Chiropractic Care for Fibromyalgia
Chiropractic medicine is a form of alternative, natural healing that works with the body as a whole to reduce the effects of various illnesses and musculoskeletal disorders. While many people may be under the impression that chiropractic care only aids in an injured neck or back, there is a wide range of medical conditions that can benefit from this method of healing. Chiropractors are familiar with the body systems that rely on the concept that the body is capable of self-healing if given the proper treatment. For instance, more and more patients are utilizing chiropractic care for Fibromyalgia.
A Run Down of Fibromyalgia:
As the most common musculoskeletal condition, fibromyalgia is a syndrome that consists of a multitude of symptoms. It inflicts widespread pain in the bones and muscles, creates tenderness in areas of the body and causes constant fatigue. There is no known cause for fibromyalgia, though emerging research indicates it could be stress-related. What is well-known, however, is that this condition is more likely to affect women rather than men. Up to 90% of those suffering from fibromyalgia are female. Typically manifesting during early adulthood, it develops suddenly but is slow onset. In addition, patients with fibromyalgia may suffer from the following symptoms:
- Chronic headaches
- Abdominal pain
- Inconsistent sleeping patterns
- Dry mouth, eyes, and nose
- Extreme sensitivity to heat or cold
- Difficulty concentrating
- Aches and pains in joints of neck, shoulders, back and hips
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Tingling or numbness in extremities
- Muscle/joint stiffness
Because this disorder is often misdiagnosed and causes long-term chronic pain and discomfort, certain individuals with fibromyalgia may even experience symptoms of anxiety, depression or social isolation.
Dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia is challenging, as the disease itself is incurable. This results in most patients enduring worsening symptoms over time. There are, however, some effective pain-management practices that can keep symptoms at bay and improve the overall quality of life.
Implementing Chiropractic Care for Fibromyalgia:
As fibromyalgia patients age, the condition worsens if left unattended. It does not, however, permanently damage joints, organs or muscles so the body is effectively not compromised by the presence of this disorder. The pain caused by fibromyalgia is intense and causes muscles to tighten, leading to reduced flexibility and stiffness over time.
Chiropractic care for fibromyalgia is effective at helping to loosen muscles – particularly those around the spine – to help sufferers gain movement and feel better. Often, more gentle chiropractic motions are required for patients because the nature of the disorder causes muscles to react more painfully to normal levels of strain, more so than in healthy people. During some limited trials, fibromyalgia patients who underwent regular chiropractic care reported feeling better and experiencing less pain than those who did not.
Depending on the level of severity, massage therapists will determine whether light or heavy pressure should be applied to best treat symptoms. Your massage therapist will stroke and knead muscles that are aching and/or in pain in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to your heart. Sometimes they will use their thumbs or elbows if a deeper tissue massage is required. This form of treatment has been known to not only reduce pain but also elevate mood and decrease the use of prescription medications in fibromyalgia patients.
Trigger Point Therapy:
Trigger point therapy (sometimes called Myotherapy) combats the pain and reduced flexibility brought on by fibromyalgia. Gentle stimulation of a patient’s trigger points can help to relieve pain and increase movement by targeting the most problematic areas and relaxing muscles during treatment. During this form of therapy, your chiropractor will apply pressure to specific trigger points for about 10 seconds. A pumping action will then be used around the area for an additional 30 seconds followed by stretching and lengthening of the muscles to increase flexibility. The stimulation of these problematic areas promotes increased blood flow, releasing endorphins and allowing oxygen and nutrients to flow to the area of discomfort, which in turn, decreases the amount of pain.
Similar to trigger point therapy, acupuncture is another common complementary treatment for pain associated with fibromyalgia. Thin, pinpoint needles are gently inserted into the skin where pain is prominent. This also improves blood flow and increases cervical and lumbar ranges of motion.
The benefits of using chiropractic care for fibromyalgia is becoming more and more recognized by those suffering from this chronic condition. We want to help you to feel your best, give us a call today at (860) 889-1475 to see how we can support you and improve your quality of life.