TMS treatment for fibromyalgiaTranscranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an innovative approach to treating chronic pain
This non-invasive therapy uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the area of the brain associated with the intense sensations, which include burning, itching, or stabbing.
Fibromyalgia is a common chronic condition of widespread pain.
Although widely misunderstood, the pain is usually compared to an intense burning, itching, or stabbing. It can be experienced from head to toe but can be worse in specific areas. Pain experienced may also continue for much longer than it normally would. Making Fibromyalgia very hard to live with.
Another common symptom of Fibromyalgia is fatigue. Fatigue felt by those with this condition can be anything from general continued tiredness to feeling extreme flu-like symptoms. Sometimes this fatigue can be sudden and intensely felt and can even cause you to feel too tired to do anything at all.
Causes of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is often developed following a trauma experience, that acts as a trigger. There are many examples of these triggers, for example an injury or infection, a car accident, childbirth, having an operation, or an emotional event like the breakdown of a relationship or death of a loved one. However this is not true for all those suffering with Fibromyalgia, there are times when it can develop without a triggering event or trauma.
Unfortunately the exact cause of Fibromyalgia is not well known. Although it is a very puzzling condition, continued research is providing interesting insight and attempting to understand it further.
Research has discovered that in those who have Fibromyalgia, the central nervous system produces less serotonin. These people also have a threefold increase in the neurotransmitter substance P, which is a substance found in spinal fluid that transmits pain signals. Leading to the theory that these two differences experienced together, provide the body with disordered sensory processing. Where one person without Fibromyalgia would experience stiffness or slight aches, someone with Fibromyalgia experiences intense pain.
Fibromyalgia is more than just feeling tired or experiencing a little pain. Whilst those with milder cases of Fibromyalgia can lead normal lives given the right balance of treatment, some who have more severe cases are unable to hold down a job or even enjoy any form of social life.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects between 2.9 – 4.7% of people.
The pain felt by someone with Fibromyalgia is often compared to widespread aching or burning. It can be felt from head to toe, with the ability to move around the body. The tiredness experienced is often compared to severe tiredness or even a flu-like illness and can leave someone feeling like they are drained of all energy.
As well as extreme pain and fatigue, the other common symptoms of Fibromyalgia include:
- Increased sensitivity to pain, light, smoke and certain foods
- Unrefreshing sleep, waking up feeling tired and stiff
- Headaches ranging from mild to migraine
- Irritable bowel which alternates between diarrhoea and constipation, and can be accompanied by bad gas in the abdomen
- Cognitive disturbances, mostly known as “fibro fog”, including lack of concentration, temporary memory impairment and word mix up
- Muscle stiffness
- Sensitivity to changes in the weather, noise, lights, smoke and other environmental factors
Fibromyalgia treatment options
Fibromyalgia has numerous symptoms, meaning no single treatment will work for all of them. At present the treatment options for Fibromyalgia are focussed on reducing pain and improving sleep. Therefore it concentrates on the symptoms rather than the cause of the condition.
Other than over the counter pain relief, patients may also visit a pain clinic to attempt to find the right pain management techniques for their symptoms.
Several drug therapies have shown effectiveness in randomised clinical trials. These drugs are usually those that treat depression but are used at a much lower dose, aiming to help with both pain and sleep.
Other than pain killers and drug therapies, a patient may also be prescribed muscles relaxants, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, physical activity like swimming, talking therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychotherapy or relaxation techniques.
Commonly, patients may also try alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, manipulation or aromatherapy.
How does TMS work as treatment for fibromyalgia?
TMS targets the brain to encourage activity in the specific area associated with feeling pain.
TMS returns neural activity to normal levels and encourages the nerve cells to form more connections and stronger connections, with one another. TMS increases the levels of important neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, available for use in the brain.
A full treatment course for Fibromyalgia with Smart TMS starts with 10 sessions, scheduled over a 2 week period. Following this we then provide patients with 2 sessions a month over a 12 month period.
Smart TMS use the most up to date techniques based on the latest scientific research.
Extensive research has been completed into TMS which proves it is a safe and effective Fibromyalgia treatment.
Studies into TMS for Fibromyalgia show that rTMS relieves pain and enhances the quality of life for patients. As well as reducing pain, TMS also reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety that help patients to lead a normal life again.
Is TMS Treatment Right For You?
Try our quick 2 minute questionnaire to see whether TMS treatment could help.
Other treatment prices; TMS for BPD, PTSD, ADHD
We usually recommend an initial course of 15 treatment sessions to make sure TMS works for you.
Additional treatment is booked in courses of 15 sessions.
Dr Neal and his team understand the need to help our patients stay well beyond the end of their TMS treatment. Using research and our own experience, we have designed aftercare packages to provide ongoing care with a planned programme of regular top-up treatments.
Have you had TMS treatment for depression at another clinic? Smart TMS can offer you maintenance therapy, too!