Understanding Fibromyalgia

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To most people Fibromyalgia is poorly understood and very confusing.  To others it is a debilitating condition that leaves them in chronic pain and very few answers.  What exactly is fibromyalgia?  What causes it?  What can I do about it?

Fibromyalgia is a widespread neuromusculoskeletal disorder that leaves the patient tired and in chronic pain throughout the body.  Perhaps one of the most confusing aspects of Fibromyalgia is that it cannot be identified by 1 unique sign or symptom but is a collection of several symptoms.   These include widespread pain throughout the body with no apparent cause or event.   Patients with Fibromyalgia experience pain in at least 3 of 4 quadrants of the body for at least 3 months, as well as 11 of 18 tender points throughout the body for at least 3 months.

What causes Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a complicated condition and often has more than one cause.  However researchers agree that there is breakdown in the normal function of the central nervous system.  The dysfunction in the central nervous system creates an abnormal perception of pain.  The problems first arise in the central nervous system, the pain throughout the body occurs second.

One recent study demonstrated a link between neck trauma and onset of Fibromyalgia.  The onset of Fibromyalgia was 13 times more likely if the patient had suffered a neck injury than if the person had suffered a lower extremity injury.   This is very common in automobile accidents where there is whip lash effect.

What are the treatments for Fibromyalgia?

Treatments for Fibromyalgia vary widely from drug therapy to conservative care.  Prescription medication tends to favor antidepressants and nerve pain medication.  While these drugs do provide temporary symptom relief they do very little to address the cause of the problem.   Compounding the pain and fatigue of Fibromyalgia are the side effects and toxicity from long term use.

Recently, conservative care such as; breathing techniques, light exercise, and stretching have been encouraged to increase mobility and to decrease pain.

 Chiropractic care has also been utilized as it addresses not only symptomatic relief of nerve pain but also the cause which is dysfunction and miscommunication in the nervous system.   Several studies have been published documenting the effectiveness of Chiropractic care for patients with Fibromyalgia.  In a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, the majority of patients benefited from Chiropractic care and at least half experienced “great improvement”.  Patients who received Chiropractic care demonstrated increased Cervical and Lumbar range of motion with less discomfort.

Chiropractic care has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for patients with neurological disorders such as Fibromyalgia.  Chiropractic should be considered as a first choice among patients with Fibromyalgia.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534

616.419.4996

DrDan@Hungerfordwellness.com