Causes of Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia causes
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Fibromyalgia is a complex and often misunderstood condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and tenderness in localized areas. It affects millions of people worldwide, predominantly women, and can significantly impact quality of life. While the exact cause of fibromyalgia remains unclear, research suggests a combination of genetic, environmental and psychological factors contribute to its development. Notably, there is also a connection between fibromyalgia and drug misuse, particularly involving prescription painkillers.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia causes chronic pain, often accompanied by other symptoms such as sleep disturbances, memory issues and mood swings. People living with fibromyalgia usually describe the pain as a constant dull ache arising from muscles and soft tissues. You may also experience heightened sensitivity to pain, known as abnormal pain perception processing.

The causes of fibromyalgia are multifaceted and not fully understood. However, experts believe several factors contribute to its development.

  • Genetic predisposition: The condition often runs in families, suggesting some genetic mutations may make you more susceptible to developing fibromyalgia.
  • Infections: Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
  • Physical or emotional trauma: Events like car accidents or a loved one’s death can cause fibromyalgia.
  • Psychological factors: People with fibromyalgia may also have co-occurring mental health issues like depression and anxiety, suggesting a possible link between psychological stress and physical pain.

Fibromyalgia and Opioid Use

Doctors often prescribe opioids to their fibromyalgia patients. This drug class can effectively relieve pain, but brings high risk of dependency and addiction. Opioids work by binding to specific receptors in the brain and body. However, their long-term use can lead to several issues.

  • Increased pain sensitivity: Paradoxically, long-term opioid use may decrease your pain tolerance, otherwise known as opioid-induced hyperalgesia. This condition can create a cycle where you require higher doses of opioids, increasing the risk of dependency.
  • Risk of addiction: Opioids’ addictive potential is well-documented. Taking these medications for pain management may cause you to develop a substance use disorder.
  • Masking the underlying condition: Relying on opioids for fibromyalgia pain management can delay the exploration of alternative and potentially more effective treatments like physical therapy and lifestyle changes.

Moving Forward: Approaching Fibromyalgia Treatment

A multidisciplinary approach is the best way to tackle the complexities of fibromyalgia and the risks associated with opioid use.

  • Non-opioid pain management strategies: Non-addictive pain relievers, anti-seizure drugs and antidepressants can help you manage your symptoms without the same risks associated with opioids.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Regular exercise, stress management techniques and healthy sleep habits can significantly improve your quality of life.
  • Supportive therapies: Physical therapy, counseling and support groups can be valuable components of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment in a Comfortable Environment

Fibromyalgia remains a challenging condition to manage, complicated further by the potential pitfalls of opioid use for pain relief. Understanding the causes and connections between fibromyalgia and drug use is crucial for patients and health providers to find safe, effective treatment options.

Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat is a hospital-based, accredited facility where you can find medical care and specialized services under one roof. Our clients receive high-quality, individualized treatment that takes an integrated approach to healing. We offer 24/7 access to hospital-grade support services throughout our entire continuum of care. Contact us to start your recovery today if you have a dual diagnosis of addiction and fibromyalgia.