedule your appointment or book your visit online.
Fibromyalgia is not a disease. It’s a myofascial (muscular) pain syndrome that causes a variety of symptoms, including widespread chronic pain in your muscles. The good news is that it’s not life-threatening, does not lead to permanent muscle or joint damage, and Dr. Diaz can help you manage the symptoms. When left untreated, however, it can greatly interfere with your overall sense of health and well-being.
The signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia vary from patient to patient but generally include localized areas of pain that are tender to the touch. Commonly referred to as “trigger points,” these painful spots occur at specific points in your shoulders, arms, upper chest, torso, hips, upper buttock area, and knees.
Other common symptoms can include:
It’s not exactly clear what causes the condition, but researchers suspect that various factors may play a role. An infectious illness, physical or emotional trauma, or hormonal changes may trigger the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
About 30% of individuals diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis also develop fibromyalgia. It seems to affect more women than men and typically occurs between the ages of 40 and 75, but men and children can also develop this condition.
More recent studies suggest fibromyalgia occurs as the result of your nervous system’s unusual chemical response to pain perception and painful stimuli.
Before designing a treatment strategy for fibromyalgia, Dr. Diaz completes a thorough review of your medical history and symptoms and conducts a physical exam.
Successful treatment often requires a multipronged approach that may include: