Fibromyalgia affects about 4 million adults in the United States but is often difficult to diagnose and treat because its symptoms can mimic so many other medical conditions. Dr. James Ashford is a board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management specialist who is well-known throughout northern Georgia for his expertise in treating this painful and often debilitating condition. He and his team, at Ashford Pain Solutions in Athens, Georgia, are dedicated to providing long-term solutions for fibromyalgia. Call the office today to schedule your appointment or book your visit online.
Fibromyalgia Q & A
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread pain throughout the body, difficulty sleeping, and sometimes overwhelming fatigue. The exact cause of fibromyalgia remains a mystery to medical researchers, but people with this condition may be more sensitive to pain than those without fibromyalgia. Fortunately, Dr. Ashford offers many effective treatments that can relieve your symptoms and help you live pain-free again.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary in intensity and frequency, but most commonly include:
- Pain and stiffness all over the body
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Extreme fatigue and tiredness
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Difficulty with memory and concentration
- Headaches, which may include migraines
People with fibromyalgia may also experience tingling or numbness in the hands and feet and/or digestive problems that may include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and other symptoms often associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Who is at risk for developing fibromyalgia?
Individuals with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis are known to have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.
Other factors that may increase your risk include:
- Stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents
- Joint injuries from repetitive activities during sports, work tasks, or hobbies such as painting or gardening
- Viral infections
- Family history of fibromyalgia
Women are also twice as likely to get fibromyalgia as men. Obesity may also play a role in individuals who develop fibromyalgia.
What is the treatment for fibromyalgia?
Effective treatment for fibromyalgia requires a comprehensive approach that addresses your individual needs. Dr. Ashford may recommend:
- Stress management with yoga or tai chi
- Medical massage to relax your muscles, reduce your heart rate, and increase the production of your body’s natural painkillers
- Habits that help promote restful sleep, such as avoiding heavy meals within three hours of bedtime
- Trigger point injections to relieve pain caused by small knots in muscular tissue
Although it may be the last thing you feel like doing, routine exercise is often very beneficial in treating fibromyalgia. Dr. Ashford is careful to design a program that’s suitable for your overall health and improves your strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular conditioning.
For relief from fibromyalgia pain and the debilitating effects it has on your life, call Ashford Pain Solutions today to schedule an appointment or book your visit online.