What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is characterized by generalized musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood problems. Related to fibromyalgia, research has shown the pain response seems to be amplified by an imbalance response system. Often it starts after a stressful physical, environmental, or psychological event, or can be accumulative over time.

Women are more affected than men and often is associated with other chronic medical problems like headaches, TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression, and autoimmune diseases. The cause of fibromyalgia and a cure are not known. Fibromyalgia is treated with medications and lifestyle modifications to help control the symptoms.

Integrative Holistic Medicine uses several different tools and resources to help managing fibromyalgia and feel better. From the functional medicine point of view, addressing digestive health, hormonal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal and thyroid balance, energetic dysfunction, toxin exposure and nervous system abnormalities are very helpful.

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain is characterized by abnormal sensitivity, due to the generation of pain response by nervous fibers that normally generate innocuous sensations. There is increased excitability, decreased inhibition, structural reorganization at the level of the spinal cord and brain, as well as memory of pain and response at the cognitive level, all these contributing to a maladaptive response and pain sensation.

Chronic pain affects the patient’s perception of general health, interferes with quality of life, enjoyment, daily activities, resulting on isolation, risk for depression, anxiety and other medical and psychological problems, financial impact and high stress.

Management of chronic non cancer pain ideally includes the involvement of different specialties to provide care, including your primary care physician, pain specialist, psychologist, and physical therapist.

Integrative Holistic Medicine is useful to support chronic pain control management, restoring balance, decreasing inflammation, and supporting the self-healing capacity of the body. Pain control is also easier when addressing the energetic system, mind body medicine connection, neuro-fascial system, microbiome health, which has been tightly related to nervous and general health.

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to treat pain and recent research has shown its benefit on back, neck, knee pain, headache and support cancer treatment. NIH information about acupuncture

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JFV Wellbeing MD

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