CONGRATULATIONS! You are about to start what may be the most significant treatment you have ever had for fibromyalgia or chronic pain. The following is information designed to help you better understand what your treatment will entail and how you are to help in the final outcome of this unique care. Use this as a reference guide when you may not remember exactly what was discussed on your initial visit. We try to be very thorough and as a result patients can be overwhelmed with the amount of information discussed with them on the visit. So that we can achieve the best results for you, it is important to keep us apprised of any changes in your condition for the better or worse. We evaluate what we will do next on each visit and it is your input that directs our thinking to plan your treatment. You are encouraged to ask any questions related to your care and any confusion should be cleared up with your doctor on each visit. We are here to serve you. Our doctors, staff and administrative personal are here to address any need you have related to your care.
You may or may not have had fibromyalgia or chronic pain for a long time. The good news is that this unique treatment program has proven to be as effective in either case. Older patients may have other concomitant health problems along with fibromyalgia or chronic pain and therefore recovery may be slower, further, the longer you have had fibromyalgia or chronic pain, the more muscle de-conditioning there will be and the longer rehabilitation of muscle strength will be.
Remember this is not an instant cure; so don’t expect all your pain and symptoms to be gone in the first 2 or 3 treatments.
What you will usually know by the third or fourth treatment is whether this treatment will work for you or not. If it appears that you will not be a responder, we will review your chart and see if there is anything we could do to get some response. If we feel that there is something we could try differently, we will discuss this with you; however, if our review indicates that it is unlikely that our treatment will work for you, we will tell you and recommend stopping any further treatment for the fibromyalgia. It has been our experience that if you have not noticed some significant changes by this period of time, that it is very unlikely that another 10 or 20 treatments will help either.
Is treatment always comfortable?
YES, come ready to relax and sleep while being treated. Wearing loose fitting and comfortable clothing facilitates pad placement and set up.
Two Important Components of your care.
Pain relief: An important aspect of the waveform therapy that has been written focus on re-establishing the normal functioning of the opioid system, which is the modulator for pain. Once a more normal functioning of these modulators is established and a homeostatic condition is achieved, the pain will resolve. This usually takes 12 to 14 treatments over 6 or 7-week period of time.
Muscular Rehabilitation: Any patient who suffers from fibromyalgia or chronic pain will experience muscle de-conditioning from disuse. The longer one has been affected by fibromyalgia or chronic pain and the older the patient, the longer the time that may be required to restore normal muscle tone, strength and endurance. Once the pain relief phase of care is over, we will evaluate the present state of your muscular strength and endurance. From this data, we will begin waveform therapy we have programmed for muscular rehabilitation. If at any time during the rehab process you experience any relapse or a return of pain, we will address that pain, then continue with the muscular rehabilitation. This phase is an important part to the long lasting effects you desire. Two visits per week for 3 to 4 weeks will be sufficient in most cases.
The final outcome for most patients’ ranges from complete relief with no symptoms to a 50 to 70 % reduction in pain and symptoms, all of which is life changing for the patient. Relief has proved to be long term with occasional exacerbations that are easily resolved. We have patients that have maintained relief from their fibromyalgia symptoms for years.
What to expect on or after your first few treatments
Some patients feel more relaxed and less stiff while others feel no changes at all. Some patients will notice more dramatic positive changes as the treatments progress, while others will notice changes, but they are more subtle. This is no indicator as to the final outcome that one will eventually experience.
Positive changes you may notice
Changes in your sleep pattern. Can be:
- Sleeping deeper
- Sleeping longer
- Not waking as often
- Feeling more rested in the morning
- Less pain upon waking (You know that feeling that you were ran over by a Mack Truck is gone)
Changes in your ability to perform normal activities of daily living:
- Cleaning (any household chores)
- Work required at the office
- Participating in family activities
Other changes you may notice:
Mental clarity gradually returns and you may find yourself feeling happier, not as stressed. A general sense of well-being and optimism will return for many. A change countenance is noticeable. The heaviness leaves. Muscles feel more relaxed not as stiff, greater endurance, less pain on daily activities, able to walk further, stand longer, sit longer, or perform daily living activities with less discomfort. Not as sore or tired at the end of the activity. “CAUTION”: don’t over do it, even if you feel you can. Allow some time for your body to adapt to the positive changes that are taking place, don’t push yourself. You will be able to do these things in time if you are a responder. Remember you have had this condition for sometime now and there is no way any treatment will correct years of the problems you have been suffering in just days. Exercise a little more patience. We know you have become an expert at this by the time you reach our office.
Could the treatment cause my condition to get worse or could I hurt more after treatment?
