The CDC defines Fibromyalgia as a condition that causes widespread pain all over the body. People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than people without it, and researchers believe the condition affects the way that the brain processes pain, causing it to be felt as amplified and widespread throughout the body. The American College of Rheumatology reports that fibromyalgia is believed to affect one in fifty people in the U.S. alone.
Doctors can typically diagnose fibromyalgia in a patient using their history, a physical exam, X-rays, and blood work. According to the American Chiropractic Association, Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) can diagnose fibromyalgia or discover another cause of the symptoms, and create an effective treatment plan or make appropriate referrals.
If you’re suffering from fibromyalgia, visiting a chiropractor is a great place to start your healing journey. While the cause of fibromyalgia is not known, the good news is that with proper non-invasive treatment, the illness can be managed for an improved quality of life.
What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
The symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Pain and stiffness all over the body
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleep problems
- Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration
- Headaches, including migraines
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
- Pain in the face or jaw, including disorders of the jaw known as temporomandibular joint syndrome (also known as TMJ)
- Digestive problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and even irritable bowel syndrome (also known as IBS)
How Does Fibromyalgia Affect Those Suffering From It?
Generally, fibromyalgia causes pain, often leading to disability and a lower quality of life. A common complication of the condition is more hospitalizations. In fact, the CDC reports that people with fibromyalgia are twice as likely to be hospitalized as those without it. Sufferers are also likely to experience depression. According to the CDC, adults with fibromyalgia are over 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with major depression than those without the condition.
Sufferers may also experience higher rates of rheumatic conditions. For example, your fibromyalgia may co-occur with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and ankylosing spondylitis.
What Are the Top Five Non-Invasive Fibromyalgia Treatments?
While there is no “cure” for the condition yet, fibromyalgia can be effectively managed with the help of professionals.
You may find various stress management techniques, including yoga, meditation, and routine massages help to alleviate some of the chronic pain that comes with fibromyalgia. Focusing on the creation of good sleep habits will also help. For some patients who also suffer from underlying depression, cognitive behavioral therapy, a type of talk therapy, may be beneficial for helping you cope or reframe your thoughts.
Aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening exercises have been shown to be effective in reducing chronic pain for fibromyalgia patients.
3. Chiropractic Adjustments
While exact causes are unknown, fibromyalgia pain is believed to be the result of inaccurate pain signals in your nervous system. A Chiropractor can realign your body, which re-establishes the connection between your nervous system and nerves. This type of realignment effectively “resets” your nervous system, resulting in changes in your nerves so that pain is processed more accurately. The overall effect is less chronic pain.
4. Physical Therapy
As you likely know, one side effect of fibromyalgia is sore and achy muscles. This can lead to severe pain when patients are moving or attempting exercising, and the soreness can worsen over time. Your chiropractor may recommend physical therapy to address this symptom.
5. Lifestyle and Nutrition Recommendations
Your chiropractor may make recommendations for your diet and lifestyle, as well as simple exercises to try or supplements to take. These recommendations represent a holistic approach to treatment, that when paired with chiropractic adjustments, can be very effective for a patient’s mental and physical journey with fibromyalgia.
If you’ve been dealing with fibromyalgia pain, you’re not alone, and you shouldn’t have to suffer. Reach out to Team Chiro to schedule an appointment focused on treating your Fibromyalgia and getting you back to feeling as great as you can, as soon as you can.