7 Treatment Options for A Pinched Nerve in Your Lower Back

In your lower back, a pinched nerve, also known as a compressed nerve, can cause intense pain and discomfort.

You may experience the following symptoms in your lower back, hips, buttocks, legs, ankles, and feet:

  • stabbing and shooting pain
  • numbness 
  • muscle weakness 
  • muscle spasms
  • loss of reflex

General practitioners and pain specialists typically recommend these four simple, non-invasive treatments before anything else:

1. Medicine

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • muscle relaxers

2. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy with a certified therapist can help heal and lessen the pain of a pinched nerve by improving your coordination, balance, and strength.

3. DIY Treatments 

Heat and cold therapy: ice packs, hot and cold compresses

Sleep adjustment: sleeping with a pillow under your back or between your legs to help ease pressure on nerves

Ergonomic adjustments: Keeping your legs elevated and placing pillows under your legs during the day to take the pressure off your spine

4. Lifestyle Changes

  • increased activity through exercise (aerobics, yoga, pilates, tai chi, weight training, etc.)
  • dieting

Exercising and dieting to lessen inflammation and lose weight can help heal and alleviate the pain from pinched nerves and lower the risk of suffering another pinched nerve.



5. Non-Traditional Therapies

Massage: Massage therapy can relieve pain from a pinched nerve caused by tight muscles, tendons, and ligaments (not by pressure from a herniated disc or other spine problem). 

Acupuncture: Acupuncture practitioners and some patients report that that practice decreases inflammation in the body, decreasing pain.

Chiropractic: Chiropractic realignment may relieve pressure on the spinal nerves, which can, in turn, reduce the pain and heal a pinched nerve.



6. Out-Patient Drug Treatment and Prescription Drugs

Oral corticosteroids such as prednisone, methylprednisone, and dexamethasone can reduce pain by suppressing the body’s inflammatory response. 

Corticosteroid nerve block injections in the lower back can stop or reduce the pain for weeks or months (find out more about this and other pain treatments here).

The drawback is that these steroid medications reduce the body’s ability to fight infection.

Doctors may prescribe these oral drugs instead:

  • prescription opioids (one to two weeks to avoid dependence)
  • muscle relaxers
  • anticonvulsants
  • tricyclic antidepressants



7. Surgery 

Herniated discs are a common cause of pinched nerves. In some cases, a discectomy is the best option.

The procedure involves a surgeon removing all or part of the disk pressing on the nerve root.

But this surgery may also involve removing or fusing vertebrae, which raises the risk significantly.

Treatment at Texas Pain Physicians 

If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort in your lower back and legs, we can help. 

At TPP, we have specialists across many medical disciplines who will find the treatment plan that suits you. 

Please call us at (972) 636-5727 to find out more or make an appointment. You can also book an appointment online.

Need Fast, Non-Surgical Relief for Lower Back Pain? An Epidural Injection May Be the Answer.

Doctors and pain specialists generally recommend natural, non-surgical, and non-opioid treatments for pain.

Physical therapy, massage, over-the-counter medicines, and hot and cold therapy are a few of the most common first-line treatments. 

Fast-Acting Pain Relief for Weeks or Months

However, your doctor or pain specialist may recommend an epidural injection or nerve block when you have nerve-related pain in your lower back and legs.

Epidural injections for back pain are a powerful, non-invasive treatment that can provide pain relief for several months.

How They Work

Epidural injections can:  

  • Provide local pain relief.  
  • Block pain signals sent from the surrounding nerves.  
  • Temporarily cut off all sensory and motor neurons from below the injection site.  
  • Reduce swelling and inflammation.  

An injection contains either an anesthetic, a corticosteroid, or both. 

The anesthetic stops the nerves around the injection site from sending pain signals, and the corticosteroid reduces the swelling and inflammation.

When targeting herniated discs and swelling, epidurals may take 24 to 48 hours to start working.

