Fibromyalgia and Chiropractic Care
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and extreme tenderness to pressure. The pain from fibromyalgia is also accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men, and it typically presents after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. Also, patients with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are considered to be at an increased risk due to their compromised immune system. In order to meet the criteria for diagnosis, the patient must have widespread pain in all 4 quadrants of the body for 3 consecutive months along with 11 of 18 designated tender points.
The symptoms associated with fibromyalgia vary greatly and can include widespread pain and fatigue. Those suffering from fibromyalgia also typically have neck pain, tension headaches, TMJ disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, digestion problems, low back pain, sciatica, anxiety, and depression. Sleeping disorders, such as restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea, can also occur.
The causes of fibromyalgia are generally unknown but are considered to be related to infection or post-traumatic stress. Some researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies pain sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals. The Mayo Clinic reports that repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters). In addition, the brain's pain receptors seem to develop memories of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they can overreact to pain signals. Recent studies suggest that people with fibromyalgia have a small-fiber neuropathy where they get faulty signals from tiny nerves all over the body. This causes them to be over-sensitive to pain signals. It is also believed that fibromyalgia patients may have excessive amounts of nerve fibers lining the blood vessels of the skin, which can make their body more predisposed to overreact to pain sensations.
The current treatments of fibromyalgia include medications or counseling. Medications include a variety of pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti seizure medications. The side effects of these medications (drowsiness, shortness of breath, immune suppression, altered liver function, and seizures) can be concerning for most patients. Counseling is also recommended for fibromyalgia patients in order to help with any additional stressors that may aggravate their condition.
Treating Fibromyalgia with Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care is an effective treatment for those suffering with fibromyalgia. Misalignments of the spinal bones (subluxations) put pressure on the nerves and interrupt the communication between the brain and the rest of the body as well as the body to the brain. As the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) controls and coordinates the function of the entire body, it must function efficiently and effectively, especially for individuals with fibromyalgia. As we correct the misalignments in your spine allowing your nervous system to function at an optimal level, this allows neurological messages to be passed from the central nervous system to the body and back to the brain.
Numerous case studies show the benefit of chiropractic care for fibromyalgia patients. One particular case depicted a 45-year-old female who had been suffering from fibromyalgia for 11 years. After regular chiropractic care, she noticed a significant reduction in the severity of her symptoms as well as the widespread aches and pains. One great benefit of chiropractic care is the effect that chiropractic adjustments have on decreasing nerve pain signals to the brain, significantly helping those with fibromyalgia pain. Over the years, we have seen many patients with fibromyalgia who have had great results with our treatment and lifestyle recommendations. Many patients in our office report a significant reduction in their fibromyalgia symptoms with natural chiropractic care.
Many patients suffering from fibromyalgia find that massage therapy, in addition to their chiropractic care can further reduce their pain, elevate their mood, and decrease the need to use any pain medicines. Massage therapy has the ability to increase the amount of the natural painkillers your body produces.
Other massage benefits for those dealing with fibromyalgia include:
- Decrease fatigue
- Improve range of motion
- Increase flow of nutrients to your muscles
- Increased sleep quality
- Reduce heart rate
- Relax muscles
At Kempsville Chiropractic, our patients can schedule their chiropractic and massage therapy appointments to coincide with each other. Our therapists are trained in a wide variety of techniques: deep tissue massage, functional assessments, myofascial release, neuromuscular modalities, PNF, range of motion movements, Shiatsu, stretches, Swedish massage, and trigger point therapy. Our therapists excel at assessing our patients’ needs through observation, listening, and palpation of soft tissue. Collectively, our goal is to get your spine and nervous system functioning at 100%, and reduce the pain of fibromyalgia.
If you are looking for alternatives to medications for fibromyalgia, and many other health concerns, please contact the doctors of Kempsville Chiropractic at 757.467.5258, and arrange for a consultation. If you know of others who can benefit from this article, please share and recommend this article.
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© 2013-2016 Kempsville Chiropractic
These articles are the property of Kempsville Chiropractic. They may not be reused without permission. You are welcome to link to this article. Kempsville Chiropractic has been proudly serving Virginia Beach, Virginia; Chesapeake, Virginia; and Norfolk, Virginia since 1996.
The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Lombardozzi. The information on this site is not intended as medical advice. The information contained on this website is a sharing of knowledge based on the experience and research of Dr. Lombardozzi and his staff. Dr. Lombardozzi recommends that patients make their health care decisions after doing their research and consulting with a qualified health care professional.
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