Dear Ask The Doctor: Hello, I need help. For approx. 10 years now, I have suffered with pain throughout my entire body. Mostly in the joints, but not limited to just the joints. I have been to numerous family doctors and numerous pain specialists, and had so many tests done that I cant even remember most of them, or when. It's all just a blur at this point. Everyone that I have seen has sent me for expensive testing (that I can't afford) and has embarked on a "hunt and peck" journey that has always ended in exactly the same way... " We can't find a cause." I need someone who really knows their stuff, (that understands that I work for a living to support my family which means, I have no money,) who can use me as a test subject or somethingof that nature, to help me get this figured out. The pain is getting to the point where I am willing to do anything to make the pain go away. I am not crazy, nor am I a drug-seeker, I already take too many pills for stomach and blood pressure issues, to want to take more pills. I just want the pain to go away.. Please Help Me? Thanks Ken
In the view that you have been evaluated by multiple doctors, done multiple tests , ruling out nerve compression causing the pain, you have tried several forms of treatments, if you also have trigger points and the pain has been there for more than 3 months, then, what you may be experiencing is Fibromyalgia, which is a widespread or global pain, it can start in one site or joint, but becomes generalized pain for more than 3 months of duration, it can affect individuals of any age, and more women than men, but just the 2% of the general population in US meet the criteria to be diagnosed of Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is an illness that causes chronic pain in joint, muscles and ligaments. In addition to muscular pain and stiffness, this ailment can also cause fatigue, sleep problems, depression and an inability to think clearly. The level of the chemical in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) called substance P, which transmits pain impulses to the brain, is three times higher in people with the disease than in those who do not have the condition. This likely causes someone with fibromyalgia to experience pain more intensely. Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, home treatment can relieve some of the symptoms. The most important therapy for muscle pain is regular, low-impact exercise. Keeping muscles conditioned and healthy by exercising three times a week decreases the amount of discomfort. It is important to try low-stress exercises such as walking, swimming, water aerobics, and biking rather than muscle-straining exercises such as weight training. Besides helping with tenderness, regular exercises can also boost your energy levels and help with sleep if you have problems. No single treatment will take away all the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. But most people do get some relief by trying a combination of therapies. ’Lyrica’, ‘Cymbalta’ and Savella, These are the only three drugs approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Lyrica is an antiseizure medication, while Cymbalta and Savella are antidepressants. All three have been shown to reduce the pain of fibromyalgia. Flexeril: This muscle relaxant not only decreases muscle pain but also improves sleep. Mirapex: This drug is used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. When used to treat fibromyalgia, it reduced pain in 80% of patients. Also for chronic pain low doses of antidepressant medication improve sleep and decrease pain as well as eliminate depression. You can try Biofeedback and relaxation techniques, these besides lessening pain, these therapies also decrease the number of tender points. Acupuncture may be another holistic treatment option for you to explore: Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can decrease tender point pain.