The treatment is safe with no known side effects. The treatment will not make your condition worse! It is possible to feel a temporary increase in pain or discomfort if the program intensity is higher than you can tolerate comfortably. Pad placement, the program used and intensity all affect the amount of muscular involvement during treatment. Some patients are more sensitive than others and can only tolerate a minimal amount of therapy. All therapy is comfortable, but the day after response can vary greatly, from great relief to mild increase of pain. Our first treatment is designed to initiate some relief and to determine the sensitivity of the patient. Each successive treatment gives us greater insight of how to treat you, which programs, what intensity and what pad placement is best for you. No two patients are alike and therefore no treatment is alike. The basic nature of the treatment, meaning the specific cells, tissues and body systems in which we direct our treatment are the same, but the specific protocol, meaning pad placement, intensity and duration of specific programs may differ greatly. If you become sore, we adjust the protocols used to accommodate to your needs. This is a simple fix and why your communication with the treating doctor is so important. By informing us of any and all changes experienced between treatments, we can adapt the treatment to your specific needs.
Things that can interfere with positive results
It is common for patients to increase their physical activity as they feel better. This is certainly understandable, but caution should be paid to the amount that you increase your activity. Most patients have diminished physical capacity from de-conditioning resulting from the reduced physical activity in their lives from pain. To push the limits of physical activity is to invite muscle soreness. This is the same type soreness a person will experience if they start an exercise program after a long period of inactivity. In the next day or two they can become so sore that normal daily activities are uncomfortable and even painful. The same can and will happen to you just by increasing your physical activities. This can discourage patients and make them feel as if they are not making any progress. Therefore, we prefer our patients not push their newfound feeling of well-being and abilities to the limit. It is best to gradually increase your physical activity.
If you are undergoing a period of unusual or extreme emotional stress whether from work, family or social origins, this can be very inhibitive and slow the usual expected response or outcome.
Your responsibility as a patient
It is important to keep your appointments if you wish to get the best results. It has been our experience that being seen 3 times a week for the first 3 to 4 weeks is most productive. A schedule of two treatments a week can be effective, but it will take longer to achieve the desired results. It is doubtful that less than two treatments a week is therapeutic in the early stages. Changes may occur but very unlikely.
Once significant pain relief has been achieved we will reduce the frequency to two treatments per week until maximum pain relief has been achieved. We will then start the muscular rehabilitation phase of care. As soon as your strength and endurance has returned to a normal level for your age and life style, you will be released from ongoing care.
If you stop care after one or two treatments you will have wasted your time and money, as no patient has ever responded that fast and it is impossible to ascertain whether you will or will not respond until your third or fourth treatment.
We have had a number of patients that were not really sure if they were responding until the 5th treatment. Each patient is different, but the worse thing is not giving this effective treatment enough time to work for you. If you stop care prematurely you may never know if it would have been that life changing treatment you have been longing for. The effects of treatment are cumulative in nature with each treatment taking us closer to our goal. We take each patient as if they were the most important patient we have, because you are. We never want to create false hope, yet we never want a patient to fall short of knowing if this treatment will work for them. Most patients will know by the third treatment, without any help from us, if our protocols are working for them, but this is not the case for everyone. If nothing appears to be working by the third treatment, we will review your records to see if there is anything new we can try and make an evaluation if continuing for another one or two treatments make sense for you. One of the hardest things we have to do is tell a patient that we don’t feel further treatment will have any better results, as we know this leaves the patient in the same miserable condition they were in when they came to us, which for the most part means very little hope of improvement. We appreciate the time, money and inconvenience it is to undergo any treatment regime. In short we want to treat every patient we feel we can help, but don’t want to waste the time or resources of patients we cannot help.
Will I need to come in for follow up care in the future?
Most of our patients have no need for ongoing care. If something happens that causes your symptoms to return, we recommend that you call and set an appointment as soon as possible. Usually one or two treatments will have you “back in the saddle” so to speak. We have never found it necessary for anyone to undergo a full course of care again. Some patients will get complete or nearly complete relief from the fibromyalgia or chronic pain, but may have osteoarthritis or some other neuro-musculo-skeletal problem and we will treat those conditions as needed with appropriate but different protocols and programs. Some of these health problems will require treatment on an as needed basis to control the pain and inflammation associated.
Is there on going research and modification of protocols?
YES, example; in the past we found patients on narcotics would generally feel worse after treatment. This was because we were knocking the narcotic off of the opioid receptor and the patient was experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms. This is no longer a problem. Through research, we developed and wrote new wave form therapy programs to treat patients taking narcotics that avoid stimulation of the Mu receptor. Before this advance in our knowledge we had to refer patients to the hospital to be detoxified then return to us and resume treatment. We are now able to comfortably detoxify and treat the patient at the same time.
We are constantly learning from our patients and research material. We hope the more we learn the greater our responses will be. We have achieved such great success with our treatment protocols and programs; one might ask why we continue to research. It is simple, not everyone responds. Most do but some don’t. We want to know why. At this time, we are unable to determine if a patient will be a responder or not from the information obtained in the history and examination. It would be of value for all to know as soon as possible if you will respond or not. We are also looking for more efficient ways to treat our patients, is there a better pad placement that can be utilized, can we shorten or should we lengthen treatment times. We are always searching for ways to improve the quality of our care. We are excited about what we are doing for patients and hope that you will be also.