Conditions epidural injections can help heal and provide pain relief for include:

  • pinched nerve
  • pain radiating from the spine
  • degenerative disc disease
  • herniated or bulging disc
  • recovery from back surgery
  • spondylolisthesis  
  • spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica

Conditions they don’t help to heal and provide pain relief for include:

  • general back pain (non-nerve related pain)
  • pain from bone spurs
  • pain from cancerous or non-cancerous growths
  • pain from pulled muscles 

Epidural injections may temporarily relieve pain from bone spurs or growths, which irritate the surrounding tissue and nerves.

However, this temporary relief will only delay other treatments or interventions (such as surgery).

Why Get One?

Epidural injections can be a temporary pain fix when you need to “buy time” for your back to heal from an injury.

They can also provide pain relief from a chronic pain condition as you go through physical therapy or other treatments with delayed benefits.

Though you will have to visit your pain physician and endure a little pain from the injection, it may save you weeks or months of popping pain meds.

And with an epidural injection, there’s no risk of addiction (unlike even short-term opioid prescriptions).

Back Pain Treatment in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Irving

Texas Pain Physicians is a leading patient-centered pain practice in Dallas, Houston, Irving, San Antonio, and the surrounding areas. 

Our pain specialists partner with you to help you achieve long-lasting pain relief. 

Please give us a call today at (972) 636-5727 or book an appointment online.

Nerve Pain Following Injuries and Surgeries: How It Starts and How It’s Treated..

When you’re injured, you expect to experience:

  1. trauma and pain 
  2. healing (in days, weeks, or months) 
  3. complete restoration of normal feeling (no more pain) 

But sometimes, after a major injury or surgery, that doesn’t happen. 

Sometimes the body’s nerves cause pain after a wound or an injury has healed. 

This chronic pain condition is known as neuropathy. 

What trauma causes chronic nerve pain?

severed nerves: 

  • severed limbs, amputations, and other injuries such as deep penetrating trauma from knife wounds

crushed or compressed nerves: 

  • injuries with enough force to damage nerves (car accidents, sports trauma, falls, and more) 
  • repetitive stress (activities like typing that lead to nerve compression conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome)


  • Prescription Medication

Pain specialists will often recommend prescription medications such as anticonvulsants and antidepressants, which have proven effective in relieving nerve pain.

When nerve pain is accompanied by inflammation, they may also recommend corticosteroid injections.

  • Electrostimulation 

Electrostimulation is a minimally invasive treatment that involves implanting tiny electrode devices into the body that target nerves with low levels of non-painful electrical impulses.

The impulses can deceive the brain into lessening or blocking out the sensation of pain entirely. 

Electrostimulation treatments include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, spinal cord stimulation, and more.

These cause minor or no side effects, and unlike opioids and other pharmaceutical drugs, they don’t lead to dependency.

  • Nerve Blocks

Nerve blocks are injections of anesthetic and steroids into the tissue surrounding the nerves causing pain. 

Your pain specialist may recommend one or more nerve blocks as a diagnostic tool and short-term (1-2 weeks) pain relief treatment.

  • Natural Therapies

Physical therapy is almost always a critical part of the healing and function-recovery process following severe injuries and trauma. 

And some people get relief from other natural therapies such as massage, acupuncture, desensitization, relaxation techniques, and heat and cold therapy.

  • Over-the-Counter Medication

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and aspirin can provide temporary pain relief. 

Get Treatment As Early As Possible!

The chances you will develop chronic pain from neuropathy go down the earlier you receive treatment. 

And it’s vital that you see a nerve specialist (such as a peripheral nerve surgeon) or pain specialist because they have the expertise to determine whether you have nerve damage.

Nerve Pain Treatment in San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas

It may only be temporary pain caused by injury to muscles and bone. 

But if you think you may be experiencing nerve pain after a traumatic injury or major surgery, Texas Pain Physicians can help.

Our pain specialists will find the root cause and develop a treatment plan that works for you.

