Is Fibromyalgia Real?

Patients who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia face a lot of criticism. They might often hear harsh phrases from their peers along the lines of, “But you don’t look sick!” But do the critics have a point? Is a patient who looks healthy and feels pain for no reason really just imagining it in his or her head? At Southwest Spine and Pain, we answer with no. Even though it has many misconceptions, fibromyalgia is a real condition that many patients suffer from. 

So where does this misconception that fibromyalgia is made up come from? One of the reasons is that fibromyalgia is a complex disease that stands out compared to other pain-causing ailments. For example, some people might define disease as something you can go to the doctor and get a cure for. However, fibromyalgia does not have a known cure and sometimes, it cannot be treated with just medicine alone. Additionally, fibromyalgia may not be as accepted because there isn’t a lab or imaging test that either confirms nor denies the diagnosis. Instead, our physicians look at a collection of symptoms, like having trouble sleeping or having pain on both sides of the body. Additionally, research has found that fibromyalgia pain gravitates towards a number of certain “tender points” all over the body. Instead of a blood test or diagnostic imaging, physicians will use a chart of the tender points to help diagnose the condition.

To further debunk the naysayers crying, “Hoax!” there has been plenty of scientific research proving that fibromyalgia is not imaginary. In fact, there are over 4,000 fibromyalgia studies published in medical journals, according to the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association. The Southwest Spine and Pain Center conducts research of our own. Even though our current research is not for fibromyalgia patients specifically, it can hopefully one day increase the percentage of pain relief felt after treatment.

Our physicians support fibromyalgia patients who feel they do not have a voice, but they also encourage community involvement to raise awareness about the painful condition. The more the public knows about and understands fibromyalgia, the more it could be accepted as a diagnosis. Recently, New England Patriots Defensive Lineman Dominique Easley campaigned to bring awareness to fibromyalgia after his sister had to give up dancing because of the disease. You can help the cause by creating awareness in your community. Talk to your Southwest Spine and Pain Center physician for more information on the condition so you can use it to prove that fibromyalgia is real once and for all.

If chronic pain is impacting your life, don't wait to schedule an appointment at Southwest Spine and Pain Center. With multiple locations across the state of Utah, the pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are dedicated to helping those who suffer from chronic pain live the life they want to! To schedule an appointment, visit our locations tab!

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.