Fibromyalgia is a disorder that often causes pain fatigue, excessive sleeping, difficulty with memory, and mood shifts. The exact causes of Fibromyalgia is not known and there is no cure, but there are effective treatment options to help you manage the pain.
The first step is to schedule a consultation with one of our Fibromyalgia specialists. Our doctors will thoroughly evaluate your pain symptoms in order to accurately diagnose the condition. Once we have a diagnosis, we will work together with you to create a treatment plan that will effectively address your symptoms.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this office. I was helping my mom find a place for her arthritis pain, and I explained to them how bad it was. They were able to schedule me the same week! That's almost impossible at any doctor's office...and then add COVID..... I was thrilled. I took my mom, and everyone was absolutely so sweet and kind
- Donyasha B.
Dr. Rao. I can't find the words to tell you how much he has meant to me. I followed him from an old practice to his very new high tech office. They offer so many different areas of assistance to those with issues from nutrition to spinal surgery...and much more. His office is professional.
- Mom To2
Dr. Roa is such an amazing doctor! During my first visit he never tried to rush through my appt., he genuinely listened to all my concerns and then took his time to explain to me in detail all his recommendations and how they would help me.
- Nikki Walker
In the 3 years as a patient of Dr. Rao, it is my opinion that he is a phenomenal and extraordinary doctor. He keeps up to date with the latest treatment options, will sacrifice time no matter how many are in the waiting room to listen and explain. Dr. Rao has treated multiple patients with rare illnesses, and shows more empathy than any Dr. I’ve met.
- Mom To2
I have now been with Dr. Rao for 13 years. He is the most caring Doctor I have ever been to! Dr. Rao makes you feel very comfortable at all times. I would not want to go to any other Doctor... I go to the Hagerstown location, everyone is very nice
- Theresa R.
The entire staff from the folks at the front desk to the Nurse, to the Physicians Assistant to the scribe that records the visit for the doctor - (great idea so the Doctor can focus on the patient!!!)
- NVA F.
Completely the best care you could want the staff is so pleasant and caring and the doctors have true heart for healing, love being a patient here would give 10 stars if I could & absolutely the most caring during my procedure with Dr B
- Cathern C.
Always friendly, courteous, and efficient service. From the ladies, who work the front desk, to the nurses and the doctors. I've always had a good experience with the Harrisonburg office in Virginia.
They scheduled my appointment very quickly so that I can get to help that I needed immediately instead of like most places having to wait two to three weeks to get in I called and was able to be seen the next day
- John H.
After transitioning from a pain and spine doctor in Columbia, MD.. The intake staff member at Pain and Spine Specialist made the scheduling a breeze. They were able to get me in within a week.
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Fibromyalgia is a long-term, chronic disorder that causes pain throughout the body and other symptoms that can affect a person’s daily activities and overall quality of life. It is believed that Fibromyalgia amplifies the pain signals released through the brain, intensifying the pain sensations in your body.
Symptoms may begin after a physical trauma, such as a surgery or infection. Sometimes they present after psychological stress as well. But it is not uncommon for symptoms to gradually appear over time, without a single catalyst event.
Many people experience tension headaches, TMJ (temporomandibular joint), anxiety, and/or depression.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but medication therapy (in addition to restful sleep and proper diet and exercise) can help you manage the symptoms.
The exact cause of Fibromyalgia is not currently known, but there are several factors that may play a part.
When someone has this condition, it is thought that the brain and spinal cord actually changes from continuous nerve stimulation and can lead to higher levels of chemicals that send pain signals to the brain.
It is also believed that pain receptors start to form a memory of pain and become overly sensitive so that they overreact to pain and even interpret non-pain signals as pain.
Genetics can potentially be a leading factor behind this, as it has been shown that Fibromyalgia does run in families and some genetic mutations make it more likely for Fibromyalgia to occur. Physical and highly emotional occurrences can also trigger Fibromyalgia. An accident that causes any injuries or extreme stressors have been linked to this condition.
As a neurological health problem, Fibromyalgia is characterized by areas of musculoskeletal pain. This type of pain is usually described as a consistent dull ache and tenderness (like a sensitivity to touch). Chronic fatigue is another major aspect of having Fibromyalgia.