Please give us a call at (972) 636-5727 or book your appointment online.

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation: 6 Things to Know about This Treatment for Chronic Pain

Maybe you’ve suffered from chronic pain because of a nerve disorder, disease, or injury. 

It could be you’ve tried many treatments that haven’t worked.

Peripheral nerve stimulation may be the treatment that does.

Here are six things to know:

1. What is peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS)?

PNS is a treatment that works by interrupting the signals from your nerves to your brain using electrical impulses. 

These impulses stimulate the peripheral nerves, which run throughout the body — from the head down to the spinal cord and organs, then out to the limbs and extremities.

2. What conditions does it treat? 

  • lower back pain
  • neck pain
  • foot pain
  • complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • diabetic peripheral neuropathy (numbness, tingling, and burning pain in arms, hands, legs, and feet)
  • cluster headaches 
  • occipital neuralgia (headache pain in the back of the head, one side of the head, behind the ears, and in the neck) 
  • chronic migraine 
  • nerve pain of the lower abdomen and upper thigh (ilioinguinal neuralgia)
  • pain from nerve injuries
  • intercostal neuralgia (pain in the chest wall and from top of shoulders down to upper arms and just below the pectorals) 
  • meralgia paresthetica (pain in the outer thigh)
  • pain from hernia surgery or knee surgery
  • peripheral vascular disease
  • post-amputation (stump) pain or phantom limb pain
  • post-herpetic neuralgia (burning pain caused by shingles) 
  • post-thoracotomy syndrome (Pain from chest incision for heart and other vital organ surgery) 
  • trigeminal neuralgia (pain in the face) 

3. What it doesn’t treat.

PNS is less effective for severe pain in the lower extremities (feet), abdomen, and trunk (top of shoulders down to upper arms and just below the pectorals). 

Dorsal root ganglion stimulation is a better treatment for this kind of pain.

It stimulates the cluster of nerve cells near the spinal cord responsible for relaying pain signals between the peripheral nerves and the spinal cord. 

4. Am I a candidate for this treatment? 

First, your pain specialist will find out whether a specific peripheral nerve is causing your pain. 

For example, if you have thigh pain caused by the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve.

Next, they will examine your treatment history. 

They will likely recommend you try conservative treatments such as physical therapy, over-the-counter medications, and nerve blocks before peripheral nerve stimulation. 

5. What does the procedure involve?

A clinician specially trained in anesthesiology (anesthesiologist), physiatry (physiatrist), neurology (neurologist), or neurosurgery (neurosurgeon) performs the procedure.

A nurse or the clinician will first administer a mild sedative (typically through an IV) and a local anesthetic on the skin area where the operation will occur. 

The clinician will then use a small needle or make a small incision for inserting the lead (small wire protruding from the device) near the peripheral nerve. 

The procedure causes mild, post-op pain at the incision or injection site (after the anesthetic has worn off).

It’s performed on an outpatient basis and takes less than an hour. 

6. PNS is NOT to be confused with…

Peripheral nerve stimulation differs from other electrical impulse procedures such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and spinal cord stimulation.

Caring, Advanced Nerve Pain Treatment in Texas

If you have or think you may have chronic pain caused by a nerve disorder, injury, or disease, we can help.

To book an appointment or find out how the friendly, expert pain specialists at Texas Pain Physicians can help, please give us a call at (972) 636-5727 or book online.

Get Lasting Relief from Migraines and Other Headaches with Trigger Point Injections

Throbbing pain in your head can distract you from everything.

You need quick but lasting relief from migraines and other types of headaches.

Trigger point injections are a safe, non-invasive treatment that can provide that relief. 

What are trigger points?

Often called “muscle knots” or just “knots,” trigger points are painful knots of muscle tissue.

They may or may not be visible as lumps on the skin surface.

What causes them? 

