Fibromyalgia is a fairly commonly diagnosed (or misdiagnosed) condition. The hallmarks of this condition are widespread musculoskeletal pain, multiple local tender-points, fatigue, and even depression and anxiety. These are the most common symptoms but there is a myriad of other symptoms linked to fibromyalgia as well.
Fibromyalgia occurs more commonly in females, and there is really no known cause. It is a sort of “catch basin” for very common symptoms that occur in many people for many different reasons. It is because of these generalized symptoms and its elusive nature, that fibromyalgia is all too easily misdiagnosed. In fact, only recently has it received widespread acceptance as an actual medical syndrome. There was a time where many medical professionals did not even believe fibromyalgia to be an actual condition, or at the very least they may have considered it to be more of a psychological condition, rather than a rheumatic condition.
What causes fibromyalgia is still somewhat a mystery. There is some research suggesting that there may be a genetic component to it. The general consensus is that it is induced by some sort of trauma or insult to the body. This may be anything from a viral infection, physical trauma, or emotional trauma. Basically, when the body is subjected to such an overload, it may affect the central nervous system in a way to create increased sensitization to pain and increased inflammatory response throughout our bodies. We are designed to keep things in a state of balance, this is known as homeostasis. When this delicate balance is interrupted or damaged somehow, we may go ‘out of balance’.
With my patients, I like to use the analogy of our ‘thermostat’ goes out of whack and does not revert back to normal.
Fibromyalgia can be a very debilitating and chronic condition. Proper diagnosis requires a medical exam and lab tests to rule out other similar conditions like low thyroid function. Medical treatment relies mostly on pharmaceutical intervention.
As for other alternatives, as usual, I like to go back to the basics first with things like diet, sleep and exercise. In fact, regular exercise is one of the things that has shown to very effective in helping reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Acupuncture and chiropractic care can be very helpful because they help regulate the nervous system and allow the body to ‘reset’ the thermostat.
This overview is very general for such a complex condition, however, the bottom line is that our bodies have the ability to heal and we may be able to help by providing some tools to help push things in the right direction to do so.
If you have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and would like to try chiropractic or acupuncture, please call our office – 519-258-8544.