The Fibromyalgia 4-1-1
Like a number of issues that have found relief through chiropractic assistance, there is no one test for fibromyalgia. Because of this, patients with this condition have often suffered from misdiagnosis and confusion for many years. Let’s first identify what this condition is.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is the most common musculoskeletal condition in the world, affecting some four million patients, and is characterized by a number of different symptoms. These typically include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Sleeping for long periods without feeling rested
As a musculoskeletal condition, this disorder affects the human body’s movement or musculoskeletal system, which is comprised of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, and discs. Basically, all the small parts of our body that we rely on daily and expect to work.
In the case of fibromyalgia, the musculoskeletal difficulties intersect with a malfunction in the nervous system, which is a network of nerves and fibers connecting the body that is based in the brain and spinal cord. This malfunction can result from a variety of factors but often leads to a breakdown in the body’s ability to care for itself.
Chiropractic care, especially the kind that we practice called neurostructural care, corrects abnormalities by addressing the underlying structural shifts of the spine. Gentle realignments are applied by trained doctors to relieve malfunctions and improve health.
What Causes It?
Just as there is no one test to diagnose fibromyalgia, there is no one reason that a person suffers from it. Doctors are still a bit stymied by this condition overall, however they believe that various factors work together to create the pain that is typical to fibromyalgia. These factors include genetics, infections, stress and physical trauma. Much of the discomfort stems from the spine and neck.
Forms of Pain Management
Since fibromyalgia is a condition that has no cure, treatment comes in the form of pain management. In the past, a fibromyalgia sufferer would typically be directed toward prescription medication as a way to manage their symptoms, but that form of healthcare has little longevity.
Today, more and more fibromyalgia patients are experiencing long term relief through chiropractic adjustments. With chiropractic care, patients have the opportunity to manage the pain and discomfort they usually face for less money and in a sustainable way.
How Does It Work?
Most of the fibromyalgia patients we have worked with in the Brandon and Tampa areas receive upper cervical chiropractic treatment. Upper cervical care deals with the delicate alignment of the upper cervical vertebrae, called the Atlas and Axis. Adjustments made to this area are incredibly light and not at all applied with the same force as other, more durable parts of the body. Misalignments in this area can affect the brain stem’s ability to heal the body properly.
Our doctors are trained to assess and identify misalignments in the neck and spine. Often this involves relieving pressure produced by a misaligned medullary lock, which is a complex network comprising both soft and hard tissue that stabilizes the medulla and the upper spinal cord. When this pressure is released, the brain and spinal cord can return to functioning at their optimum level. Increased joint mobility and nervous system functionality better assist the body to manage the symptoms common to fibromyalgia.
Many fibromyalgia patients also suffer with a comorbid condition called upper cervical spinal stenosis, which can cause meninges, the coverings of the upper spine, to become compressed. This can cause extreme pain and agony. Chiropractic adjustments of the head and neck relieve that compression and decrease the pain felt throughout the body.
Though much of the goal of chiropractic care is to manage pain for fibromyalgia patients, it has also been proven to help them sleep better at night. Poor sleep quality is one of the most common struggles for fibromyalgia patients. Chiropractic manipulations help those patients manage pain and feel relaxed, which ultimately aids them in getting a better nights sleep at the end of the day.
Is Chiropractic Care Right for Me?
Chiropractic care is focused on providing long term, sustainable relief by attending to issues at the source. Fibromyalgia is a condition that disproportionately affects women over the age of 50, and as such can be difficult to identify clearly. If you have suffered from the above symptoms and are looking for relief, consider opting for chiropractic care. Our doctors are happy to talk you through the options during a new patient consultation, which is at no cost to you.
We often receive patients who are curious about flare ups related to chiropractic adjustments. Adjustments can cause some soreness, which may lead to flare ups for fibromyalgia patients. It’s important that your doctor know of your condition before treatment so that they may plan for it accordingly. While flare ups might be present at the beginning of treatment, continuous visits should lessen the instance of flare ups over time.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment and experience medicine’s most promising treatment for fibromyalgia.