St Joseph’s launches Fibromyalgia Centre of Excellence.

Date Posted: 1st February 2018

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a long-term chronic condition that causes widespread pain and tenderness. The condition is quite common, with estimates that up to 1 in 25 may be affected. Widespread pain, fatigue and sleep disturbance are the main symptoms of fibromyalgia, however other symptoms may include poor circulation, headaches, irritability, an urgent need to urinate, particularly at night, and irritable or uncomfortable bowels.

What causes it?

Whilst it’s not yet known exactly what causes fibromyalgia, research suggests that it involves physical, psychological and neurological factors. The pain those with fibromyalgia feel is caused by the way the brain and nervous system process pain.

How is it diagnosed?

Fibromyalgia is often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms experienced vary from person to person and could be caused by a number of conditions and illnesses. There isn’t a simple test to confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and this is why it is recommended to see an experienced, specialist consultant for advice.

What we offer at St Joseph’s Hospital

St Joseph’s offers a unique ‘one stop’ service led by eminent pain management consultants and supported by a full multi-disciplinary team.

Consultants undertake a thorough analysis of the patient’s pain syndromes, optimise medication and may perform injections and advanced techniques such as radiofrequency.

Physiotherapists are available to perform a mobility assessment, posture assessment and develop a bespoke programme to improve your quality of life.

Hydrotherapy is water-based therapy used in the treatment of several conditions, which can help in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Hydro-massage is a gentle form of body and mind therapy performed in warm water. Acupuncture is a method of pain relief that involves stimulating sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles of the body, resulting in the body producing natural substances, such as pain relieving endorphins. Counselling is offered as part of the individual’s treatment plan, along with seamless access to clinical psychology or psychiatry as needed.

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