One of Nation’s Top Fibromyalgia Experts Joins Madison River Oaks
CANTON, MISSISSIPPI (by Renee Cotton, June 18, 2012) - Fibromyalgia, is a chronic condition associated with chronic widespread pain, overwhelming fatigue and sleep disturbances. It is a common condition though to affect up to 10 million Americans. In order to assist central Mississippi residents who suffer from this systemic disorder, Madison River Oaks has added Patrick B. Wood, M.D, one of the nation’s renowned medical authorities on the cause and treatment of fibromyalgia, to its active medical staff.
Wood is now treating fibromyalgia patients in the Specialty Center at Madison River Oaks Medical Center. As someone who has studied the disease for many years and successfully diagnosed and treated hundreds of patients with the symptoms associated with this often-debilitating disease, Dr. Wood has one primary message for fibromyalgia sufferers: “There is hope! With the right treatment, your quality of life can be improved.”
“Many times, patients have been misdiagnosed or have simply not sought treatment for their pain and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia,” Wood said. “I have already successfully diagnosed several patients at Madison River Oaks and am looking forward to helping others who have suffered for years with no relief.”
Wood said, the primary symptom of fibromyalgia is aching muscle pains throughout the body in association with characteristic “tender points” and typically accompanied by fatigue, sleep problems, difficulty with concentration and memory, and frequently associated with anxiety problems and mood disturbances.
While fibromyalgia is more common among women of reproductive age (up to 85 to 90 percent of patients are female), Dr Wood has treated men, women and children with the disorder. His youngest patient was nine years old.
Current research has indicated that fibromyalgia is due to changes in the manner in which a patient’s brain and spinal cord process painful sensation. Among that, things that makes fibromyalgia frustrating is that it can be difficult to diagnose. In fact, studies have shown that, on average, it typically takes an average of 5 years for some patients with the condition to finally get a diagnosis. As many as three out of every four people with fibromyalgia remain undiagnosed. Wood feels this is an unacceptable statistic; one he strives to change by informing the public about the symptoms of fibromyalgia and testing patients who present the symptoms.
“There are numerous misconceptions surrounding fibromyalgia, including that it is not a “true disease” or that the symptoms are all “in the patient’s head,” Wood said. “I tell patients that not only is fibromyalgia real, but it is the amplifier of pain that is present in their body. The first step is letting them know their pain is real and there is hope. Their life can be restored to them.”
In addition to muscular pain, many people who have fibromyalgia also experience a variety of other conditions, including tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, restless legs syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome. Among the most under-recognized but most debilitating problems affecting patients are difficulties with concentration and memory, and area in which Wood is particularly interested in helping patients with. While there is no single cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures also may help, Wood said.
Wood said some risk factors for fibromyalgia include a person’s:
- Gender - Fibromyalgia is diagnosed more often in women than in men.
- Family history - You may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia if a relative also has the condition.
- Rheumatic disease - If you have a rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, you may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia as well.
One of the hallmarks of Wood’s practice is the “whole person approach,” which allows him to get to know each patient’s background and any accompanying medical conditions before prescribing a treatment plan.
“I view each patient as unique, with a different background, medical history and symptoms,” Wood said. “With that in mind, I get to know each one on a personal basis. That is the only way I can adequately diagnose and treat their symptoms and ultimately, help them on the path to a better quality of life.”
Wood, a graduate of Louisiana State University Medical School, is a board-certified family medicine physician. He completed fellowships in neuroimaging and psychopharmacology before gaining experience in the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia at a rheumatology clinic in Seattle. In addition to treating patients at the Specialty Center, he also serves on the medical staff at Care Plus at Nissan Parkway.
To learn more about the Specialty Center at Madison River Oaks or to make an appointment with Wood, call (601) 855-4810.
About Madison River Oaks Medical Center
Conveniently located off I-55, just minutes from where Madison County families live and work, the Medical Center is a full-service, state-of-the-art facility designed to meet the healthcare needs of Madison County and beyond. The state’s newest hospital is home to exceptional care, the latest medical technology and highly skilled professionals.