The whole-body pain, tenderness, and aching that are typical of fibromyalgia can make life a continual challenge. If you have fibromyalgia, board-certified pain management physician Asher Goldstein, MD, at Overlook PAIN + Recovery (formerly Genesis Pain Centers) can help. There's no cure for fibromyalgia, but Dr. Goldstein and his team offer excellent treatment methods that reduce your symptoms and help you live with your condition. Overlook PAIN + Recovery has offices in Hackensack, New Jersey, and the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. Call today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic, painful condition that affects your entire body. Most chronic pain conditions center on one area of your body — for instance, your joints if you have arthritis, your back if you have a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, or your head if you get migraines.
Fibromyalgia is different because the pain affects your whole musculoskeletal system. Some areas may be more painful than others, so you might get more joint pain while someone else with fibromyalgia has mainly muscular pain.
One of the barriers many people face is that a lot of doctors don't accept fibromyalgia as a medical condition. Even family members and friends might not believe you, because there's no way of proving or demonstrating how the disease is affecting you.
Fibromyalgia is, however, very real, and you can be confident that the Overlook PAIN + Recovery team understands your condition.
Fibromyalgia can cause cognitive problems — the “fibro fog” that affects your memory and slows down your thinking. Other symptoms include:
Fibromyalgia makes it difficult to get good-quality sleep, so you often awaken in the morning feeling no more rested than you did the night before. It's not unusual for people who have fibromyalgia to have other chronic health problems, too, like arthritis or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Fibromyalgia can be hard to diagnose because there aren't any straightforward methods like blood tests that identify the condition. Your diagnosis typically comes after other possible causes are ruled out, based on your symptoms.
One of the most reliable indicators of fibromyalgia is the pressure point exam. People who have fibromyalgia often have tender points in specific places around the body, like the neck, back, and knees.
Pressing these tender points wouldn't cause any discomfort if you don't have fibromyalgia, but it produces a flare of pain if you do. Some people have these tender points in multiple places.
Fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat. Physical therapy helps keep your body supple and prevent joint stiffness. It's important to keep moving, but exercise gently — yoga and Pilates rather than high-intensity workouts. Learning to relax your muscles and reduce stress can also lessen muscular pain and headaches.
The healthier you are in other ways, the easier it is to live with fibromyalgia. Quitting smoking and drinking, improving your diet, and losing weight can all help. Counseling supports your mental health, and pain management strategies help you cope with having fibromyalgia.
One of the most exciting new treatments for fibromyalgia is low-dose naltrexone (LDN). Naltrexone is a drug that obstructs the effects of opioids. In low doses, it can reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia, although it's not known how for sure.
Using LDN has made a dramatic change in patients’ results at Overlook PAIN + Recovery, improving treatment success rates from 20-25% up to 75-85%.
Find out more about the benefits of LDN for fibromyalgia by calling Overlook PAIN + Recovery today, or book an appointment online.