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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is similar to rheumatism, which is a chronic condition in which the joints, and soft tissue, experience pain. Like rheumatism, fibromyalgia causes significant pain and fatigue. Fibromyalgia sufferers experience pain and tenderness at multiple, and specific places on the body and pain in response to even very slight pressure. Fibromyalgia is believed by many to be caused by stressful or traumatic events, such as automobile accidents, or at times by severe emotional trauma. Others connect it to repetitive injuries, or think it’s related to lupus, or other auto-immune diseases. The actual cause is not known, and there is no known definitive cure.

In addition to pain and fatigue, people who have fibromyalgia may experience

  • sleep disturbances
  • morning stiffness
  • headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • painful menstual periods
  • numbness or tingling of the extremities
  • restless legs syndrome
  • temperature sensitivity
  • cognitive and memory problems

How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed and Treated?

For a fibromyalgia diagnosis, a person must have 11 or more tender points. One of these predesignated sites is considered a true tender point only if the person feels pain upon the application of 4 kilograms of pressure to the site. People who have fibromyalgia certainly may feel pain at other sites, too, but those 18 standard possible sites on the body are the criteria used for classification.

Diagnosis involves history of the condition, hands-on examination of the involved areas and often diagnostic studies such as X-ray, lab work, and electrodiagnostic studies to determine the true pain generator. Medical treatment usually consists of anti-inflammatory medication, pain relievers, anti-depressants, and monitoring. Many sufferers of Fibromyalgia find medical treatment alone quite ineffective at controlling the pain and search for answers from other alternatives.

What if Other Forms of Treatment Have Failed?

While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, Conservative Chiropractic Care along with adjunctive therapies such as acupuncture, cold laser therapy, electrical stimulation, diathermy, and soft tissue techniques have brought tremendous relief for many Fibromyalgia sufferers. Chiropractic Care can often help break the continuous cycle of pain by helping to restore proper motion to the joints and relieving irritation to the nerves and muscles.