Interviewer: In some cases, widespread muscle and joint pain can point to fibromyalgia. It will not only affect physical pain, but it can involve mental pain as well. Dr. Rudy Gari from Florida Pain Relief Group joins us now, with some help. Dr. Gari, great to have you here.
Dr. Gari: Thanks a lot.
Interviewer: Let’s talk about what causes fibromyalgia in the first place.
Dr. Gari: Sure. So fibromyalgia, we’re not really sure the exact causes of it, but here’s what we do know. So if you break down the word fibromyalgia, fibro means fibrous, and myalgia means muscle, inflammation of the muscles. What we know is that it tends to affect predominantly women, we’re not really sure why it does, but it does. And it involves a process whereby your fibrous tissues and your muscles combine to cause inflammation, and it can be very debilitating in a lot of people. There’s different things that could be done, we know what can help. For example, we know what makes it worse is usually stress, tension, so the treatment for that is relaxation and techniques to lower that threshold.
Interviewer: Is this really common, among a lot of women in particular, that you see?
Dr. Gari: Yes, it’s very common. We have a lot of patients with fibromyalgia, and the way that we treat them is comprehensively, and that involves relaxation techniques, physical therapy. Sometimes we do these things called trigger point injections, and trigger points are actually like little muscle spasms that can develop in patients with fibromyalgia, throughout your body. It’s a pretty simple technique, we just go in there with a very small needle and break up these little trigger points. We also give them medications to help them relax, and we find that with that comprehensive approach, we can give them their life back.
Interviewer: Yeah, I was going to ask you, what kind of reactions are you getting from patients who you’re helping? Because I’m sure a lot of them, for a long time, they weren’t being diagnosed. And they kept saying, or people might have been saying, “Well, are you depressed?”, and they weren’t getting to the heart of what was wrong with them. So we mentioned physical, how it hurts, but how mentally it can be so hurtful, for so many people. So what are you finding from the people that you’re treating with this?
Dr. Gari: Sure, well one of the things that would happen the last…many years ago, the first thing that we tell them is that this pain is real.
Interviewer: And that’s half the battle for so many people, right?
Dr. Gari: Yes, this pain is real, and sometimes I tell patients that, and they begin to cry.
Interviewer: Yeah, because nobody has listened to them.
Dr. Gari: No, this pain is real, this is real pain. You’re having this pain, it’s not just in your head. You’re feeling this, but the good thing is we can help you with this. And that you’d be…it’s almost as if it’s like tons of weight off their shoulders, that somebody understands what they have and that we can do something about it.
Interviewer: Do you see gentlemen at all with fibromyalgia?
Dr. Gari: We do see men with fibromyalgia, not as common as women, but we treat them the same way. This happens in both, it’s not just unique to women, it also affects men.
Interviewer: So apart from finally having somebody listen to them, and saying “Yes, I’m validating that you’re feeling what you’re feeling,” how quickly can people start to feel some kind of relief?
Dr. Gari: I’ve had patients come into the office with significant pain, mostly from trigger points. We do the trigger point injections right in the office, and they come out a different person. You can just look at their face. I wish I could take a picture of their face before and after. So it can be immediate, but that’s just the immediate treatment of the trigger points. We then go more comprehensive with everything else and make it more long-term.
Interviewer: Well, I know this is really encouraging news for a lot of people that are watching right now because fibromyalgia does affect a lot of people, and they’re looking for help. Dr. Gari, thank you very much for joining us today. Florida Pain Relief Group even schedules same day appointments. Be sure to visit their website, floridapainreliefgroup.com, or give them a call right now 844-KICK-PAIN. Doctor, thank you again. We’ll be right back.