First, What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread pain throughout the entire body. Fibromyalgia pain can also cause sleep problems, fatigue, and mental or emotional distress. Patients with fibromyalgia are often more sensitive to pain than those who do not have fibromyalgia. This is referred to as abnormal pain perception processing.
Fibromyalgia affects about 4 million US adults. The cause of Fibromyalgia is not yet fully understood. However, most researchers are leaning towards a hyperactive nervous system as one of the most plausible reasons for Fibromyalgia.
Because the classic symptoms of fibromyalgia — widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue — aren’t very distinctive, the condition is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. You may not have all of the symptoms, and you may have other medical problems, too. To add to the misdiagnosis rates, there are no lab tests to confirm or rule out Fibromyalgia.
Common Symptoms and Related Conditions
According to WebMD, many people with fibro — also called fibromyalgia syndrome or FMS — may have:
- Pain and tender points
- Sleep problems
- Concentration and memory problems, known as “fibro fog”
- Anxiety or depression
- Morning stiffness
- Numbness, and tingling in hands, arms, feet, and legs
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Problems with urinating
- Painful menstrual cramps
Pain and Tender Points
Almost all people with fibromyalgia ache all over. It can feel similar to osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis, but it’s over your entire body. This is usually what makes you see your doctor. To truly have an accurate diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, you need to have 18 specific tender points that have been consistently painful for no less than three months.
Potential Flare-up Triggers
Certain factors may trigger a fibromyalgia flare-up; such as changes in:
- Physical or psychological stress
- Sleep Patterns
- Temperature or weather
Stressful events, surgery, or accidents can make fibromyalgia symptoms worse. Flare-ups can also be caused by a lack of sleep or doing too much or too little exercise.
How Chiropractic Can Help
Chiropractic doctors focus on a condition known as Vertebral Subluxation. Vertebral Subluxation occurs when a spinal bone loses its proper position and gets locked out of place. Because 90% of the central nervous system goes through and in-between the spinal bones, a spinal bone that is misaligned and locked out of place can create interference and irritation on the delicate nerves.
Since Fibromyalgia is a condition related to the hyperactivity of the nerves, any Vertebral Subluxations that are present will only complicate and aggravate Fibromyalgia. By reducing the misaligned spinal bone and thereby removing the stress off of the spinal cord and spinal nerve root, chiropractic can help those suffering from Fibro live a healthier, happier, more vibrant life. That is why every person with fibromyalgia should have a chiropractor on their healthcare team.