Trigger points form when muscles don’t relax. The causes for lack of muscle relaxation include:

  • inadequate exercise
  • performing repetitive mechanical tasks 
  • lower limb mechanical asymmetry (different leg lengths)
  • joint disorders (arthritis, bursitis, gout)
  • poor sleep quality
  • vitamin deficiencies 

How they cause migraine pain.

Trigger points are a common cause of tension headaches, and they can make headache disorders such as migraines worse.

They produce what’s known as ‘referred pain,’ which is pain in other areas of the body.

When trigger points form in the muscles of the head, neck, and shoulder, they can press on nerves, causing headaches and making migraines worse.

How trigger point injections provide migraine pain relief.

Trigger point injections are usually injections straight into muscle knots to release muscle tension.

Typically, a trigger point injection includes a mixture of saline and a local anesthetic such as lidocaine.

The anesthetic reduces or eliminates headache pain by blocking pain receptors surrounding the muscle’s nerves that send pain signals to the brain. 

When inflammation is present, the doctor may use a corticosteroid dose to reduce the swelling and pain.

What is a trigger point injection like?

Depending on the number of trigger points, you may need more than one injection. 

An injection can reduce or prevent headache pain for up to several weeks.

Fast, lasting pain relief!

One injection provides immediate relief from migraines and tension headaches.

The procedure only takes a few minutes and can address more than one muscle knot.

You can have more than one injection session (as needed), and the relief can last for weeks. 

It may take several sessions to experience sustained relief.

Are Trigger Point Injections for You?

You are a strong candidate for trigger point injections if you suffer from headaches due to muscle knots.

But this treatment doesn’t work for everyone. 

Some people are allergic to anesthetics, and some don’t experience relief from the injections. 

Expert Headache Treatment in Texas

If you suffer from migraines, tension headaches, or other types of headache pain, Texas Pain Physicians can help.

Our pain specialists will recommend the best treatment and get you back to your routine. 

Call Today!

To find out more or make an appointment at one of our Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, or other locations, please call us at (972) 636-5727 or book an appointment online.

Facet Block Injections and Nerve Block Injections for Long-Term Pain Relief

You may be living with pain from an injury, disorder, or disease. 

Good and bad days come and go.

But even when the pain goes away, you can count on it to return –  month after month, year after year.

You could spend a lot of time trying DYI and non-traditional therapies and treatments until you start finding relief. 

Or you could visit a pain management doctor. 

Pain Management Injections

Pain management doctors or pain specialists are trained to diagnose chronic pain conditions and apply the most effective minimally-invasive pain relief procedures.

Steroid injection is one of their simplest methods for relieving muscle, joint, and nerve pain.

Two of the most common injections are nerve block and facet joint injections.

The type that pain specialists choose depends on the location and source of your pain.

The Benefits of Pain Management Injections

  • safe and effective 
  • minimally invasive (non-surgical)
  • long-term pain relief (up to several months or longer)

Facet Joint Injections

The facet joints connect the spine’s bones and are found in the neck, chest, and back at each vertebral level. 

Pain specialists use facet joint injections (also known as facet blocks) to discover the source of your pain or treat pain by reducing inflammation in the spine’s joints.

What Facet Joint Injections Treat:

  • back pain due to injury 
  • arthritis damage in facet joints 
  • stress on the spine

Nerve Block Injections

Unlike facet blocks, nerve block injections can help pain specialists identify the source of nerve pain in the legs and feet or treat nerve pain in the head. 

 What Nerve Blocks Treat:

  • A lumbar sympathetic block can treat nerve pain symptoms in the feet and legs.
  • An occipital nerve block can treat nerve pain in the scalp and back of the head. 

Injection Procedures 

For a nerve block or facet joint injection procedure, a doctor or nurse administers two injections (a local anesthetic and steroid) into the designated area.  

Within minutes of the anesthetic injection, you may notice significant pain relief. 

Facet blocks and nerve blocks pain-relief injections are safe and highly unlikely to cause complications compared to surgical alternatives.

