Understanding Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Treatments at The Right Spinal Clinic

June 15, 2024

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Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects an estimated 4 million adults in the United States. This widespread musculoskeletal pain disorder is characterized by fatigue, sleep disturbances, cognitive difficulties or "fibro fog", and generalized pain or tenderness of specific body parts. While its underlying causes are not fully understood, fibromyalgia takes an enormous toll on those affected, significantly impacting their quality of life.

At The Right Spinal Clinic, we have experience helping patients manage their fibromyalgia symptoms through integrating pain management and rehabilitation. Our team understands how challenging it is to diagnose, treat, and live with fibromyalgia. We are committed to providing personalized, cutting-edge care to maximize relief and restore function.

Understanding Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects people of any age and is classified as a chronic pain syndrome. It manifests as persistent, widespread musculoskeletal pain throughout the body, but it is a complex disorder with symptoms extending far beyond just muscle and joint pain. Despite ongoing research, the exact causes of fibromyalgia are still not fully understood. Current theories suggest that it results from amplified pain perception and abnormalities in how the brain and body process pain signals.

For too long, fibromyalgia was dismissed by many healthcare providers and the general public as an "invisible illness." However, thanks to increased research and awareness efforts, fibromyalgia is now recognized as a real chronic condition that causes significant physical and cognitive impairment when left unmanaged.

The main symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread muscle pain and fatigue, sleep problems, brain fog (cognitive difficulties with focus, memory, and concentration), mood issues like depression and anxiety, digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, and heightened sensitivity to various stimuli like loud noises, bright lights, and temperature changes.

While fibromyalgia is not considered a progressive condition, if left untreated, the symptoms can worsen over time, leading to a reduced quality of life. Proper diagnosis and treatment are crucial to manage the symptoms effectively.

In addition to physical symptoms, fibromyalgia can also take an emotional toll, as patients may feel frustrated, misunderstood, or dismissed by healthcare providers who do not fully understand the condition.

Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

People with fibromyalgia often experience a wide range of symptoms that can significantly affect their daily lives and overall well-being. These symptoms may include:

Widespread Musculoskeletal Pain

The hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia is a deep, constant burning sensation or aching pain that is felt throughout the body. This pain can vary in intensity and may be exacerbated by physical activity or lack of movement.

Fatigue and Sleep Disturbances

Overwhelming exhaustion and poor sleep are common complaints among those with fibromyalgia. Trouble sleeping and lack of restorative sleep can amplify pain perception, creating a vicious cycle.

Cognitive Difficulties (Fibro Fog)

People with fibromyalgia often experience brain fog, which can manifest as problems with focus, memory recall, word-finding, and the ability to multitask. This can interfere with daily functioning and activities.


Frequent tension headaches and migraines are highly prevalent in fibromyalgia, likely due to altered circulation, inflammation, and increased sensitivity to pain.

Mood Issues

Mood disorders like anxiety and depression frequently co-occur with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia. If left untreated, these conditions can exacerbate other fibromyalgia symptoms.

Heightened Sensitivities

Many individuals with fibromyalgia experience increased sensitivity to various stimuli, such as heat, cold, loud noises, bright lights, and strong smells, which would typically not bother most people.

Other Symptoms

Other common symptoms may include numbness, tingling, stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, restless legs syndrome, and temporomandibular joint (jaw) pain.

The diverse range of potential symptoms associated with fibromyalgia suggests that it involves dysregulation throughout the body's systems. Experiencing a constant barrage of widespread pain, fatigue, cognitive problems, and sensory hypersensitivities can severely limit one's ability to work, exercise, socialize, and engage in previously enjoyed activities.

Proper diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia are crucial to relieve pain, improve sleep quality, and prevent the development of new symptoms or complications. With the right support from healthcare providers and a personalized treatment plan, individuals with fibromyalgia can find ways to manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. Treating fibromyalgia often requires a combination of medications (such as over-the-counter pain relievers, anti-seizure medicines, or antidepressants), physical therapy, stress management techniques, and lifestyle modifications.

Causes and Risk Factors

Fibromyalgia affects people of all ages but is most common among those in middle age and people who are assigned female at birth. In some cases, fibromyalgia may be triggered by emotional stress, traumatic events, car accidents, or other health conditions that cause pain.

Risk factors for developing fibromyalgia include a family history of the condition, a history of physical or emotional trauma, repetitive injuries, rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, and conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Accurate diagnosis is essential for proper treatment, as fibromyalgia shares symptoms with other conditions. Healthcare providers may conduct physical exams, review medical history, order blood tests to rule out other diseases, and evaluate tender points or heightened sensitivity to pain.

By understanding the complexity of fibromyalgia and its potential impact on various aspects of life, healthcare providers can better support patients in managing their symptoms, reducing pain and disability, and improving their overall quality of life

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia 

There is no single test to diagnose fibromyalgia, making it challenging for many to receive an accurate diagnosis. We utilize a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to pinpoint the causes of each patient's symptoms.

Diagnosing fibromyalgia starts with a detailed medical history, physical examination, and ruling out other conditions. The process may include advanced technologies like Computational Range of Motion Assessment (CRMA) to quantify musculoskeletal function and Dynamic Range of Motion Electromyography (DynaROM EMG) to identify muscle imbalances contributing to pain and impairments.

By integrating objective measurements with reported symptoms, healthcare providers can create a personalized treatment strategy that effectively manages the patient's fibromyalgia. Our team understands fibromyalgia is a complex condition affecting multiple aspects of life. We encourage open communication to ensure an accurate diagnosis of fibromyalgia and a tailored treatment plan.

