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Fibromyalgia is a chronic neurosensory disorder that is marked by widespread musculoskeletal aches, multiple defined tender points, joint stiffness, fatigue and disturbed and nonrestorative sleep. The condition is chronic (ongoing), but pain comes and goes and moves about the body. The most common sites of pain include the neck, back, shoulders, and pelvis, but any body part can be involved.1
Fibromyalgia patients describe increased sensitivity to pain with such terms as exhausting, miserable, or unbearable. Tender Points may occur at nine bilateral locations clustering around the neck, shoulder, chest, hip, knee, and elbow regions.
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown and often times combined symptoms are misunderstood. At one time fibromyalgia was dismissed by many traditional medical practitioners as a phantom illness. Despite extensive research, no structural pathology has been identified in muscles or other tissues. Abundant evidence now indicates that pain in fibromyalgia reflects abnormal pain processing in the central nervous system.2
Frustration is often multiplied when not only does one experience tender and trigger points in many areas of the body but also experiences, sleeplessness, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, irritable bladder, “brain fog”, depression and anxiety. This combination of other symptoms/issues may make it difficult to find an effective solution and may make it more difficult to find an accurate diagnosis. Many patients find themselves taking a myriad of medications to combat all different aspects of pain and discomfort associated with this disease.
Many more sufferers are turning to non-medical approaches for symptom relief including low-impact exercise, acupressure, acupuncture, nutritional and massage therapy.3 Many are achieving results with Subluxation-based Chiropractic care. This natural approach frees the body from a severe form of stress found in the body called subluxation. Subluxation is a spinal misalignment which causes nerve impingement, inhibiting normal flow and energy transmission specific areas of the body.4 This distortion of the spine and structural system stresses your brain, spinal cord and central nervous system.
Several studies have been successfully documented in which patients with fibromyalgia received improvement after receiving chiropractic care. In one study 23 fibromyalgia sufferers with chronic fatigue syndrome from 11 to 76 years of age received chiropractic care. All 23 patients reported improvement and all of them maintained their improvement after one year of follow-up or more. Every patient reported that they were able to resume their normal activities including full-time work.5
Brigadier General Becky Halstead served 27 years in the U.S. Army and was the first female general to command troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sharing her experience on how chiropractic care helped her recover from debilitating chronic fibromyalgia, she states, “Chiropractic care provided me with a better quality of life [… ] Traditional medicine did not work for me…doctors of chiropractic not only allow but strongly encourage the patient to be part of the solution for their wellness.”6
In another study of 15 women with fibromyalgia who began chiropractic care, 60% reported a statistically significant lessening of pain intensity and corresponding improvement in quality of sleep and fatigue level after 15 and 30 treatments. After 30 treatments, these women reported an average lessening of 77.2% lessening in pain intensity and improvement of 63.5% in sleep quality and 74.8% improvement in level of fatigue.7
Since accidents cause subluxation, it is no coincidence that many who suffer from fibromyalgia have suffered from trauma or accidents. There is strong evidence supporting an association between trauma and fibromyalgia with one published study 8 showing that adults with neck injuries had greater than a 10-fold increased risk of developing fibromyalgia within one year of their injury, compared with adults with lower extremity fractures.
When free of subluxation, your body is able to communicate freely as nerves are not inhibited in their flow of energy. Everyone with a spine needs a body free of subluxations. If you or a loved one suffers from fibromyalgia or chronic pain, please see a subluxation-based chiropractor today. Can you honestly tell yourself you’ve tried everything if you haven’t tried this? It may make the difference between an improved quality of life and continued suffering.
This article was published at Southwest Florida Health & Wellness Magazine (Collier Edition) November 2012 Issue