Fibromyalgia Pain Relief With Neurofunctional Pain Management

by Will Bozeman

Fibromyalgia is another complex and misunderstood condition with many possible variations of symptoms and comorbidities, making it very difficult to treat. The fact remains that many doctors, patients, and the medical community as a whole have a difficult time understanding and working with this condition. It is therefore unsurprising to learn that many physicians can’t help but feel that the condition is fabricated and that it’s all in the mind of the patient.

This suggestion is not entirely untrue, and we will explore why later, but even if fibromyalgia originates in the psyche of a patient, it does not make the pain any less real. As we know in medicine, the mind is the most powerful medical tool we have. In the end, both patients and physicians want a treatment for fibromyalgia that addresses the pain and improves the quality of life for patients.

Understanding The Origins Of Fibromyalgia

Since the first cases of fibromyalgia were found, doctors have been scrambling to understand its origins, not only to determine a proper treatment but also to understand the patient’s experience. Doctors Christine Davis and Marian Gillard claim that “. . . [t]he symptoms of fibromyalgia can be misperceived because they are often visibly undetectable, thereby leaving persons with fibromyalgia exposed to others’ incorrect understanding of their experience and physical capabilities. Persons with fibromyalgia may experience stigma when nobody understands the condition or how it affects their daily occupations” (2022).

Unlike some conditions, such as osteoporosis or peripheral neuropathy, which have been the subject of years of research that has resulted in successful diagnosis and treatment options, fibromyalgia is relatively nascent in comparison. However, for many, fibromyalgia is still painful, and its treatment has not been unlike the treatment of other conditions. In fact, for some patients, treatment can be as simple as vitamin replenishment and supplementation to balance out the system. As we learn more about the gut biome connection with the brain, we may discover that many conditions will require a specialized probiotic treatment.

The Relation Of Vitamin D Deficiency And Fibromyalgia

In a 2022 study examining the role of vitamin D deficiency in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP), Dr. Mauro Lombardo and his associates concluded that, “. . . vitamin D deficiency is frequently observed in FMS and CMP patients, and supplementation with vitamin D can be proposed to reduce musculoskeletal pain and improve the quality of life in vitamin D-deficient subjects with FMS and CMP” (2022).

While patients may be unable to explain the origin of their FMS and doctors may be unclear on how to diagnose the condition, one of the first steps is for doctors to suggest supplementing with vitamin D. This natural treatment for the condition is music to the ears of both patients and doctors, as they will be less likely to look into treatments with more unwanted side effects.

The Psychiatric Cause

Speculation about the psychiatric origin of this disability is not new, and behavioral health elements have been determined by some physicians to be the primary cause of its debilitating pain. Because the condition cannot be diagnosed by conventional clinical diagnostics, Dr. Bernstein concedes that “. . . it is possible that fibromyalgia is more psychiatric than musculoskeletal. . . patients have been encouraged to anchor their lives around their misery. Yet none of these factors makes fibromyalgia any less real”.

Dr. Bernstein’s claim that perhaps patients may be “encouraged” to center their lives around the pain suggests that the conditions of fibromyalgia are driven by psychosomatic factors, with psychosomatic meaning a physical manifestation of symptoms from mental or emotional distress. Physicians Fatmanur Kocak and Emine Eda Kurt have determined that, “ . . . [i]ndividuals with fibromyalgia often have comorbid anxiety, depression, and/or other pain syndromes” (2018).

These determinations suggest that some who suffer from fibromyalgia may wish to seek psychiatric attention. However, this does not change the fact that the patient is still in physical pain that needs to be addressed. The presence of depression and anxiety, which are causes of fibromyalgia, often detracts from physicians’ understanding of a physical manifestation of pain. 

Though it may be difficult to relate a mental or emotional origin to a physical manifestation of pain, physicians should be careful not to dismiss FMS as something made up or simply in the minds of their patients. Listening and working to understand a patient’s experience with fibromyalgia is the first step to making them feel comfortable discussing the condition, and more importantly, it is the first step in finding an effective treatment.

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

For anyone who may still doubt the existence of fibromyalgia at all, it should be understood that the condition is very real. As a matter of clarification, the condition of FMS is recognized and has an entry in the 10th edition of The International Classification of Diseases, which is seen as one of the most reputable sources for the diagnosis of disability. 

For all intents and purposes, fibromyalgia is a legitimate condition and often results in debilitating pain for the affected patient. Those who claim they’ve experienced the pain of fibromyalgia and seek medical attention or treatment are often met with skepticism from their physicians or treatment centers, who have no clinical method of diagnosing the condition or finding the cause. And even though patients may feel foolish for suggesting they have a condition their physician may or may not understand, patients should be made aware of their physicians’ perspective.

