Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a disorder that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain in the joints, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues throughout the body. It is often combined with other symptoms like temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD), irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, depression, anxiety, cognitive issues and sleep interruption. This painful and mysterious condition affects around three to five percent of the American population, predominantly women.
Diagnosis of FMS can be difficult, as there is no specific lab test to determine if the patient has the disorder. Current guidelines state that a diagnosis can be made if a person has widespread pain for more than three months, with no underlying medical condition.
Finding a Cause
Beyond the painful symptoms, one of the more frustrating aspects of fibromyalgia is that doctors cannot pinpoint the cause of this disorder. At this time, medical professionals and experts believe that various factors cause the disorder, namely:
- Physical or emotional trauma/stress
The Chiropractic Connection
As chiropractors, one of our focuses in overall health and well-being is stress. Subluxations, misalignment of the vertebrae in the spine, can be caused by the three Ts, toxins, trauma and thoughts (stress). These subluxations hinder the optimal function of the nervous system, which consists of the brain, spinal cord, sensory organs and a network of nerve cells and fibers that transmit signals from different parts of the body. When subluxations thwart this communication between the brain and the body, health issues can arise. Chiropractors use gentle adjustments to the spine to remove these subluxations.
Studies have linked chiropractic care and management of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as pain, fatigue and quality of sleep. One study found that "chiropractic management improved patients' cervical and lumbar ranges of motion, straight leg raise and reported pain levels."
Resistance Training + Chiropractic Care
In a Florida State University study, FMS patients who combined resistance training and chiropractic treatment two times a week saw improvements in their symptoms, flexibility, balance, coordination and endurance.
Make an appointment to talk to a chiropractic doctor about chiropractic and fibromyalgia.
Read on to learn more:
The effectiveness of chiropractic management of fibromyalgia patients: a pilot study, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Jul.-Aug. 1997
Short and long-term results of connective tissue manipulation and combined ultrasound therapy in patients with fibromyalgia, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Sept. 2009
A combined ischemic compression and spinal manipulation in the treatment of fibromyalgia: a preliminary estimate of dose and efficacy, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, May 2000
A combined ischemic compression and spinal manipulation in the treatment of fibromyalgia: A preliminary estimate of dose and efficacy, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, May 2000
Chiropractic management of fibromyalgia syndrome: a systematic review of the literature, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Jan. 2009