610-868-221141 East Elizabeth Ave

 

Office Hours
Monday 8:30 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.
Tuesday 8:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.
Wednesday 8:30 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.
Thursday 8:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.
Friday 7:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

 

Team



Bethlehem Rehabilitation Specialists,
A Service of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital

Fibromyalgia Management

FIBROMYALGIA syndrome is a common chronic disorder characterized by muscle pain, fatigue and multiple tender points about the trunk and extremities. Although fibromyalgia is often considered an arthritis related disorder it does not cause inflammation and/or destruction of the joints, muscles or connective tissues. Like arthritis, fibromyalgia causes pain and fatigue and can impact dramatically on an individuals ability to perform daily activities.

In addition to pain and fatigue, people with fibromyalgia may experience:
· sleep disturbance
· morning stiffness
· headache
· irritable bowel syndrome
· numbness and tingling of the extremities
· restless leg syndrome
· temperature sensitivity
· memory and cognitive difficulties

FIBROMYALGIA is considered a syndrome (vs a disease) because there is no specific cause or recognizable signs rather a collection of symptoms which tend to occur together.

The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown although a variety of stressful factors appear related. These factors may include emotional or physical stress such as an automobile accident or illness. Some scientists believe fibromyalgia may be related to a gene which causes some individuals to react strongly to stimuli that others might not perceive as painful.


The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is reached only after all other potential causes of the symptoms have been eliminated. There is no standard laboratory test for fibromyalgia. However, The American College of Rheumatology has set two diagnostic criteria. Firstly, a history of widespread pain lasting more than 3 months and secondly the presence of tender points about the extremities and trunk. Pain is considered to be widespread if it is present on the right and left sides of the body and above and below the waist. The American College of Rheumatology has identified 18 sites of tenderness. Eleven of these eighteen must be tender to reach a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

Medical management includes the use of analgesic (pain relief) medications, anti-inflammatories such as advil or motrin (ibuprofen) and/or anti-depressants. Anti-depressants help elevate certain chemicals in the body responsible for fatigue and pain.

Getting enough rest and sleep helps reduce the sense of fatigue. Additionally exercise has been shown to be one of the most affective treatments for fibromyalgia. Begin with walking and/or bicycling to develop aerobic conditioning and endurance. Theraputic programs including flexibility to improve mobility and reduce stiffness and strengthening with lower levels of resistance are also considered a significant component of treatment.

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It is well known that cancer treatments can cause significant disability and major problems with activities of daily living which impact cancer survivor’s quality of life.

Nearly 75% of cancer survivors experience cancer related fatigue which may last from weeks to years.

Learn More...


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