Living with Fibromyalgia

Do you frequently suffer from pain throughout your body? Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. It may be in your shoulder, your neck, your sides, or your legs. It may be bearable, or it may be excruciating. If this sounds familiar, you may have a condition known as fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is the most common chronic pain condition, affecting nearly 10 million Americans. It causes varying musculoskeletal pain throughout your body, and the symptoms, severity, and location of the pain may change from day to day. It also leads to severe fatigue and a number of other problems, including fogginess, depression, cystitis, migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome.

At our office in Timonium, Maryland, Dr. Wayne Bonlie approaches your pain and symptoms with an open mind, listening to your specific needs and pains. He works with you to create a customized treatment plan that takes your pain and lifestyle into account while providing you with the best possible relief for your pain.

Unfortunately, researchers still aren’t certain exactly what causes fibromyalgia, but it’s believed that it’s caused by a dysfunction in your neurological system. This dysfunction creates and sends random pain signals to your brain without an actual cause for the pain. Although a specific cause hasn’t been narrowed down, we do know that some infections and trauma -- both physical and emotional -- can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms.

Living with fibromyalgia

The first thing you should do after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia is evaluate how you treat your body. It’s always important to listen to your body and not push it further than it can handle. Overexertion is one of the fastest ways to bring on a flare.

Many fibromyalgia patients, especially women, tend to push through the pain and exhaustion and inadvertently make their flare-ups even worse. If you begin to feel exhausted, find yourself groggy, or have trouble coping daily, that’s a major sign that you need to step back and relax more.

Fibromyalgia doesn’t have to mean you can’t do anything -- just that you shouldn’t always do everything. Listen to your body and hold others to the same standards. It can be difficult to put yourself first when life is pulling you in different directions -- work, school, kids, social circles, and then some -- but by refusing to listen to your body, you’ll end up running your energy and abilities dry.

Treat your body with respect, too. Eat nutritious foods, stay hydrated, and find low-impact exercise routines that help keep your body in shape. After your diagnosis, we’ll assist you with all of this by approaching your treatment using the SHINE protocol.

The SHINE protocol

The treatment plan we develop for you follows the SHINE protocol, which includes therapies specifically designed to improve several aspects of your life:


If you’re ready to stop struggling with your fibromyalgia and start living your life again in spite of it, we’re here to help. Contact us online or call us at (410)994-2380 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Bonlie.

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