Fibromyalgia: your all-you-need-to-know guide

Written by: Dr Yasser Mehrez
Published:
Edited by: Conor Lynch

Fibromyalgia is an extremely debilitating condition that can detrimentally affect patients both physically and psychologically.

 

In our latest article, revered pain management specialist, Dr Yasser Mehrez, reveals how exactly the chronic condition affects one’s quality of life, how it is managed, and what the most commonly reported symptoms of fibromyalgia are.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition. The main complaint a patient reports is long-term pain that lasts for a few months. Patients with fibromyalgia report muscle stiffness, headaches, non-refreshing sleep, fatigue, tiredness, as well as various other physical and mental cognitive consequences.

 

Some patients report abdominal and pelvic pain, whilst females often tend to report periods that are more painful and that are heavier than normal. Dizziness and intense abdominal pain are also often reported.

 

How does it affect one’s quality of life and mental health?

The condition tends to affect women much more than men, and is quite commonly experienced between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. In terms of how fibromyalgia affects one’s life, some patients will be extremely affected by the level and intensity of pain that they experience.

 

Anxiety is a common consequence of the painful disease. Intense headaches can also limit patients in their day-to-day lives. Other patients sometimes report cognitive impairment symptoms. This affects their memory and speech.

 

How is it treated?

It is a manageable condition. We aim to address the patient’s pain, and ask them what their main concerns are. There are many options to help relieve constant pain. Medications are useful when used in the right way, which can greatly reduce muscle stiffness and help them sleep better.

 

We have seen patients with fibromyalgia respond very well when given anti-depressants. They can actually also help with pain control, as well as feelings of anxiety and depression.

 

Acupuncture, massages, heat application, as well as hydrotherapy, have all been found to be helpful.

 

What can people do to help relieve their symptoms?

We encourage patients with fibromyalgia to exercise regularly. We recommend swimming, walking, and muscle strengthening exercises. We also advise that patients seek psychological help, which will help patients with relaxation techniques, coping strategies, and stretching techniques.

 

Dr Yasser Mehrez is a highly accomplished pain management specialist who can help treat your fibromyalgia symptoms. Consult with him today via his Top Doctors profile to make an appointment with him.

By Dr Yasser Mehrez
Pain medicine

Dr Yasser Mehrez is a leading consultant in pain medicine, anaesthesia and intensive care. He currently practices at his NHS and private clinic in Milton Keynes where he treats all types of chronic pain using advanced techniques such as fluoroscopic and ultrasound guided interventional pain management procedures. Dr Mehrez leads a team of clinicians, psychologists, physiotherapists and nurses to deliver a high standard multidisciplinary pain service to his patients.

He has a special interest in treating back, neck, joint and facial pain, post-surgical scar pain, neuropathic pain and cancer pain using minimally invasive procedures. These include epidural injections, pulsed radiofrequency treatments, neuromodulation, removal of epidural adhesions and many more. Dr Mehrez ensures his patients receive the best long-term pain relief using a range of sophisticated medicines and techniques.

Dr Mehrez spent most of training in major institutions. He has gained extensive experience in pain medicine including multidisciplinary planning through working closely with other specialties. For example he has started joint clinics with the spinal surgical team,  joint efforts with urology teamed also primary care teams to allow the patient to clear understanding of their treatment options and to access the agreed line of treatment in timely manner. Dr Mehrez uses up to date treatments and technology to help his patients to benefit from advances in the growing specialty of pain medicine.

Dr Mehrez was trained at South Thames School in London; he spent a year at Guy’s and St Thomas' Hospital Pain Management Centre practicing the most advanced techniques in neuromodulation and pain management. He now works as a Lead Clinician at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS trust, at his private clinic and teaches as an honorary clinical lecturer at the University of Buckingham Medical School. He is also a professional member of the Neuromodulation Society of the United Kingdom and Ireland, The British Pain Society and the International Association for the Study of Pain.

He is actively involved in the day-to-day running and strategic planning for the pain services in Milton Keynes. He is continuously involved in planning and redesigning the pain service in the area by advising, communicating and educating the services in the community. He is also in charge of monitoring pilot community pain services and introduced patient information booklets and various leaflets currently used at the clinic. He's actively involved in the education of his junior colleagues, general practitioners, nursing staff and most importantly, his patients.

For information leaflets on individual treatments, please use the search function on the Royal College of Anaesthetists website (link in websites below).

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