Other symptoms of fibromyalgia can include:
- Tender points on the body. Tender points are specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. These points hurt when pressure is put on them.
- Trouble sleeping
- Morning stiffness
- Painful menstrual periods
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
- Problems with thinking and memory (sometimes called “fibro fog”)
- Digestive issues that can include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Those at Risk for Fibromyalgia
There are known risk factors that are associated with the development of Fibromyalgia. Those risks are:
- Women are twice as likely to develop fibromyalgia than men.
- Age can be a contributing factor in those who have Fibromyalgia. While anyone, of any age, can develop this condition it is most commonly diagnosed in middle age. Your chances of getting it also goes up as you get older.
- Those who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis, or other autoimmune diseases, such as Lupus, are also susceptible.
- Fibromyalgia can be genetic in nature and a person has a higher chance of getting it if a parent or sibling also has it.
- People with injuries, especially repetitive injuries, that puts stress on joints and the body.
- Illnesses, such as viral infections, can increase the risk of developing Fibromyalgia.
How Fibromyalgia Can Affect Your Life
Since Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness, with no known cure, it can wear a person down over time and have a significant impact on their daily life.
Fibromyalgia can increase the chances for hospitalization throughout a person’s life and people are twice as likely to be hospitalized than those who do not have Fibromyalgia.
Major depression is also highly linked to Fibromyalgia, as living with something like chronic pain can easily lead to depressive symptoms in someone. Those dealing with Fibromyalgia are actually three times more likely to end up with major depression.
A lower quality of life can, unfortunately, be a result of having Fibromyalgia. Pain from Fibromyalgia can prevent people from completing daily activities that may have once been routine and moving around can be more difficult.
Fibromyalgia can often co-occur with other autoimmune disorders, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis or Multiple Sclerosis, and symptoms of Fibromyalgia can crossover with some autoimmune disorders. While it is possible to have Fibromyalgia and an autoimmune disorder at the same time you may also be misdiagnosed because the symptoms are so similar. This is why it is important to seek out the proper diagnosis so you can receive the appropriate treatment.
Way To Improve Your Life
While the effects of Fibromyalgia can seriously impact your life, there are some things you can do on your own, in addition to proper pain management treatment, to improve the quality of life from what it currently may be.
Making sure to get enough sleep every night is a very important step in making your day-to-day a little better. Sleep allows your body to heal and Fibromyalgia often leads to fatigue, so getting the recommended amount of sleep is essential to your health. Get into the habit of creating a routine for quality sleep, such as going to bed and getting up at the same time every day and sleeping in a completely dark room with no TV on.
Exercise and moving your body throughout the day is a good way to help aid in reducing pain that may be related to Fibromyalgia or Arthritis. It is recommended that adults are moderately physically active for at least 150 minutes a week, which can be broken down into 30 minutes of moderate exercise (i.e. walking, swimming, or hiking) five days a week. Stretches, such as doing light yoga poses, having good posture, and relaxation practices (ex. meditation) are also an important part of a regular exercise routine.
A balanced diet and limiting tobacco products and caffeine are all part of a healthy lifestyle, along with finding activities that bring you joy and keep you mentally and physically engaged. Stress management is another factor in reducing the chronic aspects of Fibromyalgia and stress management can mean saying no and creating boundaries more often, limiting commitments and overexertion, and practicing deep breathing techniques.
Our physicians are board certified, and are dedicated to giving you a comprehensive exam that will aid in diagnosing the cause of your symptoms. Using advanced diagnostic techniques, our doctors will find out the reason for your pain, and then get you on the road to better health right away. Here are a few steps our physicians use when completing their comprehensive exams:
Treatments We Offer
- Spinal Cord Stimulation
- Injection Therapies
- Medication Management
- Intrathecal Pumps
- Occipital Nerve Blocks
- Alternative Therapies
- Radio Frequency Ablation
- Trigger Point Injections
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- SGB Injection for PTSD
- MILD (Lumbar Decompression
- Minuteman Spinal Fusion
- Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
- Lumbar Sympathetic Block
- Stellate Ganglion Blocks
- HA Injections
Condition We Treat
At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of physicians and nurse practitioners are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your pain. We believe that all patients should have access to quality care, and that is why you can find us conveniently located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.