Charles E. Steiner, DO
Muntean Health Care, 400 East State Street, Athens OH 45710, phone 740-592-4229
Fibromyalgia is a disorder of extra sensitivity to pain (in muscles, ligaments and tendons) and tiredness
(feeling exhausted for no apparent reason). Persons with classic fibromyalgia have tender points in
muscles and tendons at specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms & legs. Tenderness at 11
or more of the 18 points is defined as FM.
FREQUENT SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS These symptoms may vary with weather, poor sleep or stress.
Trouble sleeping. Painful menstrual periods. Anxiety. Fatigue.
Headaches Tingling or numbness in hands and feet. Mood changes Chest pain.
Morning stiffness. Problems with thinking and memory (sometimes called fibro fog).
The definition is not specific enough to allow finding causes statistically Multiple factors involved.
Symptoms like fibromyalgia can be caused by not sleeping for 3 days. Can occur spontaneously.
STRESS and Failure to reach DEEP SLEEP are likely to be big factors
RISK INCREASES WITH
Physically stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents Repetitive injuries Obesity
Depression. Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) Irritable Bowel Syndrome Anxiety.
Illnesses, especially rheumatoid arthritis, mononucleosis, Lupus. TMJ dysfunction
WHO IS AFFECTED BY FIBROMYALGIA?
2 to 3 in 50 Americans. Most persons with fibromyalgia are women.
Although children can be affected; most persons are diagnosed in middle age.
Symptoms may vary, but they probably will never disappear completely.
Fibromyalgia is not progressive or life-threatening.
The primary goal of treatment is to minimize symptoms & treat any identifiable disease or condition.
Depression Brain Atrophy Weakness Increased pain Stiffness that leads to falls & inactivity
It helps to help to get enough good sleep. Minimize mental and physical stress
Warm showers followed by cool showers help to move fluid into and out of tissues may help.
Work changes may be necessary. Do moderate exercise (or pain increases & muscles shrink)
Gentle Osteopathic Manipulation may reduce contributing factors. Acupuncture (by Francis
A team approach is often required, but Family Practice physicians often start treatment.
Team members may include a pain clinic, rheumatologist (if you have rheumatoid or Lupus),
psychotherapist or counselor (especially if you have or develop unresolved emotional issues).
Vitamin D3 at doses of 4000 to 5000 IU daily has been helpful for some persons
Initial treatment starts with Antidepressants (like amitriptyline, Cymbalta, Effexor, etc.),
Sleeping pills that produce deep (restorative) sleep, & possibly, Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatories
to reduce nighttime soreness (like Motrinฎ, Ibuprofen, Mobicฎ, Aleveฎ or Naproxen)
The next level of treatment includes nerve quieting medications, such as Gabapentin, or Lyrica
(Lyrica reduced pain by 50% in ผ of the patients tested at a dose of 75 mg twice daily.)
Caution is required for all of these medications, since can cause brain fog and impair driving.
The next level can include muscle relaxers (like Flexerilฎ, cyclobenzaprine), benzodiazepines
(like diazepam) and Non-opioid pain killers (like tramadol).
Eating darkly colored greens and brightly colored fruits or taking CoQ10 and Vitamin C and
not smoking can decrease oxidizing chemicals in your blood. Foods with high ORAC levels (oxygen
radical absorbance capacity) can be helpful.
Opioid medications are not considered to be a wise choice. Prolonged use of high doses of opioids
will lead to increased pain sensitivity if taken long-term. It can even hurt for wind to blow on you.
Mild regular exercise. Fibromyalgia gets much worse and you get weaker if you do not keep active.
YOU CAN GET MORE INFORMATION AT
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders (NIAMS), phone (free of
charge 301-495-4484 or 877-226-4267) or by e-mail at NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov rev. 07/28/2012