Chronic pain can be debilitating and anyone who suffers with pain daily will tell you that finding treatment that works is an absolute must!
There are many conditions that can lead to chronic pain and the cause of each one helps determine which treatment(s) will be effective.
Good examples of this are polymyalgia rheumatica and fibromyalgia. These are two very different conditions that share some of the same symptoms including fatigue, morning stiffness and pain in several similar parts of the body. Based on these shared symptoms alone one might struggle to determine which disease a patient has.
Confusion like this can lead to inappropriate treatment, which at best would be completely ineffective and if we consider the worst-case scenario could potentially subject the patient to medications and therapies that contribute to unnecessary side effects.
As a private rheumatology clinic in Pearland, Texas our doctors specialize in these conditions and can easily differentiate between them as well as many other chronic pain causing conditions. This enables us to provide the appropriate treatment with medications and other therapeutic modalities to help treat the cause of the disease and to address all the symptoms associated with it.
To further make the point of the importance of starting with the right diagnosis let’s look a little further at the two conditions mentioned above.
Polymyalgia rheumatica affects mainly women between 70-79 years of age. It is inflammatory in nature and requires steroid medication to treat it. It is also associated with some other serious conditions like giant cell arteritis that can lead to complications such as blindness if not treated immediately with the appropriate medication
Fibromyalgia on the other hand affects mainly women between 20-50 years of age and is not an inflammatory condition at all. Its cause is not fully understood but factors such as genetics, environment, and the neuroendocrine system all play a role. Fibromyalgia is treated with lifestyle modifications and sometimes medication as well.
These two examples help demonstrate the importance of getting the right diagnosis to ensure swift and appropriate treatment for your condition. If you were misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia when you actually had polymyalgia rheumatica you wouldn’t be prescribed the steroid medication that could vastly improve your condition and even more importantly your care provider wouldn’t be providing the individualized, follow up monitoring for complications like giant cell arteritis to make sure this condition is caught before you lose your vision.
Do you need help getting the proper diagnosis and treatment for your chronic pain? Come to Prime Rheumatology, in Richmond, Texas where we are the leading experts in all rheumatologic conditions.