Fibromyalgia means "pain in connective tissue and muscles". It is musculoskeletal condition and is a syndrome rather than a disease. A disease is a medical condition with a specific cause(s) with recognizable symptoms and signs; a syndrome is a group of symptoms, signs, and medical conditions that will happen together but do not have and identifiable cause. “The disorder affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. and an estimated 3-6% of the world population... 75-90 percent of the people who have FM are women.”1
Fibromyalgia is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. It has been known to be called “pain without injury”, and because of the fatigue and pain it can lead to depression and social isolation. It is usually diagnosed in patients that have widespread muscle and joint pain in all 4 quadrants of the body for a minimum of 3 months; also having pain and/or tenderness in 11 of 18 tender points when pressure is applied. It can take up to 4 years to be diagnosed accurately.
Many other symptoms can be associated with this syndrome like:
- Sleep Disorders
- Chronic headaches
- Jaw Pain
- Memory Impairment
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Muscle pain after exertion
Many doctors will use an allopathic approach using prescription medication like: anti-inflammatories, sleep medications, antidepressants, muscle relaxers and the like. They may cause temporary relief, but they usually have side effects that follow. For a more natural approach you have options.
- Changing your diet can help. Adding Magnesium to your diet acts as a natural muscle relaxant, eating more omega-3 fatty acids can increase nervous system and brain function, which can decrease depression and increase concentration and memory functions.
- Reducing caffeine intake, especially before bedtime can help to get more restful sleep. Increasing your quality of sleep will help to reduce fatigue.
- Stress-management can also help address anxiety or depression issues. Cognitive therapy is useful and can be helpful for fibromyalgia patients as it helps to relieve negative emotions and depression.
- Exercise is helpful, but usually fibromyalgia patients cannot do regular gym exercise as it may exacerbate their symptoms. Exercises that offer relaxation, mild stretching, and breathing techniques may work more effectively than vigorous or strenuous exercise.
- Chiropractic care has consistently ranked as one of the therapeutic approaches that offer the most relief for the fibromyalgia patient. Your doctor of chiropractic can also include massage therapy, ultrasound and electrical stimulation in the treatment program, which may help relieve stress, pain, and other symptoms.2
Chiropractic has been shown to provide great relief in fibromyalgia patients. Your doctor of chiropractic will have the knowledge and training to better help you understand your problem(s) and will use a very comprehensive approach to evaluate and design a care program to meet you and your needs specifically. A great treatment program will only work well with active participation, and your chiropractor will help direct you to positive care choices. If your doctor of chiropractic feels that they cannot help you, you will be directed to another health care provider to make sure that you get the best care possible.
National Fibromyalgia Association
. N.p.. Web. 30 Jul 2013. <http://fmaware.org/site/PageServera6cc.html?pagename=fibromyalgia_affected>.
American Chiropractic Association
. N.p.. Web. 30 Jul 2013. <http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=2206>.
"Fibromyalgia and the Chiropractic Lifestyle." 2006. Back Talk Systems