Get Long-Term Pain Relief in Texas

Are you tired of taking pain medication every day to keep up with your chronic pain? 

We can give you relief that lasts for weeks or months. 

To find out how pain management injections may help you, give Texas Pain Physicians a call at (972) 636-5727 or book your appointment online.

Nerve Pain and Diet: 7 Things That Can Cause It and Make It Worse

Nerve pain is a symptom of many diseases and illnesses and has multiple causes.

Inflammation makes nerve pain worse. 

In addition to keeping a healthy body weight and remaining active, eating healthy can reduce chronic inflammation and nerve pain (and pain in general). 

Let’s look at seven foods to cut down on or avoid altogether.

1. Fruits and Veggies Grown with Pesticides

For decades government agencies and experts recommended eating lots of fruits and vegetables.

Then the internet happened, and people started learning that organic or natural, non-pesticide-grown foods are healthier and safer.

Eating food grown with pesticides that leach into the soil and skin of fruits and vegetables during the growing process adds toxins to your body, increasing inflammation (among other potentially harmful things). 

How much food with toxic substances should we eat? None, if possible.

2. Refined Sugar

It can be hard to avoid eating and putting in recipes, but eating a lot of sugar can spike your blood sugar levels. 

Elevated blood sugar levels can damage your blood vessels in the long run, which, in turn, can damage your nerves. 

Try to snack on fruit and use natural sweeteners, such as stevia and sugar alcohols.

3. Trans and Saturated Fats

These are the “unhealthy fats” you can find in many meats and dairy. Eating them can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes and worsen nerve pain by increasing inflammation. 

Some healthy fats include avocados, raw sunflower seeds, chia seeds, salmon (organic or natural), and grass-fed meat.

Also, oils like extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil have no saturated fat and provide health benefits.

4. Salty Snacks and Food

Fast food and processed snacks like chips, crackers, salted nuts, jerky, in general, can damage your body in the long run.

So can processed cold cuts and most canned food.

Consuming a lot of salt can block blood flow and cause tingling and numbness in your hands and feet.

Sticking to unprocessed, unsalted, or lower-sodium snacks and natural or organic cold cuts and canned food can keep you out of the danger zone. 

5. Refined and Enriched Grains 

Refined grains include white flour, white rice, and white bread.

‘Refined’ means the nutritional value is removed, leaving your body to digest nothing but empty carbs and refined sugar. 

However, many refined grains are also enriched, a process that adds vitamins removed during refining.

But these grains still lack other essential nutrients like fiber and antioxidants — and they spike your blood sugar. 

Whole grain rice, flour, and bread have fiber and antioxidants and take longer to digest, so you won’t want to eat as much.

6. Alcohol

A drink or two is fine for most people, but too much for too long can damage your nerves. 

A neurotoxin, alcohol can cause nerve damage leading to numbness in the hands and feet when it’s abused.

7. High-Mercury Fish 

Cans and pouches of tuna are convenient, and they’re also toxic if you eat them too often.

Also, some fish on menus and in grocery stores have high mercury levels. 

Try to eat tuna only once in a while, and it may be good to avoid ever eating swordfish and mackerel, which are even higher in mercury.

Low-mercury and nutritious alternatives include salmon and sardines. 


7 Non-Invasive Treatments for Hip Pain

Healthy hips let you twist and turn freely.

But hip injuries, failed hip surgery, and disease and degeneration from aging can keep you from doing all the working, playing, helping, and participating that your life demands.

Non-surgical treatment is the best way to address the pain and restore function. 

Here are seven non-invasive or non-surgical treatments for hip pain.

1. Steroid Injections 

Pain can stop you in your tracks, and when it does, steroid injections directly into the hip can give you immediate pain relief.

Steroid injections contain two main ingredients: a corticosteroid to reduce inflammation and a numbing agent or anesthetic to numb the pain.