Our multi-disciplinary approach considers all potential contributing factors, including co-existing conditions like sleep disorders, depression, or irritable bowel syndrome. 


Treatment Options 

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but an integrative, multimodal treatment approach using various evidence-based therapies can provide significant relief and improve overall function and quality of life for fibromyalgia patients. The Right Spinal Clinic offers a wide range of cutting-edge treatment options for those diagnosed with fibromyalgia or likely to have this condition.

Physical Therapy

Therapeutic exercise is a core component of fibromyalgia rehabilitation. Our experienced physical therapists design customized exercise programs combining active exercises to gradually rebuild stamina with passive treatments like massage and manual therapies. Gentle strengthening helps recondition muscles, improving energy levels and reducing widespread pain and stiffness.

Chiropractic Care

Spinal adjustments and chiropractic manual therapies can help reduce musculoskeletal restrictions, muscle tension, and joint hypomobility contributing to and perpetuating fibromyalgia pain and tenderness.  Techniques like myofascial release help ease tension within body tissues, enhancing mobility and offering pain relief.


This ancient therapy may stimulate the body's natural pain-relieving mechanisms, promoting proper energy flow and balance. Acupuncture is an excellent complementary treatment for fibromyalgia.

Cold Laser Therapy

Low-level laser therapy decreases inflammation, increases circulation, and promotes healing in a safe, non-invasive manner, beneficial for reducing muscle pain and joint swelling.

Electrical Stimulation Therapies

Modalities like TENS, interferential current, and muscle stim utilize electrical currents and fields to disrupt pain signals, relax muscle spasms, improve circulation, and facilitate transdermal drug administration directly to targeted tissues.

Patient Education

Our team will help guide you on lifestyle factors like stress management, improving sleep hygiene, gentle home exercises, dietary recommendations, and ergonomic advice to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms.

Medical Pain Management

For acute flare-ups with severe widespread pain and inflammation, certain oral medications like anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants may be carefully incorporated into the treatment plan on a limited basis, following guidelines to ensure safe use.

The key is committing to a consistent, multi-modal treatment program tailored to the individual's responses, symptoms, and goals. Our integrative approach draws upon conventional, complementary, and innovative therapies, guiding patients every step of the way.

Living with Fibromyalgia

For those living with fibromyalgia, experiencing pain and tenderness throughout the body, sleep disturbances, and other symptoms, it's essential to work closely with healthcare providers who specialize in the treatment of this condition. Fibromyalgia is a real, complex condition that can affect various aspects of life, and a combination of treatments may be necessary to manage its impact effectively.

While the underlying causes of fibromyalgia are not fully understood, certain factors like genetics, trauma, and other health conditions have been linked to its development. Women are more likely to be diagnosed, and the condition tends to run in families. However, anyone can experience symptoms, varying widely from person to person.

If you or a loved one experience persistent, unexplained pain, fatigue, cognitive difficulties, or other symptoms that could be related to fibromyalgia, it's important to consult healthcare providers experienced in this field for an accurate diagnosis. They can conduct a differential diagnosis, ruling out other conditions and considering your full description of symptoms to determine the most appropriate course of treatment.

Living with fibromyalgia can be challenging, but with the right care and support, it is possible to manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. Don't hesitate to ask about your symptoms and treatment options – our team is here to help you find relief and regain control of your health and well-being.

Why Choose The Right Spinal Clinic for Your Fibromyalgia Treatment

When it comes to treating complex chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, experience and a patient-centric approach are crucial. At The Right Spinal Clinic, you'll find:

  • Board-certified pain management physicians
  • Licensed physical therapists with extensive fibromyalgia training
  • Chiropractors and massage therapists skilled in myofascial release
  • Advanced technologies for accurate diagnosis and targeted treatments
  • Individualized treatment plans focused on your unique needs and goals
  • A comprehensive, multi-disciplinary clinic to streamline your care

Most importantly, our entire team is passionate about helping patients with fibromyalgia reclaim their lives and well-being. We understand how challenging it is to manage this condition. We are here to listen and support you on your journey to better health.

If you or a loved one in Tampa are struggling with widespread, unexplained pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms, don't wait any longer to get the expert care you deserve. Call us at (813) 392 2164 to schedule an appointment at The Right Spinal Clinic today, and take the first step toward finding relief.

Fibromyalgia FAQ

Can fibromyalgia be cured?

While there is no definitive cure for fibromyalgia currently, its symptoms can be managed effectively through an integrative treatment approach. At The Right Spinal Clinic, we utilize active exercises, passive treatments like massage, iontophoresis for transdermal drug delivery of analgesics and corticosteroids, and other therapeutic modalities to decrease inflammation and pain. With the right comprehensive plan designed by our physical therapists, patients can experience significant relief.

Can fibromyalgia be prevented?

Since the underlying causes of fibromyalgia are not yet fully understood, prevention remains challenging. However, managing stress levels, getting quality sleep, and regularly engaging in gentle exercise may help reduce the risk of developing this condition. Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle is also crucial.

Is fibromyalgia progressive?

Fibromyalgia is not necessarily a progressive disorder. It is possible to manage symptoms through methods like physical therapy, electrical stimulation, iontophoresis treatments to introduce medication directly to injured tissues, and adjunctive therapies, the condition's progression can be prevented in many cases. Our physical therapists apply iontophoresis and provide specific instructions personalized to each patient's needs to help the body manage scar tissue, calcium deposits, and other factors that could worsen fibromyalgia over time if left unaddressed.

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