May 12 was National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, intended to bring awareness to a condition that affects more than 12 million Americans. So let's do just that by reviewing what fibromyalgia is and how it can be treated conservatively.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal syndrome, the primary symptoms of which are widespread pain, tender points, severe fatigue (to the point of incapacitation), anxiety, depression, migraines / chronic headaches, inability to concentrate / focus, and various other symptoms. Significantly, none of the symptoms seem to be connected or related to a "bigger picture" health problem.
What is the Cause of FM?
There are several theories regarding the cause of FM, but to this point, no consensus. Many believe it may develop due to a combination of physical and emotional stressors.
What Are the Treatment Options?
Not surprisingly, since fibromyalgia is characterized by myriad diverse symptoms, standard allopathic (medical) treatment usually involves medication intended to address pain, depression and other symptoms. Of course, drug treatment always comes with the potential side effects associated with medication use.
What Role Can Chiropractic Play?
With widespread pain and tender points two of the hallmark symptoms of FM, chiropractic care that includes adjustments, trigger-point treatment, exercises designed to reduce pain and stress, and nutritional protocols (anti-inflammatory diet) may be effective for fibromyalgia patients. If you suffer from FM, your chiropractor can discuss the treatment options and design a program to help you manage this frustrating condition.