Chronic pain syndromes treatment
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Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia’s symptoms are extreme fatigue and body-wide pain, which in turn can lead to sleep disorders, memory problems, depression and anxiety. Symptoms of fibromyalgia typically appear between the ages of 30 and 55, although the disease can occur in children.
Other common related problems include restless leg syndrome, endometriosis, headaches, and bowel problems. There is no known cause and no cure, but prescriptions of drugs such as duloxetine, milnacipran and pregabalin can be prescribed to treat it.
Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) occurs when the immune system attacks healthy tissues and causes flu-like symptoms such as aching as well as stiffness. It typically affects the upper arms, neck, hips, thighs or buttocks in people older than 50, especially Caucasian women.
Stiffness can become worse due to lack of use, which can also result in increased muscle weakness. Symptoms usually resolve with treatment. PMR can be treated with corticosteroids and NSAIDs. Exercise and rest are also recommended.
Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) is caused when the immune system attacks blood vessels, usually in the head and neck. Inflammation results in blocked vessels and interrupted blood flow. Caucasian women between 70 and 80 are most likely to develop the disease, whose cause is unknown.
Symptoms include flu-like symptoms, dizziness, double vision and tenderness of the head and scalp. Corticosteroids are prescribed to reduce swelling and the risk of blindness. GCA has also been linked to an increased risk of aneurysms, even years later.
Sjogren’s Syndrome occurs when the immune system attacks cells of the exocrine glands, which produce moisture in the body. The disease can develop on its own or as a complication of another autoimmune disease. Its cause is unknown, but women are more likely to be affected than men.
Common symptoms include itchy eyes, mouth sores, nasal dryness and vaginal dryness. Sjogren’s syndrome has no cure and symptoms vary in severity and duration. Medications can manage symptoms, such as increasing saliva flow, keeping eyes moist and reducing inflammation.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus most commonly affects women between the ages of 15 and 45; African American women are the most at risk of developing the disease. Lupus causes fatigue, joint pain, rashes, sores and headaches, but the cause of the disease, which results in the immune system attacking itself, is unknown.
Lupus can cause additional health problems such as high blood pressure, kidney inflammation, anemia or Sjogren’s syndrome. There is no cure, but symptoms can be treated with NSAIDs, corticosteroids, and other medications.
Behcet’s Syndrome occurs when the immune system attacks blood vessels, resulting in their inflammation. Symptoms typically begin in a person’s 20s or 30s and include mouth or genital sores, joint pain, muscle aches and fatigue.
More serious symptoms include loss of coordination, blood clots or vision loss. The cause of Behcet’s syndrome is unknown. There is no cure, but treatment can reduce pain and limit complications. Treatment options include corticosteroid treatments and other anti-inflammatory medicines.
Scleroderma occurs when the body produces too much collagen, which is a connective tissue. This overproduction results in thickened skin with hard patches in one or more locations – in fact, scleroderma means “hard skin”.
Scleroderma can also cause joint pain and stiffness or even hardening of underlying bone and muscle. There is no cure, although some cases resolve on their own. Corticosteroids and other drugs can help reduce inflammation but do not treat the underlying cause of excess collagen.