Fibromyalgia sufferers can relate all too easily to the experience of pain not to mention fatigue and disturbances of sleep, mood, and memory. While the exact causes of fibromyalgia are not fully understood, research suggests that the condition affects how the brain processes pain signals after a precipitating event such as physical or emotional trauma, infection, or even surgery. Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia, and the condition has also been associated with headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression.
Unfortunately, there are no known cures for fibromyalgia and treatment focuses on managing the symptoms of the disease – which, as you can imagine, is critical for maintaining quality of life. Outside exercise, relaxation therapies, pacing, and stress management techniques, there is promising research regarding chiropractic care for managing fibromyalgia.
Fundamentally, chiropractors believe that the body is a system – bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons need to work together to support your body and healthy. A strong musculoskeletal system promotes better overall health. Increasingly, individuals with fibromyalgia have been turning to chiropractors to manage their musculoskeletal pain – neck, back, and leg pain, for example. As chiropractors focus on the connections between musculoskeletal abnormalities, stress, and overall health, they are well positioned to help people with fibromyalgia understand and manage their pain.
For example, subluxation and vertebral misalignment are conditions that may be associated with trauma or stress. When these conditions impeded optimal functioning of your body and nervous system, painful sensations arise and are likely to feed into a vicious cycle – pain causes stress which exacerbates pain. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can restore musculoskeletal health for better pain and stress control. Research on chiropractic care for fibromyalgia is scarce, but recent studies have shown that chiropractic treatment in individuals with fibromyalgia may improve range of motion and reported pain. Additionally, other researchers found that combined chiropractic care and resistance training lead to improvements in fibromyalgia symptoms as well as flexibility, balance, and endurance.
Ultimately, it’s important to find the right treatment that works for you when you are managing fibromyalgia. Chiropractic care represents an additional option for patients seeking relief from the symptoms of their disease.