A Chiropractor Can Provide Care for Fibromyalgia Naturally
Author: Natalie Meiri, D.C. Posted: 10/11/20
If you have fibromyalgia you feel achy, fatigued, and stiff in multiple muscle groups. You may have other associated symptoms as well. Read below to learn about this systemic disorder and how a chiropractor can provide care for fibromyalgia naturally.
Fibromyalgia affects two – four percent of people, women more often than men. It is a type of rheumatism (condition with pain in muscles, joints, or fibrous tissue). Although it most often starts in middle adulthood, it can occur in the teen years and in older ages. You are at higher risk for fibromyalgia if you have a rheumatic disease (health problem that affects the joints, muscles and bones). These include systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis.
The American College of Rheumatology has set criteria for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. You must have pain in 11 of 18 tender sites, with 9 being on both sides of the body, and with pain for at least 3 months. These tender sites include: suboccipital (below lower back of skull) muscles, lower cervical spine (neck), trapezius (pair of triangular muscles extending over back and neck), supraspinatus (smallest of rotator cuff muscles runs from shoulder blade to upper arm), second rib, lateral epicondyle (bony bump on the outside of the elbow), gluteals (muscles in buttocks), greater trochanter of femur (bony projection at top of the thigh bone), and medial (inside) fat pad (mass of fatty tissue that lies below the kneecap) of the knee.
Fibromyalgia is a Syndrome
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome (condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms) of chronic pain of musculoskeletal origin, but uncertain cause. Recent research says it is a neurologic health problem that causes widespread pain and tenderness (sensitivity to touch). Many fibromyalgia patients report that certain weather conditions seem to aggravate their symptoms, but scientists have not found out why.
Several theories have been proposed focusing on lowered pain-threshold levels and decreased serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. It acts as one of the body’s chemical messengers used by the nervous system to transmit messages from one area of the brain to another. So brain cells related to mood, sleep, memory and some social behavior could be affected by this. Additionally, it is believed that stage 4 sleep (deep sleep that lasts for about 30 minutes) is interrupted in fibromyalgia patients. This could be due to intrusions of alpha rhythms (pattern of slow brain waves in normal awake persons at rest with closed eyes) during stage 4 sleep. Consequently, fibromyalgia is accompanied by severe fatigue, sleep (waking up unrefreshed), memory/thinking clearly and mood issues.
Moreover, some patients also may have:
- Depression and anxiety
- Persistent early morning stiffness
- Paresthesia (pins and needles feeling)
- Digestive problems: irritable bowel syndrome (commonly called IBS) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (often referred to as GERD)
- Irritable or overactive bladder
- Pelvic pain
- Temporomandibular disorder – often called TMJ (a set of symptoms including face/jaw pain, jaw clicking, and ringing in the ears)
Diagnosis and causes
There are no lab or imaging (i.e.,x-rays, MRI) tests for diagnosis of fibromyalgia. It is diagnosed by the tender sites and the associated symptoms experienced by the patient. Also, there should be no other health problems that would explain the pain and other symptoms. Therefore, lab tests or x-rays may be done to rule out any other cause for your symptoms.
There is most often some triggering factor that sets off fibromyalgia. It may be spine problems, arthritis, injury, or other type of physical stress. Emotional stress also may trigger this illness. The cause may be different in different people. Nevertheless, the result is a change in the way the body communicates with the spinal cord and brain. Fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune or inflammation based illness, but current research suggests the central nervous system is involved (brain and spinal cord). Seeing a chiropractor can provide care for fibromyalgia naturally by getting your nervous system working at its best through adjustments.
Where can I find a good chiropractor for fibromyalgia in North Palm Beach?
While there is no cure, there are treatments for management of symptoms. A chiropractor can provide care for fibromyalgia naturally at Meiri Chiropractic. Firstly, this involves spinal adjustments or extremity manipulation and may include mobilization. Secondly, muscle stretching and soft tissue therapy, along with exercise, the use of modalities (i.e. heat therapy, electric muscle stimulation) and rehabilitation/home exercises. Finally, homeopathic consultations/ prescriptions along with recommendations on vitamin/herbal supplementation will be provided as necessary. These treatments along with regular mild to moderate exercise, stress reduction/ relaxation techniques and enough sleep can give you relief.
Jan Chambers, President of the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (2015), states, “…I started seeing a chiropractor who provided a thorough examination, ordered x-rays and then …created a very rigorous program to address the problems in my neck and lower back. Years later, I still do therapy at home, but it is the chiropractic care that was my lifesaver. I feel like chiropractic care literally saved my life.” (1)
A chiropractor can provide care for fibromyalgia naturally! Contact Dr Natalie Meiri, a chiropractor serving West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and North Palm Beach today at 561-253-8984.
5601 Corporate Way, Ste 102
West Palm Beach, FL 33407