Fibromyalgia Causes and Treatments
Whenever pain is felt, the desire is to get immediate and complete relief. Sometimes, that is not available or does not come easily. The next hope is to explain the cause of the pain. Understanding the cause of something helps in dealing with it. Those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis understand that it is not curable and that pain is going to be a part of life. That type of disease is explainable and treatable, even though it is not curable. Fibromyalgia causes pain that is different.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome. It does not have a known definite cause. It has a specific criteria followed by doctors for diagnosis, but it does not show up in x-rays, an MRI or a blood test. Instead, a doctor relies on a patient having 11 of 18 painful trigger points spread out over the body. Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain that does not go away and has no damage to tissues or joints show up in any medical test. Sufferers feel it is like having pain without a cause.
It used to be thought that depression was one of the fibromyalgia causes. It is believed that depression, as well as anxiety, are symptoms that appear due to the syndrome. However, some medical professionals think that the syndrome can be associated with altered neurotransmitter levels in the brain, specifically serotonin. Low serotonin levels can cause the same type of pain sensitivity that is felt by those who suffer from fibromyalgia.
Six of the 18 trigger points used in diagnosing fibromyalgia are located on a patient's back. There are two at the back of the neck, two just above the shoulder blades and two at the lower back just above the buttocks. Therefore, fibromyalgia causes back pain making it important to get a correct diagnosis of what exactly is causing the pain.
Since fibromyalgia is misdiagnosed at times, it is important to rule out other causes. Fibromyalgia will not show up on an x-ray, MRI or blood test, but other diseases may. Ruling out other causes and determining if back pain is being caused by fibromyalgia is important because the approach to treatment will differ.
Pain medications for back pain caused by inflammation from a strain would provide relief while the back heals. Fibromyalgia is not going to heal on its own. If the back pain is being caused by fibromyalgia, there has been success using antidepressant medications that adjust serotonin levels. There has also been success with anti-seizure medications that work on the nervous system to ease fibromyalgia symptoms. These treatments are not likely to be offered to treat back pain unless the back pain is diagnosed as being caused by fibromyalgia syndrome.
There are many things that can cause back pain from simple strains to serious malformations or damage that require surgery. If fibromyalgia is suspected as being at the root of back pain, it is important for the doctor to take a complete medical history and rule out other causes. If it turns out that back pain is being caused by fibromyalgia, getting the proper treatment is the only way to get lasting relief from the pain.
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