As of today, approximately 1.5 million Canadians say they suffer from chronic pain. One of the most common chronic pain conditions is fibromyalgia, which is something that family physicians like Dr. Ali Ghahary are seeing more and more frequently.
With fibromyalgia, patients often experience widespread body pain. In some cases that pain can be pinpointed to certain locations of the body, such as the arms and the legs. While it’s unknown as to what, exactly, causes fibromyalgia, studies have suggested that it may be a hereditary condition. Car accidents and infections have also been thought to play a role in fibromyalgia. Considering the spontaneity of fibromyalgia, it’s considered to be a bit of a medical mystery, and can sometimes be difficult for physicians to diagnose.
For many individuals, living with fibromyalgia can be a nightmare. Depending on the severity of the pain that the patient experiences – which can be worse some days and better on others – it can severely impact one’s ability to lead a normal life; affecting their performance at school and work, their ability to travel, and it can also cause a strain in relationships – whether it’s with friends, family members, or a romantic partner. As a result, it is not uncommon for patients with fibromyalgia to fall into a depressive state. Living with pain day in and day out can be incredibly debilitating, so it’s always important that you take care of your mental health whenever you are dealing with serious medical issues.
While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, some strides have been made in treating its’ symptoms. Since fibromyalgia is considered to be neuropathic pain, many doctors will prescribe antidepressants, anticonvulsants, or other nerve-related medications (such as Lyrica, also known as Pregablin) to help relieve the pain associated with it. Many of these medications change the way the brain perceives and transmits pain signals to the body.
There are also some natural remedies that Dr. Ali Ghahary suggests patients try to help relive fibromyalgia pain. For example, low-impact exercise (short walks, yoga, etc.), as well as making sure you’re eating as healthy as possible. Certain foods, such as leafy, green vegetables and foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids not only provide your body with the nutrients it needs in order to stay healthy, but can also reduce inflammation.