Commonly confused with arthritis, fibromyalgia is a condition in which the body is beset with constant pain and sensitivity. Roughly 4 million adults suffer from the condition, about 2% of the adult population. Unfortunately, the condition does not have a known cause, a conclusive diagnostic test, or a cure. Those who suffer from fibromyalgia rely on pain relief methods, one of which is chiropractic care.
The Common Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
The hallmark of fibromyalgia is heightened sensitivity to pain. This can range from achiness and stiffness across the entire body to overwhelming and debilitating pain. This overactive nerve response can disrupt sufferer’s lifestyles tremendously.
In addition to body-wide pain, those suffering from it also usually experience universal stiffness and soreness, sleep problems and fatigue, cognitive problems (including difficulty concentrating or focusing), and emotional stress. Sometimes depression and anxiety, memory difficulties, headaches and migraines may also result.
Less common symptoms include temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) in which the jaw cannot function normally without pain; tingling or numbness in the extremities; and digestive problems, including but not limited to constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain.
Because the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, there is no one definitive test to diagnose it. Doing so requires more of a process of elimination, what is known in medicine as a diagnosis of exclusion. A patient’s personal and family history is considered, X-rays are taken, and blood work is examined.
There are a few risk factors that are associated with the condition. Age is one of them—developing fibromyalgia more commonly accompanies the onset of middle age, though it can manifest itself earlier in life. Women are twice as likely to develop the condition than men. Having lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, a history of physical or mental trauma (repetitive injuries or PTSD), a family history of the condition, and obesity are also risk factors.
Treating the Condition
Unfortunately, there is no cure for fibromyalgia. However, treatment and pain management is possible. These range from relying on prescription drugs and over-the-counter pain relievers to exercise and meditation to physical and psychological therapy. Each case of fibromyalgia should be treated by a medical professional. Rheumatologists are specialized in the field, though other healthcare providers can be excellent resources.
Managing Fibromyalgia Symptoms With Chiropractic Methods
While physician-prescribed pain medications are the most common management strategy for managing fibromyalgia pain, chiropractic can offer a noninvasive alternative. Chiropractic care is an umbrella of pain-relieving and healing strategies. Its goal is to restore unity between the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. As fibromyalgia stems from overactive nerve impulses signaling pain, chiropractic can help to quiet them, resulting in minimized pain.
Chiropractic works on the principle of correcting proper spinal alignment to allow the body’s natural healing processes to work at maximum effect. It does this by easing pressure points in the back, neck, shoulders, and joints. Using gentle pressure, calculated quick thrusts, and other measured movements, chiropractic techniques restore the spine to its proper position. This can lead to truncated fibromyalgia symptoms including minimized pain and headaches.
Other natural techniques to manage the pain caused by the condition include professionally administered massage treatments. While a typical massage may actually exacerbate pain caused by fibromyalgia, clinical massage, such as that offered at Utah Sports and Wellness, is specifically designed to ease pain and boost a patient’s mood in a way that doesn’t aggravate medical symptoms. Massage patients leave feeling relaxed and armed to take on the day.
Treatment at Utah Sports and Wellness
At Utah Sports and Wellness, we know that managing fibromyalgia is an impressive feat. Let us help you in your battle, offering pain relief strategies that are good for your body.
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