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Fibromyalgia: Drug Abuse, Dependency, and Addiction

Fibromyalgia: Drug Abuse, Dependency, and Addiction - El Paso Chiropractor
For Questions Call/Text Dr. Jimenez Personally @ 915-540-8444 or Contact Us @ 915-850-0900

Fibromyalgia is a well-known condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain that usually follows with fatigue as well as sleep, memory and mood complications. While there are currently no known causes and no known cures for the condition, many individuals who suffer from this painful disorder can often be misunderstood. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia heightens pain sensations by altering the way the brain processes pain signals.

Fibromyalgia symptoms are presumed to occur subsequently from physical or emotional trauma where there’s been considerable psychological stress, after surgery, or as a result of an infection. In several cases, the symptoms can also progressively accumulate over time without a single event to trigger them. The widespread pain that most frequently accompanies fibromyalgia sufferers can be described as a continuous, dull ache which has lasted for a minimum of three months. Widespread pain can be defined as a type of pain that occurs on both sides of the body, and above and below the waist. Other symptoms for fibromyalgia include fatigue, where the individual awakes feeling tired despite sleeping for long periods of time, restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea as a result of an interrupted sleep, cognitive difficulties, and other complications, such as depression, headaches and pain or cramping in the lower abdomen.

For years, traditional pain relievers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the opioids like Morphine, have been used as a form of treatment for fibromyalgia but due to the drug’s high probability of dependency as a source for pain and symptom relief, especially over long term use, opioids are not recommended by any current guidelines for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms. Fibromyalgia is not a fatal or terminal disease but its symptoms of chronic pain where the pain can recur throughout an individual’s lifetime can often be a common reason for drug abuse and addiction. Opioid medications can only provide temporary pain relief from any type of pain and in clinical trials with opioids, there is little evidence of sustained pain relief or benefit. Despite the absence of recommendations and studies that prove the benefit of opioids in fibromyalgia, currently about 30% of Canadian and American patients with fibromyalgia report to using opioids for pain relief.

Studies have shown that individuals who use and abuse opioids tend to have more severe pain, a more severe impairment in daily functioning as well as the presence of mood disorders compared to those who did not use opioids. Furthermore, opioid utilization often leads to several other symptoms that can overlap with fibromyalgia itself including an impaired ability to focus, pay attention, and concentrate on mental tasks, poor physical and emotional well being and increasing pain despite the use of medications for symptom relief. Individuals who’ve been diagnosed with the condition can seek alternate treatment options for their symptoms to prevent the use of medications and ultimately avoid drug abuse, dependency, and addiction. Several alternatives for treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia include physical therapy and chiropractic care to relieve chronic pain naturally.

By Dr. Alex Jimenez



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