What is fibromyalgia?
“Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals” (Mayo Clinic, 2017).
What causes fibromyalgia?
Doctors have yet to find the root cause of fibromyalgia, however there are a few factors that they believe work together to cause this disorder. “Genetics. Because fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder. Infections. Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
Physical or emotional trauma. Fibromyalgia can sometimes be triggered by a physical trauma, such as a car accident. Psychological stress may also trigger the condition” (Mayo Clinic, 2017).
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
“Symptoms of fibromyalgia include: Widespread pain. The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist. Fatigue. People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for long periods of time. Sleep is often disrupted by pain, and many patients with fibromyalgia have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
Cognitive difficulties. A symptom commonly referred to as “fibro fog” impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks. Fibromyalgia often co-exists with other painful conditions, such as: irritable bowel syndrome, migraine and other types of headaches, interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome, temporomandibular joint disorders” (Mayo Clinic, 2017).
How does one treat fibromyalgia?
‘The best treatment for true fibromyalgia patients is a multidisciplinary approach at a specialty fibromyalgia clinic,’ says Dr. Schneider. This would include patient management among medical doctors, pain management, chiropractors and physical therapists to ensure that patients receive the appropriate diagnosis and therapy, without resorting to a default diagnosis of fibromyalgia in all cases of widespread pain” (Donohue, 2016). Chiropractic adjustments paired with passive modalities such as ultrasound therapy and electric muscle stimulation may help alleviate symptoms of pain and discomfort in patients with fibromyalgia. Therapeutic stretches and exercises performed with a rehabilitation specialist or a physical therapist may help a patient increase strength and stability. A licensed medical doctor may prescribe a medication such as tramadol to decrease pain or naproxen to decrease inflammation. Pain medication or anti-inflammatory prescribed by a medical doctor or over the counter medications such as Advil or Tylenol may also be beneficial in treating pain and discomfort.
Donohue, A. (2016, January 7). DCs and Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://www.acatoday.org/News-Publications/ACA-News-Archive/ArtMID/5721/ArticleID/37/-DCs-and-Fibromyalgia-Syndrome
Fibromyalgia. (2017, August 11). Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354780
Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Treatment. (2018, June 01). Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://coloradopaincare.com/fibromyalgia-symptoms-treatment/
The Neuroscience of Fibromyalgia: Causes, Diagnosis and Potential Treatments. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://www.technologynetworks.com/neuroscience/articles/the-neuroscience-of-fibromyalgia-causes-diagnosis-and-potential-treatments-327505