Fibromyalgia

Carolina Medical Center

Internists located in Walterboro, SC

Nearly four million women and men in the United States suffer from the pain associated with fibromyalgia. Similar to arthritis, fibromyalgia affects mostly middle-aged women and doesn’t have a cure. To get help managing your fibromyalgia, call or make an appointment online today with one of the doctors at Carolina Medical Center in Walterboro, South Carolina.

Fibromyalgia Q & A

Carolina Medical Center

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a collection of seemingly related symptoms that have no identified cause. Primarily associated with widespread pain, and accompanied by isolated tender spots and other symptoms, fibromyalgia is a chronic condition. The symptoms of fibromyalgia typically come and go.

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Besides pain in your muscles, joints, and other soft tissues and isolated sore areas, the symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Sleep issues and fatigue
  • Morning stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Tingling and numbness in hands and feet
  • Foggy brain

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

The most common method of diagnosing fibromyalgia is to check 18 points on your body by pressing firmly to see how many are painful. If you feel pain in at least five spots, and you’ve suffered from widespread aches with no medical cause for longer than three months, you could receive a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Dr. Michael Blubaugh and Dr. Sanjay Kumar also follow the most up-to-date guidelines. This newer checklist permits a fibromyalgia diagnosis if the doctors can’t find an underlying medical cause for the widespread pain you’ve suffered with for more than three months.

Blood tests can rule out other, similar conditions, including thyroid issues and infectious diseases.

How is fibromyalgia treated?

There’s no cure for fibromyalgia, so the medical care you receive manages the syndrome. Your treatment plan for fibromyalgia depends on several factors, including:

  • Age
  • Medical history
  • Extent of the condition
  • Tolerance of medications, procedures, and therapies

Treatment for fibromyalgia can involve drug-free options like lifestyle changes or medications.

Is there drug-free treatment for fibromyalgia?

Before prescribing medicines, Dr. Blubaugh and Dr. Kumar at Carolina Medical Center might ask if you want to try proven, drug-free treatment options including:

  • Regular exercise and physical therapy
  • Relaxation techniques and massage
  • Proper sleep
  • Healthy eating

They might also suggest trying cognitive-behavioral therapy. For this treatment, mental health professionals recommend methods to help you filter out negative thoughts, recognize your triggers, and set limits to keep your symptoms in check.

What medications help with fibromyalgia?

If drug-free treatments don’t help manage your fibromyalgia symptoms, Dr. Blubaugh and Dr. Kumar prescribe medications:

Pain relievers

Over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium help ease fibromyalgia discomfort.

Antidepressants

Some antidepressants ease the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia while also promoting better sleep.

Anti-seizure medications

A few epilepsy drugs also treat fibromyalgia symptoms.

If your muscles, tendons, and joints hurt from fibromyalgia, call or make an appointment online today at Carolina Medical Center in Walterboro, South Carolina.