Fibromyalgia. Have you heard about it? Do you know someone with it? Do you know what it is? It’s a relatively newly named condition that is poorly understood. It is arbitrary defined as pain found in 11 out of 18 possible tender points (upper neck, shoulders, gluteal area, hips, etc.). Pain is generally greater than 3 months. It is estimated that this condition affects women 9 times more than men.
A number of health care practitioners do not recognise this as a legitimate condition, instead insisting that this is a psychological issue.
In addition to pain, there are a number of additional symptoms associated with fibromyalgia:
- poor sleep
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- lack of mental clarity
- painful menstrual periods
There is no medical cure. Current medical treatment mererly addresses the symptoms; pain killers or anti-inflammatories for the tender points, muscle relaxants for the tight muscles, antidepressants for mood, sleeping pills for the insomnia, and a choice of several drugs for the digestive issues. I ask you, is this a solution????
Recent research has shown that many fibromyalgia sufferers have an increased activity in their sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is often known as the fight or flight system. It perpares the body for stressful situations, either to flee or to confront. As such it speeds up the heart rate, dilates te tubes leading into the lungs, slows digestion (you don’t need to be digesting that sandwich if a bear’s chasing you, do you? Energy is better spent elsewhere), and generally leaves you in a more excited state.
So, if the sypathetic nervous system is more active, think it might make sleep difficult? How would your digestion be? Reasonable to think your muscles might be tense? What might your concentration be like? This may be why many fibromyalgia patients respond wello to chiropractic care. Spinal misalignments can put pressure on the nervous system, including the sypathetic nervous system. Interestingly, many times the onset of fibromyalgia is preceeded by a trauma, perhaps causing spinal misalignments.
Does chiropractic help all fibromyalgia sufferers? No. If you would like to find out if you have spinal misalignments that may be affecting your nervous system, give your local chiropractor as call to schedule a consultation and examination.
Helping you get back to life, I’m Dr. J from Pure Chiropractic, Nanaimo. 250-585-8866