Fibromyalgia is a complex chronic pain disorder that causes widespread muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive difficulties. It affects up to 6 million Americans, the majority of whom are women. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are treatment options that can help manage symptoms. One complementary therapy that is growing in popularity for fibromyalgia pain is chiropractic care. Here is an overview of how chiropractic care may benefit those living with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is classified as a rheumatologic disorder, but it differs from arthritis and other joint diseases. With fibromyalgia, the brain processes pain signals differently so that pain sensations are intensified. The amplified pain responses occur due to abnormalities in the central nervous system.
In addition to muscle pain and soreness, fibromyalgia patients often struggle with debilitating fatigue, trouble sleeping, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression. Symptoms sometimes flare up due to emotional or physical stress.
The exact causes of fibromyalgia are still being researched, but risk factors include trauma, illness, autoimmune disorders, and genetics. Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men.
How Chiropractic Treatments Work
Chiropractors are trained specialists in treating disorders of the muscles, joints, and nervous system through manual spinal adjustments and other manipulations. They use a drug-free, hands-on approach to improve spinal function and promote the body’s natural healing abilities.
Chiropractors detect and correct vertebral subluxations, which are misaligned spinal joints that can irritate nerves. A subluxated vertebra leads to nerve interference and imbalance in surrounding muscles and connective tissues.
Chiropractic adjustments involve applying controlled force to the stuck joint to realign the vertebrae back into proper position. This reduces pressure and irritation on the spinal nerves. Chiropractors may also provide soft tissue massage, stretches, cold laser therapy, lifestyle coaching, and other therapies to enhance results.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Fibromyalgia
Chiropractic treatments offer several advantages for those suffering from fibromyalgia pain and discomfort. They are as follows:
- Pain Relief: Spinal manipulations can provide natural pain relief by reducing inflammation around irritated nerves and relaxing tight muscle tissues. Chiropractic care also boosts circulation and stimulates the release of the body’s natural painkillers. Studies confirm chiropractic patients experience significant reductions in musculoskeletal pain. The multifaceted treatments also encourage overall balance and alignment to prevent flare ups.
- Improved Sleep: The chronic widespread pain of fibromyalgia often interferes with getting restorative sleep. Chiropractic techniques such as spinal adjustments, massage, and proper posture training help relax the body and enable deeper sleep. Quality sleep allows the body to heal itself and recharge energy levels.
- Increased Flexibility and Mobility: Chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue mobilization, and stretches loosen tight muscles and joints. This increases range of motion and flexibility. Patients are able to move more freely with less discomfort and risk of injury. Regular spinal manipulations also help restore proper alignment in the vertebral joints.
- Lower Stress and Anxiety: Fibromyalgia amplifies pain when patients experience physical or emotional stress. Chiropractic treatments such as massage therapy and spinal adjustments produce relaxation responses in the body. They have been clinically shown to reduce stress hormones and anxiety. Patients also learn healthy coping mechanisms through lifestyle counseling.
- Improved Posture: Poor posture is common in fibromyalgia patients as they subconsciously adapt movements and positions to avoid pain. A chiropractor can evaluate spinal alignment issues and retrain the body to stand and move with proper posture. This takes pressure off inflamed nerves, reduces muscle tension, and prevents future wear and tear.
- Increased Energy: Fibromyalgia zaps the energy levels of those suffering from it. Chiropractic adjustments enhance blood flow which provides more oxygen and nutrients to tissues and muscles. The improved sleep, reduced pain, and lower stress conferred by chiropractic treatment allows the body and mind to function at higher energy levels.
How to Get Started with Chiropractic Care
Chiropractors take a whole body approach to treating fibromyalgia. Your chiropractor will do a thorough evaluation including physical exam, health history review, x-rays or MRI if needed, and examination of your posture and spine.
They will then tailor a treatment plan based on your specific condition, symptoms, and goals. You may need adjustments two to three times a week for several weeks to obtain optimal results.
Selecting a Chiropractor
It is important to find an experienced chiropractor to treat fibromyalgia symptoms. Make sure your chiropractor takes x-rays if needed and provides an individualized treatment plan.
Ongoing communication about your progress is essential to tailor your care. You may need frequent adjustments at first to obtain optimal results. Many patients report a reduction in fibromyalgia pain and discomfort with regular chiropractic treatment.
Chiropractic Care for Fibromyalgia
Chiropractic care takes a whole-body approach to reducing fibromyalgia symptoms rather than just treating isolated areas of pain. Spinal adjustments alleviate nerve interference to improve function of the musculoskeletal system.
Soft tissue work, postural retraining, laser therapy, and lifestyle counseling target different facets of fibromyalgia discomfort. This comprehensive holistic treatment produces greater, longer-lasting pain relief than pain medications alone. The benefits of improved sleep, flexibility, energy levels, and stress reduction also empower fibromyalgia sufferers to enjoy life again.
If you or someone you love suffers from fibromyalgia pain, call our office today to schedule a consultation. Our experienced team will perform a thorough evaluation and customize a treatment plan to start alleviating your fibromyalgia symptoms naturally.
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