2. Platelet-Rich Plasma Infusions 

Taking platelets from your blood and infusing them into your hip area can heal wounds and repair cartilage for hip problems caused by injury. 

There’s no scientific evidence, however, that this therapy is effective for pain due to arthritis. 

3. Nerve Block

Nerve blocks can provide short-term relief for chronic hip pain due to injury or hip surgery (including hip replacement surgery). 

The procedure involves injecting an inflammation-reducing steroid straight into the femoral-obturator nerves to stop them from sending pain signals.

4. Radiofrequency Ablation

Once nerve blocks successfully provide short-term hip pain relief, radiofrequency ablation becomes a viable option for long-term pain relief.

The procedure involves heating and inserting a specially-designed needle into the femoral and obturator nerves running into the hip joints. The needle’s heat can stop these nerves from sending pain signals for more than six months.

5. Trigger-Point Injections

In the hips and other areas, painful muscle knots known as “trigger points” can form when muscles are tense for too long. Often, you can feel these knots under the skin. 

These trigger points can irritate the nerves around them and cause you even more pain. 

A trigger point injection involves injecting an anesthetic, saline, or corticosteroid straight into the trigger point. One procedure can bring long-term relief.

6. Physical and Occupational Therapy

Regardless of what’s causing it, physical therapy can reduce pain over time by increasing flexibility and strengthening muscles and soft tissue.

And when it comes to reducing pain caused by daily life’s demands, occupational therapy can help. Learning healthy sitting and standing posture and sound techniques for movements like lifting objects and sitting up in bed can help minimize or eliminate pain.

7. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Pain Medications

OTC pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) can relieve hip pain and reduce inflammation. 

Treatment for Hip Pain at Texas Pain Physicians

If you have hip pain, please give us a call today. We can explain more about any of these treatments and find out the best option for your specific health situation. 

If you would like to book a visit with us online, please click here.

10 Treatments for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Breaking or spraining a limb or having surgery hurts. That’s normal.

But burning pain, warm, sensitive, and swollen skin, and restricted mobility in your hands and feet long after an injury or surgery aren’t. 

These symptoms could mean complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) — a chronic pain disorder.

Yes, some doctors say it’s just a made-up condition for drug seekers.

And they’re wrong. It’s a real disorder. Here are some minimally-invasive treatments:

1. Nerve Block Injections

Research suggests that injury to or abnormality with the peripheral or central nervous system may cause complex regional pain syndrome.

Nerve block injections can give you quick, extended pain relief by blocking errant nerve signals. 

The two types of nerve block procedures for CRPS are stellate ganglion blocks and sympathetic nerve blocks.

2. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation therapy can relieve chronic pain conditions like CRPS by applying electrical impulses to nerve endings.

3. Spinal Cord Stimulation

This minimally invasive procedure involves inserting tiny electrodes along your spinal cord, which deliver electrical current that can relieve chronic pain.

4. Physical Therapy

For many people affected by CRPS, one of the keys to a better quality of life is improved or fully restored limb function. 

Physical therapy can do this by increasing blood flow, strength, and flexibility in the injured limb.

5. Desensitization

One of the symptoms of CRPS is increased or extreme skin sensitivity. Even gentle contact with the affected limb or area can be painful. 

Desensitization therapy can decrease the sensitivity over time by introducing affected areas to various sensations, including varying textures, weights, and temperatures.

6. Oral and Intravenous Medication

There aren’t any CRPS-specific medications, but the following medicines can help with the pain:

  • over-the-counter pain medications (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin)
  • Antidepressants and anticonvulsants
  • corticosteroids
  • dextromethorphan 
  • intravenous ketamine

7. Topical Pain Medication

Over-the-counter creams and patches, such as lidocaine and capsaicin, can reduce skin hypersensitivity.

8. Occupational Therapy

CRPS can be a debilitating condition that stops you from performing everyday activities and maintaining your school, work, family, and social life.

Occupational therapists can teach and equip you with methods and assistive devices that help you adapt so you don’t have to put your life on hold.

