Fibromyalgia Treatment in Metro Atlanta

Overview of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas. It is often accompanied by other symptoms such as sleep disturbances, cognitive difficulties, and mood disorders. Fibromyalgia affects approximately 2-4% of the population, with a higher prevalence in women. Early diagnosis and treatment at Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia (ARG) are essential for managing symptoms and improving quality of life.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

  • Widespread Pain: Persistent pain throughout the body, often described as a constant dull ache.
  • Fatigue: Chronic tiredness and reduced energy levels.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restful sleep.
  • Cognitive Difficulties: Often referred to as “fibro fog,” including memory issues and difficulty concentrating.
  • Tender Points: Specific areas of the body that are painful to touch, often around joints but not the joints themselves.
  • Other Symptoms: Headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety, and depression.

Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: Conducted by a rheumatologist at Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia to assess symptoms and rule out other conditions.
  • Criteria for Diagnosis: Persistent widespread pain lasting at least three months, with no underlying medical condition that could explain the pain.
  • Additional Assessments: May include blood tests to rule out other conditions, such as thyroid issues or rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia

  • Medications:
    • Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain medications or prescription analgesics.
    • Antidepressants: To help manage pain, fatigue, and mood disorders.
    • Anticonvulsants: Medications that may help reduce certain types of pain.
  • Therapies:
    • Physical Therapy: Exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and stamina.
    • Occupational Therapy: Techniques to help manage daily activities and reduce strain on the body.
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): To address mood disorders and improve coping strategies.
  • Lifestyle Changes:
    • Regular Exercise: Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or yoga.
    • Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
    • Sleep Hygiene: Establishing a regular sleep schedule and creating a restful sleep environment.
    • Stress Management: Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation exercises.

Living with Fibromyalgia

  • Pain and Fatigue Management: Using medications, physical therapy, and adequate rest.
  • Cognitive Function: Engaging in activities that stimulate the brain and practicing memory aids.
  • Emotional Support: Seeking support from family, friends, or support groups.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Keeping up with appointments to monitor symptoms and treatment efficacy.
  • Medication Adherence: Taking prescribed medications as directed to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions | Fibromyalgia

What causes fibromyalgia?
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

Is fibromyalgia a form of arthritis?
No, fibromyalgia is not a form of arthritis. While it causes pain and discomfort similar to arthritis, it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues.

Can fibromyalgia be cured?
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but its symptoms can be managed effectively with a combination of treatments.

How is fibromyalgia different from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)?
While both conditions involve fatigue, fibromyalgia is characterized primarily by widespread pain, whereas chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by severe fatigue that is not improved by rest.

Can diet affect fibromyalgia symptoms?
Yes, a healthy diet can help manage symptoms. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can improve overall health and energy levels.

Is fibromyalgia hereditary?
There is some evidence to suggest that fibromyalgia may run in families, but more research is needed to understand the genetic factors involved.

What lifestyle changes can help manage fibromyalgia?
Regular exercise, a healthy diet, good sleep hygiene, and stress management techniques can all help manage fibromyalgia symptoms and improve quality of life.

Contact Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia

For comprehensive fibromyalgia care, schedule an appointment with Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia. Call us at 404-255-5956 or use our online contact form. We proudly serve patients in the metro Atlanta area and beyond, providing expert care and personalized treatment plans.

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