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How Can Physical Therapy Help Manage My Fibromyalgia Pain?

PT Fibro APM

Fibromyalgia can be a confusing diagnosis and difficult to understand. Prior to receiving this diagnosis you many are sent to numerous specialists including immunologists, neurologists, and rheumatologists. Each specialist may have given you a different diagnosis or treatment option, with various medications that you tried and failed. Now what? It is important to have a clear understanding of what fibromyalgia is.

What are the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Fibro APM

What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal disorder that is most commonly described as all over body pain.

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
There are not any diagnostic laboratory tests for fibromyalgia, which can make fibromyalgia difficult to diagnose initial. Research has shown that people with fibromyalgia often will see several physicians and other medical professionals before receiving an accurate diagnose. This is mainly due to overlapping symptoms fibromyalgia shares with bursitis osteoarthritis, and tendinitis.

What are the typical symptoms of fibromyalgia?
The most common symptoms include widespread muscle and joint pain, exhaustion, general trouble with sleep, anxiety and depression. Other symptoms include chronic headaches, abdominal pain, dry mouth, nose and eyes, hypersensitivity to cold and/or heat, inability to concentrate, and incontinence. Fibromyalgia can have similar symptoms to bursitis, osteoarthritis, and tendinitis. Due to these similarities it is important to make sure you see a specialist to receive an accurate diagnose.

How is fibromyalgia treated?
While there is not a cure for fibromyalgia, the good news is fibromyalgia is a controllable disease. It is important to see a physician who has experience with fibromyalgia. Since anxiety and depression often accompanies fibromyalgia, it is also important to meet with a psychologist. Physical therapy and minimal invasive injections are often recommended to help manage symptoms.

To schedule an appointment to discuss treatment opinions click here. To learn more about fibromyalgia click here

What causes joint pain?


Joints form the connections between the bones in your body; they provide support and help you move. When your joints are damaged by injury or disease that begins to interfere with your movement and can cause pain. A joint injection is minimal invasive non-surgical treatment that is completed in an outpatient setting. The physicians at Advanced Pain Management (APM) use x-ray guided (fluoroscopy) for joint injections. The procedure is typically completed in 15 minutes and time spent in recovery is typically 30-60 minutes.

What Is A Headache?


What is a headache?
A headache is defined as an ache or pain in the head caused by irritation to the nerves around the face, neck, skull or head. A headache is often described as dull, throbbing, sharp and gradually or it can suddenly appear and can last for hours or days. The International Headache Society categories headaches two ways: primary and secondary.

What is a primary headache?
A primary headache is a headache that is considered a standalone illness. That means that the headache is caused by over activity and/or problems with structures in the head that are sensitive to pain. Common primary headaches include migraines, tension and cluster headaches.

What is a secondary headache?
A secondary headache is a headache that is a symptom of another condition. That means another condition causes the headache. For example, you may have a secondary headache if you are dehydrated, have influenza or have a concussion. In some cases, a secondary headache could be a result of a more serious condition.

What does episodic and chronic mean when it comes to headaches?
An episodic head means that the headache can last for a few hours but could last for a few days. Whereas a chronic headache is considered to be continuous, as in, they occur for 15 days or more in a month.

What are the symptoms of primary headaches?
Tension headaches are the most common type of primary headaches. A tension headache is often described as a tight band feeling around the head with a constant, dull ache on both sides of the head. The pain can spread to or from the neck.

Migraine headaches are the second most common type of primary headache. Migraine headaches may cause a pulsating, throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. Other symptoms include lightheadedness, blurred vision, nausea and sensory disturbances.

INFOGRAPHIC: 6 Cleaning Tips to Reduce Pain


For most of us, cleaning isn't fun, especially if you suffer from chronic pain. Here are a few tips to consider before you start cleaning. 

Top 10 New Year's Resolutions & How To Keep Them

APM New Year Infographic

As 2014 draws to a close and we look forward to the New Year ahead, many of us are thinking about what we want to accomplish in 2015. Setting New Year’s resolutions is a common practice. However, people oftentimes make their goals too big and too general – making them seem less achievable within the timeframes set. The more specific you can make your goal, such as: “lose 10 pounds by the end of March,” the easier it will be to reach. Check out this infographic that includes the top 10 resolutions and more tips on how to successfully set and keep your 2015 goals.

What Is An Occipital Nerve Block?


What is an occipital nerve block?
The occipital nerve is located at the back of the head just above the neck. An occipital nerve block is an injection of a steroid or other medication around the greater and lesser occipital nerve. The occipital nerve block helps reduce pain and other symptoms caused by irritation of the nerves and surrounding structures. This can be beneficial to people who experience migraines, cluster and tension headaches.

How does the occipital nerve block work?
The steroid or other medication is injected to reduce the swelling and inflammation of the tissue around the occipital nerves. This helps reduce pain and other symptoms caused by irritation of the nerves and surrounding structures. This can be beneficial to people who experience migraines, cluster and tension headaches.

How is an occipital nerve block performed?
An experienced pain physician will locate the exact position of the target nerves using x-ray or fluoroscopic guidance to ensure treatment accuracy. Once the exact area of nerve pain has been located, the physician will inject an anesthetic solution. The anesthetic solution reduces the swelling and inflammation of the tissue around the occipital nerves. The procedure typically takes less than 30 minutes, and patients can leave shortly after their procedure is complete.

How long will the relief last for?
Most patients start to feel pain relief in 3-5 days and report the effects have lasted for several months.

Click here to learn more about an occipital nerve block or to schedule an appointment to discuss treatments options click here

INFOGRAPHIC: Back Pain Culprits


Has there been a time when you’ve experienced back pain but did not know the cause? You are not alone. In fact, hidden culprits for back pain are common in our everyday lives. Anything from the type of shoes you wear to the bag you carry to the activities you perform at work  - all can cause back pain. Taking precaution to protect your back can prevent injury and help alleviate any symptoms you may be currently experiencing. Check out this infographic to become familiar with a few common culprits that contribute to back pain and learn ways you can effectively modify your activity.

INFOGRAPHIC: 5 Ways To Reduce Stress


The holidays can be a stressful time of year but they don't have to be. Here are a few tips to redcue your stress so you can enjoy the holiday season. 

INFOGRAPHIC: Holiday Shopping and Pain


The season is almost upon us where we start planning for holiday parties and checking the many loved ones off our shopping lists. While this is thought to be one of the most joyous times of the year for many, those who suffer from pain may experience anxiety when faced with the demands of work, family visitors, cooking and shopping. These stressors have a tendancy of causing existing pain to worsen or sudden flare ups. Pacing yourself and not taking on too much is key to managing pain during this busy time of year. View this infographic for more ways to manage acute and chronic pain during the holiday season:

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