9. Mirror Therapy

With “magical” mirror therapy, you first position yourself next to a mirror.

Next, you hide your CRPS-affected limb, allowing the mirror image of your healthy limb to “take its place.”

Finally, move your healthy limb around and watch it move in the mirror.

The goal is to train your brain to perceive your healthy limb as your CRPS-afflicted limb. Research suggests this might increase flexibility and function and reduce pain.

10. Psychotherapy

How you think can have a massive impact on you physically.

Mental illnesses such as PTSD, major depressive disorder, and social anxiety disorder can make you focus and even obsess about pain symptoms.

That’s why getting your mental illness treated can give your CRPS treatment an added boost.

World-Class Treatment for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome 

At Texas Pain Physicians, our mission is to provide comprehensive pain care to our patients. 

Our board-certified pain physicians work in the most advanced pain care facilities and have the expertise and cutting-edge technology to improve your quality of life and functionality.

Please give us a call or book your appointment online today!

5 Popular Fibromyalgia Myths Debunked

Fibromyalgia is often mistaken for other chronic pain conditions, disorders, and diseases.

There’s widespread misinformation about this disease, which has created a lot of confusion.

Let’s dig into it and separate five common fibromyalgia facts from fiction. 

1. Fibromyalgia isn’t real. (Wrong!!!)

Many doctors tell patients with fibromyalgia symptoms that the disease doesn’t exist. Then a rheumatologist or pain specialist diagnoses them with fibromyalgia. What’s going on here?

It’s simple. Everyone has blood pressure and blood sugar and experiences physical and emotional pain to some degree.

Doctors diagnose diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure) when blood sugar and blood pressure are above the normal range on a sliding scale.

And that’s how they diagnose fibromyalgia, with pain being the variable that goes beyond the normal range instead of blood pressure or blood sugar.

Now, pain and fatigue from exercise, injuries, and lack of sleep comes and goes. It’s normal. But steady pain in several or more body parts for three months or longer isn’t, and fibromyalgia may be to blame.

2. Fibromyalgia is just normal muscle pain. (Wrong!!!)

General practitioners tend to think the cause of muscle pain and discomfort is in the immediate area. So, if your knee or ankle hurts, the problem must be in your knee or ankle. 

The reality, however, is that fibromyalgia pain is likely neurological (a problem with the central nervous system), and has non-pain symptoms.

3. Fibromyalgia is a fallback diagnosis. (Wrong!!!)

It’s often called a fallback diagnosis because there isn’t one specific test or telltale symptom used to diagnose it. 

However, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has developed specific diagnostic criteria.

These factors indicate fibromyalgia (according to the ACR): 

a) Recent pain and other symptoms such as fatigue and mental disturbances in the past week. The pain reaches a specific severity level and occurs in at least several out of 19 parts of the body.

Symptoms include fatigue, non-restoring sleep, and cognitive problems (memory and thinking impairment).

b) At least three months of consistent symptoms.

c) Absence of other health problems to account for these symptoms.

4. Fibromyalgia is just masked depression. (Wrong!!!)

Fibromyalgia and depression (major depressive disorder) are often associated because of their overlapping symptoms.

Many fibromyalgia patients also have depression, and many patients with depression also suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms. 

However, many people with fibromyalgia don’t have depression, and many people with depression don’t have fibromyalgia. 

5. Only women get fibromyalgia. (Wrong!!!)

Women account for at least 75% of fibromyalgia cases, and men are less likely to receive a fibromyalgia diagnosis. However, that doesn’t mean men are less likely to develop the disease.

 Gender-based bias in diagnosing fibromyalgia may be why women account for most cases.

Fibromyalgia Pain Treatment in Texas

Have you been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or think you may have it? At Texas Pain Physicians, our expert pain specialists will find the cause of your pain or discomfort and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.

To learn more or book an appointment, please give us a call. You can also make an appointment online 24/7.