What is it and how is it diagnosed?
Fibromyalgia is one of the most common types of chronic pain disorders. It is estimated between 5-10 million people in the United States have fibromyalgia and an estimated 3-6% of the world’s population! Although fibromyalgia affects both men and women, approximately 75-90 percent of fibromyalgia sufferers are female diagnosed in their 30’s.
To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a patient will typically possess a minimum of 11 out of 18 specific tender points on the body. In addition to widespread pain, patients will also report long-term fatigue, and/or disturbed sleep and mood. Additional symptoms associated with fibromyalgia can vary greatly, ranging from neck pain, tension headaches, TMJ, IBS, digestive problems, low back pain, sciatica, anxiety, depression, RLS, and insomnia.
Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia
Treatments for fibromyalgia include medications, self-care, and alternative treatments. Medications include over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve). Your doctor may prescribe anti-depressants like Cymbalta or Savella to ease the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. Anti-seizure medications, such as Gabapentin and Lyrica are also commonly prescribed to fibromyalgia sufferers. While there is limited research on the benefits of chiropractic treatment for fibromyalgia patients, early results indicate that regularly seeing a chiropractor could lead to a reduction in many of the unpleasant symptoms of this painful condition.
Treating Fibromyalgia with Chiropractic Care
Evidence suggests that fibromyalgia patients see chiropractors on a regular basis, and for good reason. Chiropractors are extensively trained and specialize in the neuromusculoskeletal system, and one of the primary focuses of chiropractic care is performing adjustments that lead to improvements in the patient’s nervous system. Since the nervous system is responsible for processing all of the information from the outside world, it only makes sense that problems in the nervous system could be responsible for the pain and discomfort fibromyalgia patients experience as the result of certain stimuli that do not affect others. With this mind, it is also logical to assume that if chiropractic treatment leads to improvements in the nervous system, it could lead to a reduction in fibromyalgia symptoms.
Misalignments of the spinal bones (subluxations) put pressure on the nerves and interrupts the communication between the brain and the body. The nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and nerves) controls and coordinates the function of the entire body. Chiropractic adjustments restore proper alignment to the spine and remove irritation to nerves, allowing neurological messages to be passed from the central nervous system to the body and back to the brain.
Our goal is to get your spine and nervous system functioning at 100%, and reduce the pain of fibromyalgia. Chiropractic manipulation can be helpful for people with fibromyalgia—but you know your body best! Weigh your options, and decide if chiropractic is something you’d like to try as a natural alternative.
If you are looking for effective alternatives to medications for treating your fibromyalgia suffering, please contact our doctors to schedule a free consultation. We will work closely with you to fully understand your situation, help you find the cause of your suffering and develop a treatment plan that will help you achieve the relief you need.