Fibromyalgia, a condition that causes abnormal pain processing in the central nervous system throughout the body, affects roughly 4 million adults in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in addition to the widespread pain, fibromyalgia also causes sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress. Due to the increased sensitivity to pain, those who suffer from it struggle to accomplish most tasks without feeling bursts of pain ripple through their body. It is not hard to imagine how this kind of condition can cause someone to lose control of their lives.

The condition, which was originally labeled a syndrome, was medically recognized in the 1980’s. However, it was considered a “controversial condition.” It was not until 1990 that it received its current classification, when it was published in a medical journal by The American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Most commonly, fibromyalgia is “characterized by impaired concentration, problems with short and long-term memory, short-term memory consolidation, impaired speed of performance, inability to multitask, cognitive overload, and diminished attention span.”

Surprisingly, despite the condition receiving awareness nearly 40 years ago, its causes are still unknown. What is known, however, is how it that it impairs neurotransmitters that are responsible for stress response, memory formation, pain, and inflammation. Several hypotheses have been developed, and some suggest that factors like genetics, lifestyle and trauma, sleep disturbances, psychological factors, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity may play a role.

Fibromyalgia is usually treated and managed with medication and physical therapies with the hopes that it provides some relief. However, it usually does not provide enough.

Until just recently, it would have seemed like a hopeless situation if traditional antidepressants and pain medications were not effective. Fortunately, there are new and effective treatments available for fibromyalgia. Boasting dual therapeutic value—offering relief for both pain and depression—ketamine has proven to be a viable option. Recent studies have shown how effective it is at managing pain and relieving depression due to the unique way it works through the glutamate system, and affects memory formation in the brain. The hope is that by using this treatment, patients will be able to renegotiate the pathways that their brain uses to experience pain. This renegotiation should lead to decreases in emotional and physical sensitivity, and therefore dramatic increases in relief—and control over their lives—once again.

Contact Elev8 MD Wellness Center

At Elev8MD, we offer a wide range of mind-body services to offer a holistic and integrative approach to depression treatment, pain management, and overall wellness. We offer ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression, psychiatric disorders, and chronic pain, as well as talk therapy, reiki and other wellness services. Contact our Charlotte area wellness center today for more information on our services and how we can help you live your greatest life.