Do you think you might have fibromyalgia? The Mayo Clinic defines the disorder as characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
While there is no singular test that will confirm fibromyalgia, a diagnosis can be made if a person has had widespread pain for more than three months — with no underlying medical condition that could cause the pain.This means that many other things will need to be ruled out prior to the diagnosis, often involving blood tests.
According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions, affecting an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. (and an estimated 3-5% of the world population). The disorder is more prevalent in women with 75-90% of the people diagnosed being women, it does occur in men and children as well.
Common treatments include over the counter pain relievers, prescription drugs like muscle relaxers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and chiropractic care can also help.
As fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal issue, addressing the pain at its source with regular, gentle adjustments is highly effective and can reduce pain. Done correctly, spinal manipulation will restore the proper position of the vertebral joints that protect the nerves in the spine. This allows the body to address and heal the source of pain. The body’s natural response to pain is often a muscle spasm especially if the pain is attributed to a musculoskeletal issue. Treating the source will reduce- if not eliminate- the pain.
Regular adjustments can help fibromyalgia patients live a more active life, restoring proper position and range of motion which in turn can reduce or eliminate the source of the pain. A routine helpful for patients affected by this disease could include bi-weekly or monthly appointments, with a higher frequency to be expected during an acute flare up. Many of our patients at Premier Chiropractic & Wellness have a fibromyalgia diagnosis and have found relief in our programs.