Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain and fatigue. Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose because there is no specific test for it, and other conditions that cause similar symptoms need to be ruled out first. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are treatments that can help with managing the symptoms. Chiropractic care is the treatment of choice for many patients with fibromyalgia.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
• Increased Sensitivity To Pain
• Muscle Stiffness - Especially In The Back And Neck
• Sleep Problems
• Cognitive Fifficulties - Known as "Fibro Fog"
• Digestive Problems, Such As IBS
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
The cause of fibromyalgia isn't known, but it appears to be linked to how the central nervous system manages pain signals throughout the body. Many people with fibromyalgia have lower levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, which are linked to sleep, mood, and pain. Fibromyalgia can sometimes start suddenly after an event such as a medical operation, a relationship breakdown, or bereavement.
Treatments for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia cannot be cured, but there are some treatments that can help manage the symptoms.
One of the main treatments that people with fibromyalgia can be offered is medication. Antidepressants, such as SSRIs, can be given to help manage the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. To help with pain, various painkillers can also be offered. Many patients do not wish to be reliant on drug treatments, however, especially since fibromyalgia is a long-term condition.
Many patients with fibromyalgia are offered talking therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or counseling. This is often more to help with the psychological impact of chronic pain rather than treating the fibromyalgia itself.
How can chiropractic care help with fibromyalgia?
Many patients with fibromyalgia search for an alternative treatment to help with their pain, so as not to be reliant on drug therapies. Chiropractic care takes a whole-body approach to patient treatment. This can include spinal manipulations, but it can also include massage, exercise advice, massage, stretching, posture correction, and more.
Patients with fibromyalgia can benefit from chiropractic therapy in several ways:
• spinal manipulation can help with neck and back pain, which also reduces headaches
• exercise is an important part of the treatment plan for patients with fibromyalgia, and chiropractic care can help with this
• massage offered by chiropractors can help reduce the pain associated with fibromyalgia
In a study that looked at chiropractic care as a treatment for fibromyalgia, it was found that chiropractic care improved the patients' cervical and lumbar ranges of motion, improved their straight leg raise, and reduced their reported pain levels (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9272472/). Improvements in sleep quality and reduction in fatigue have also been found, alongside the reduction in pain levels (https://www.chirocarolinacharlotte.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/JMPT-A-Combined-Ischemic-Compression-and-Spinal-Manipulation-in-the-Treatment-of-Fibromyalgia.pdf).
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition with no cure that can cause a great reduction in patients' quality of life. Chiropractic care can help to manage the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia, which can allow patients to lead fuller and happier lives.