Fibromyalgia Treatment

Fibromyalgia Treatment in Carlsbad

Fibromyalgia Care at Rheumatology and Wellness in Coastal North County, CA

What is fibromyalgia and how does it impact patients?

This is a terrible syndrome characterized by whole body pain as its most obvious feature, but, at its worst, becomes associated with a variety of symptoms that wreck your quality of life. These range from crushing fatigue, headaches, brain fog, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome or its symptoms, tingling/numbness without organic explanation, and terrible pain following even the most mild activity.

The challenge with this terrible syndrome is the lack of recognition and lack of treatment options available. This pain is invisible; no one around you, sometimes even your loved ones, will fully understand. Doctors may tell you all the tests are normal and “it’s all in your head”. At worst, some physicians won’t treat you or refer you elsewhere.

How does Dr. Fellows treat fibromyalgia patients?

Fibromyalgia, and its likely related cousins ME/CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), hypermobility disorders (i.e. Ehler-Danlos), long-COVID syndromes, are all afflictions that can be life-altering. They don’t define you nor need to control you. These are afflictions that require a whole-body, holistic approach to improve. Dr. Fellows manages these by attempting to understand you as a person, not the disease, and uses that insight to customize a treatment plan that can improve your symptoms from day one and often leads to substantial improvement, or, in many cases, remission.

How is his approach different or better than others?

Appointments to manage this at Synergy Rheumatology are longer than can be found in any traditional insurance system – this provides the time to fully understand the direction we need to work towards as a patient/physician team. Frequent follow-ups to check on progress aren’t the exception, they’re what you can expect – Dr. Fellows believes frequent touchpoints, whether this be by visit in-office, virtually over video, or by phone/text message help keep you in control of your symptoms.

What patients can expect during treatment.

At the first appointment, a comprehensive plan is developed that starts moving us toward tackling any outside issues or medical issues that might be making the problem worse. Referrals may be needed, for instance to sleep medicine or physical therapy. Medication is often started to reduce the pain and help manage related issues like insomnia. A self-guided exercise problem is often recommended on day one but tailored to each situation. On follow-up visits, adjustments to the plan are made gradually as we move towards relief. Once good control of symptoms is met, we move to a monitoring phase with periodic check-ins and as necessary refills of any medications if they’re still required.

Patients with fibromyalgia are strongly encouraged to become members of the practice to achieve the level of access and flexibility needed to treat this well. This enables the frequent visits, phone/text check-ins, and flexibility to adjust the treatment approach when needed or to handle flares quickly when they arise.