Understanding Chiropractic’s Place in Treating Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a common, yet very misunderstood syndrome that affects many Americans. It’s estimated that anywhere from three to six percent of people living in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia, and the vast majority of those are women.

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Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia can be a tricky disorder to identify. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, it can take up to four years for a patient to be diagnosed accurately. While diagnosis involves uncovering pain in specific areas, Fibromyalgia sufferers usually exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Disturbances in sleeping habits
  • Dizziness
  • Memory problems
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chronic headaches
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Irritable bowels
  • Morning stiffness
  • Menstrual cramps

Causes of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose, so uncovering its cause is even trickier. However, research has shown that any of the following may lead to fibromyalgia:

  • Genetic components. Fibromyalgia is frequently seen in families, which means if your siblings or one of your parents develops the condition, you may too.
  • Physical trauma. An injury or acute illness frequently acts as a “trigger” for the development of fibromyalgia.
  • Central nervous system abnormalities. Recent studies have shown that many sufferers have an increased response to stimuli that aren’t painful to healthy individuals.

Treatment for Fibromyalgia

There is no known cure for fibromyalgia, so treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms and improving the function of sufferers. Traditional methods for treating Fibromyalgia include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Sleeping pills
  • Steroids
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Muscle relaxers

While these medications temporarily relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia, they all have the potential to produce unwanted side effects. If you don’t relish the idea of taking dozens of pills every day for years at a time, you may want to consider a more natural approach. Consider the following:

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  • Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids like those found in fish and nuts can improve the functioning of the brain and nervous system.
  • Improving the quality of your sleep by reducing caffeine and technology before bed. Your chiropractor can help you uncover natural ways to sleep better.
  • Engage in regular exercise that’s approved for Fibromyalgia patients. Yoga and Pilates are easy on the joints, which is important for your condition.

Many studies have also shown that chiropractic care can be beneficial for fibromyalgia patients. Your chiropractor can help relieve joint pain and muscle pressure through adjustments. However, your chiropractic team is also an excellent reference for natural healing techniques like exercise and proper nutrition.

Your Doctor of Chiropractic has the knowledge and training to deal with the symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia. Combined with active participation from you, a treatment program can be tailored to your own individual needs that can relieve your symptoms without the need for potentially dangerous medications.


Story Credit

Photo credit: Gentle woman by longhairbroad72/365:  Like Cheese and Wine by Amy WilbanksUsed under a Creative Commons license.


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