Fibromyalgia and rTMS
Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common and extremely debilitating condition, which currently has no cure and very limited treatment options. This is why all of us at rTMS London are so excited to be able to offer this ground-breaking, medication free therapy.
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a condition that affects people in various ways. People with FMS usually experience widespread pain in their bodies, fatigue that is not improved by rest, and cognitive impairment – known commonly as “brain fog”. Alongside these symptoms, patients often suffer with sleep disturbances, IBS, depression and autoimmune conditions such as hypothyroidism. If you suspect that you may have FMS, you should speak to a rheumatologist so that they can rule out any other possible reasons for your symptoms.
For centuries, FMS was poorly understood, leading some doctors to question whether it was even a real condition. Recent advances in medical imaging, however, have shown that people suffering from FMS have increased activity in the area of the brain responsible for processing pain and other sensory input. This means that any small signals sent by the body will be amplified in the brains of those with FMS, leading to significant sensations of pain, as well as the increased sensitivity to light, temperature and smell that are also common in FMS. This increased activity can also be exhausting for the nervous system, potentially adding to the feelings of fatigue. These findings finally gave some clear insight into the underlying cause of the condition, and opened up new options for treatment.
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive and painless therapy which has been shown to have the ability to alter activity levels in the brain – through the application of painless electromagnetic pulses. In the case of FMS, we use this technology to reduce the activity levels of the brain’s pain processing network, returning it to within a healthy range. Several recent studies have shown this approach to be effective at reducing pain and improving quality of life in people with FMS, with an effect that lasts long after the treatment has ended.
Many of our patients have reported significant improvements in pain, fatigue and mental clarity after treatment, but plenty note reductions in their symptoms of depression and anxiety too. RTMS is frequently used to treat both of these mental health conditions, and it is often a benefit that patients are not expecting.
RTMS London founder Dr Stephanie Barrett is delighted to be the first Rheumatology clinic in the U.K to offer this pioneering treatment for FMS. We are especially excited that we are able to offer people a new, effective therapy for FMS, as the current treatment options are incredibly limited and ineffective for many. Our aim is to make rTMS more widely recognised so that many more people with this common and devastating condition can finally get the help that they need.
To find out whether rTMS would be suitable for you, please contact our friendly team.
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