The Pressure In Diagnosing The Condition

Dr. Bernstein sums up the experience of doctors when they encounter FMS with the following: “They leave us feeling ignorant because we do not understand them and feeling impotent because we cannot cure them. They hector us for notes certifying their disability without providing the usual signifiers of legitimacy” (2016). Although an understandable frustration mounts between doctor and patient, it is the physician’s responsibility to find an effective treatment that will alleviate the pain and treat the problem their patients are experiencing. The doctors experience pressure and the patients experience frustration.

The diagnosis of the cause is frustrating for physicians, and Bernstein also concedes that, “[w]e have to be open to the possibility [that] physicians can be part of the problem . . . perhaps we find ourselves on a pedestal of wisdom we do not deserve”. Either way, doctors must work with their patients to address the condition and work to understand it so that the stigma may lessen. At the same time, patients need to understand that little is known about what causes fibromyalgia. 

Most of the time, doctors who specialize in the treatment of pain conditions will examine the body for signs of a cause. If a physician can locate and diagnose a condition’s cause, they will know how to treat it. The issue with fibromyalgia is that there are no apparent physical signs for the cause of fibromyalgia. While there is no clinical method of diagnosing the physical cause of fibromyalgia, many have turned to finding a psychiatric cause for fibromyalgia.

Treating Fibromyalgia Pain

Fibromyalgia syndrome was not defined as a standalone condition with its own set of symptoms and causes until the 1970s. However, research on the treatments for this condition did not start to show promising results until the late 1980s. 

To this day, many doctors lack the knowledge of fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria necessary to identify the condition and provide patients with an adequate treatment program. 

As more and more is understood about the symptoms and impact of FMS on a patient’s life, healthcare providers are attempting to offer solutions that aim to address both the physical and mental health effects of this condition.

Some of the treatments that are commonly prescribed for fibromyalgia include the following:

  • Pain-relievers – Pain relievers are one of the most common treatments for fibromyalgia. They include over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen. 
  • Anti-seizure medications – Antiepileptic drugs might be beneficial in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms and pain by interfering with the normal pain signaling between the brain and nerve endings. Pregabalin, an anticonvulsant, may be effective in reducing pain by 30% in half of the patients with fibromyalgia. 
  • Antidepressants – Antidepressants and muscle relaxants can ease nerve pain and physical discomfort deriving from fibromyalgia. These medications also promote better sleep and reduce mood disorders. 
  • Physical and occupational therapy – Physicians and occupational therapists can help you adjust your lifestyle to ease FMS pain and can train you to keep your muscles strong and flexible, which can counteract the pain that comes from fibromyalgia. 
  • Natural remedies – Therapies such as acupuncture, massages, meditation, yoga, exercise, and stress-management techniques might be beneficial in relaxing tense muscles and providing relief from fibromyalgia pain

While these lines of treatment might be efficient in the short term, they don’t come without side effects. For example, taking opioids and pain relievers over long periods of time can lead to dependency and addiction. On the other hand, antidepressants can affect all aspects of your life, from increasing fatigue to causing mood changes, digestive problems, and sleep disturbances. 

What’s more, it is important to consider that fibromyalgia is a lifelong condition that can worsen with age. Because of this, it is vital for patients to look for a treatment strategy that is sustainable in the long term and does not involve taking medications on a daily basis. That’s where Neurofunctional Pain Management can help. Let’s look at this approach in more depth below.

Neurofunctional Pain Management

While many treatments exist across the spectrum of painful conditions, not all can claim efficacy and lasting results. What’s worse, many patients go through a litany of side effects from treatment trials that they would rather not experience in addition to their fibromyalgia pain. This is where Neuragenex may be able to provide a treatment that is suitable to cover these concerns and treat the patient. Neuragenex created and pioneered the field of Neurofunctional Pain Management which uses a pain relief approach combined with a health restoration approach to treat pain.

Neurofunctional Pain Management uses a combination of high-pulse electrical stimulation, specialized hydration therapy with nutritional deficiency balancing, and a robust lifestyle counseling training program that can help patients stay out of pain while they continue to maintain better health. Neurofunctional Pain Management is a thorough and extensive treatment program that tackles pain at its source. With a condition like fibromyalgia, the pain can be debilitating, but patients can have confidence in understanding that treatment is more than just a pill, it’s a non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic pain treatment program. This brings a tremendous level of confidence to patients looking for treatment options.

Discover Effective Treatment For Pain Relief

Neuragenex has shaped the Neurofunctional Pain Management treatment model to effectively work for a wide range of pain conditions. Fibromyalgia is one of the many conditions that may be effectively treated by Neuragenex using our non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic approach to pain relief and health restoration. At Neuragenex, our mission is to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify the quality of life without medications, surgeries, or invasive procedures. Our vision is to be the first thought, the first choice, and the first step in the journey of chronic pain relief.

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