What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a common widespread pain condition that is more prevalent among women, although it can occur in men as well. This condition is typically marked by increased sensitivity to touch and pain, anxiety, morning stiffness, and widespread pain. Fibromyalgia is presently understood as a disorder of central sensitization, meaning that the central nervous system is essentially stuck in a constant state of high reactivity. Dr. DeCaria, an anesthesiologist and pain physician in Evanston, IL and Glenview, IL has effectively treated fibromyalgia pain from many different conditions through her unique approach that utilizes conventional medicine, as well as integrative and functional medicine.
Dr. DeCaria, board certified pain doctor, is an expert in identifying the root cause of your chronic pain and collaborating with patients to create a treatment plan specifically designed for their needs that provides relief. The reality is the majority of patients with fibromyalgia do not actually show signs of tissue damage in their bodies. Often patients with fibromyalgia are told all their lab and imaging studies are normal. However, the pain these individuals experience is real. Dr. DeCaria will discuss your symptoms and experiences with you, review your diagnostic tests (X-rays, MRIs, etc.), and do a full evaluation before discussing and creating your unique plan with you.
Treatment Fibromyalgia Pain
Although you may have been told fibromyalgia has no definite cure, there are many options to help you minimize or eliminate your symptoms and improve the quality of your life. The goal of these treatments is to reduce the overall pain you experience and allow you to return to living your daily life. Your pain could be due to, or causing, other physical or psychological problems which all need to be addressed for your overall wellness. Dr. DeCaria is also skilled at treating chronic symptoms of fibromyalgia, as well as a fibromyalgia flare. Common treatment methods include:
- Physical Therapy or Home Exercises may be suggested for your pain. While counterintuitive, movement can help decrease inflammation and overall pain levels, while also increasing mobility. Specifically, yoga and Tai Chi can help provide relaxation through deep breathing practices and meditation. Swimming or water aerobics can also help your pain, especially in warmer waters.
- Medications or supplements, whether prescription or over the counter, may be prescribed for your pain and for symptom management. There are a few drugs specifically for fibromyalgia, however there are other medications that can be used to alleviate your symptoms and pain. Other medications such as pain relief, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and muscle relaxants can be utilized as a part of your wellness plan. Antidepressants can ease your pain by raising serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the body which help control your pain, by helping elevate your mood and help you sleep. Muscle relaxants can ease tenderness, fatigue, and pain, and ease your aching muscles. Depending on your symptoms and pain, your provider can work with you to identify the best medications for you.
- Sleep coaching/medications/supplements can be implemented to give you a restful night and ability to sleep.
- Diet changes including an elimination diet, specific diet changes, and/or specific supplements can help your pain. Trying an elimination diet and seeing how your body responds throughout can allow you and your provider to track patterns in your pain.
- Myofascial Release can be done through a specially trained therapist or even at home! At home, you simply need to find the sore spots where your pain is and try to release the trigger points with a tennis ball or foam roller (both of which can be bought for less than just $10!). You can also utilize ‘occipital release tools’ to relieve pain and tightness. This can be done every day to give pain relief. Dr. DeCaria can teach you how to do this self-care activity at home.
- Acupuncture can be used to minimize your pain and increase overall wellness. Acupuncture aims to alleviate pain, stress, and tension by restoring balance in the body.
- Stress management and mind-body therapies, whether alone or with an expert, can help you release built up tightness and pain throughout your body. Stress is a significant pain trigger. It is not entirely clear why but we know stress leads to chemical changes in our body and also leads to increased tension in our muscles.
- Specialized Lab Testing. Dr. DeCaria’s background in functional medicine allows her to order labwork that conventional doctors may not use to address environmental toxins, infectious causes, and nutritional and metabolic deficiencies that may be contributing to your fibromyalgia. Many of these tests can be processed through your insurance as Dr. DeCaria is an in-network provider for most major insurance plans. She also works with a board certified functional medicine health coach and a variety of other specialists and holistic practitioners to provide you a comprehensive care plan.
Everyone’s fibromyalgia is different and a care plan is made specifically according to your lifestyle, pain history and experiences, and your medical needs. It is important to discuss your experiences with Dr. DeCaria so that she can help you pinpoint the source of your fibromyalgia and pain. While some people are able to identify a single cause, others have multiple causes. Dr. DeCaria is an expert at finding the root cause of your pain while working with you and your team of providers to eliminate your pain. Call Revitalize Medical Center to book your appointment in Glenview, IL or Evanston, IL with Dr. DeCaria today and put an end to your pain!
This website (including all pages and blog posts) is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. To schedule an appointment at Revitalize Medical Center, please call (847) 834-4018.