How Chiropractic Care Can Help With Fibromyalgia
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If you are one of the 4 million US adults that are affected by fibromyalgia (https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/fibromyalgia.htm) the feelings of widespread pain, fatigue, and mental stress are no stranger to you. Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that may interfere with a person’s ability to carry out everyday activities. Researchers believe that individuals who have fibromyalgia experience amplified pain sensations, affecting the way the brain processes pain signals. This means that people who are affected by fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain compared to people without fibromyalgia. While the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, the signs and symptoms can be debilitating.
Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- Widespread pain
- Body tenderness
- Body stiffness
- Cognitive difficulties (issues with memory and concentration)
- Pain in the face or jaw (TMJ)
- Digestive problems (IBS)
- Difficulty sleeping
What are the Risk Factors?
Fibromyalgia is a difficult condition to diagnose and treat because doctors do not understand the cause or source of this condition. Though the origin is unknown, there are several known risk factors for this ailment. Individuals with existing cases of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop fibromyalgia. Women are at higher risk of developing this condition as well. Though this disorder can affect both women, men and children, between 80 and 90 percent of people who have fibromyalgia are women. Even though fibromyalgia can affect all ages, it is most commonly diagnosed during middle age and becomes more prevalent as you get older. Individuals who have a family history of fibromyalgia and have repetitive joint injuries are also more likely to develop this disorder.
Treatments and Therapies
Unfortunately, there is no cure for this chronic disorder, however this condition can be treated through medication and self-management strategies. While medications can aid in treatment, it should not be the sole treatment plan. Medications often mask symptoms, and do not treat the source of the pain. Taking multiple types of medication can also be frustrating, and hard on the body. The best way to treat and manage fibromyalgia pain is through multiple strategies for a whole body approach.
Chiropractic care allows individuals with fibromyalgia to treat their pain and mobility issues without the use of medications. Most people who have fibromyalgia have “tender points” on their body. Chiropractic care is very effective in managing pain associated with fibromyalgia by using alternative medicine and focusing on whole body wellness. This approach has been shown to be very effective in treating this condition.
Chiropractic care may be used to treat pain through the following:
- Gentle stretching- gentle pressure or stretching will help to loosen up the muscles and prevent stiffness.
- Musculoskeletal adjustments- chiropractic techniques are used to realign the body, and reestablish the connection between the nerves throughout the body and the nervous system.
- Pressure points- pain is treated through pressure points in the back, neck, shoulders, and joints to alleviate pain.
- Lifestyle recommendations- a chiropractor can make recommendations regarding appropriate exercises and nutrition for pain management.
Living with fibromyalgia can be difficult and frustrating, especially when the pain is unmanageable. If you are experiencing chronic pain, a chiropractor turns to can help manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.