"It just hurts all over..."
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and multiple tender points. These "tender points" refer to sensitivity that occurs in precise localized areas, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders and hips. People with this syndrome may also experience sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and other symptoms.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, fibromyalgia affects 3 to 6 million Americans. It primarily occurs in women of childbearing age, though men, children, and the elderly may also be affected.
Currently, the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown and because many of the symptoms mimic those of other diseases, it is very difficult to diagnose.
The current criteria for a fibromyalgia diagnosis includes:
- Widespread joint and muscle pain that has been present for at least three months.
- Pain at 11 or more of the 18 specific tender/trigger points when the areas are pressed.
Other symptoms that are less common but can occur are constipation or diarrhea, headache, difficulty concentrating, tingling sensation in the hands and severe or excessive fatigue.
Though the case and cure for fibromyalgia is not yet known, studies suggest that chiropractic care can help provide relief.
A recent study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics stated that more than 60% of the participants who underwent thirty chiropractic treatments showed significant reductions in pain intensity and improvement in their overall fatigue and quality of sleep.
Your chiropractor will take a comprehensive approach in evaluating and designing a specific care plan for those who suffer from fibromyalgia. Nutrition, exercise and regular chiropractic adjustments have all shown to play a role in reducing pain and other symptoms, while improving whole body health.