Fibromyalgia symptoms are presumed to occur subsequently from physical or emotional trauma where there’s been considerable psychological stress, after surgery, or as a result of an infection. In several cases, the symptoms can also progressively accumulate over time without a single event to trigger them. The widespread pain that most frequently accompanies fibromyalgia sufferers can be described as a continuous, dull ache which has lasted for a minimum of three months.
Other symptoms for fibromyalgia include fatigue, where the individual awakes feeling tired despite sleeping for long periods of time, restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea as a result of an interrupted sleep, cognitive difficulties, and other complications, such as depression, headaches and pain or cramping in the lower abdomen.
For years, traditional pain relievers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the opioids like Morphine, have been used as a form of treatment for fibromyalgia but due to the drug’s high probability of dependency as a source for pain and symptom relief, especially over long term use, opioids are not recommended by any current guidelines for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms. Fibromyalgia is not a fatal or terminal disease but its symptoms of chronic pain where the pain can recur throughout an individual’s lifetime can often be a common reason for drug abuse and addiction. Despite the absence of recommendations and studies that prove the benefit of opioids in fibromyalgia, currently about 30% of Canadian and American patients with fibromyalgia report to using opioids for pain relief.
Studies have shown that individuals who use and abuse opioids tend to have more severe pain, a more severe impairment in daily functioning as well as the presence of mood disorders compared to those who did not use opioids. Several alternatives for treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia include physical therapy and chiropractic care to relieve chronic pain naturally.
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Fibromyalgia is a well-known condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain that usually follows with fatigue as well as sleep, memory and mood complications. While there are currently no known causes and no known cures for the condition, many individuals who suffer from this painful disorder can often be misunderstood. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia heightens pain sensations by altering the way the brain processes pain signals. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.
The information herein on "Fibromyalgia: Medication Use & Dependency" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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