Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chiropractic Treatment for Fibromyalgia Reduces Pain

Fibromyalgia is a whole-body pain syndrome that is believed to be closely related to arthritis. Many sufferers have benefited from chiropractic techniques to ease their discomfort and get a good night's sleep.

Other types of treatments involving various medications, vitamins, supplements, even gentle exercise, all address specific symptoms. However, they might include untested substances, cause side effects or even run afoul of the law, such as the use of controlled substances for fibromyalgia pain management. None of them address the patient as a whole person the way that chiropracty does.

Sometimes confused with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia is a distinct collection of symptoms resulting from muscles that clench around joints, resulting in chronic pain. Over time, this pain then causes sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, even a state of confusion sometimes referred to as "fibo fog." Chiropractic, which means "done by hand," is a practice that involves more than "cracking" bones. Its practitioners examine their patients' chemical, mental and structural health from a holistic point of view; thus addressing the entire syndrome, not just one symptom at a time.

A key byword in chiropracty is balance. The skilled practitioner will strive to achieve overall balanced energy flow through total body alignment, or spinal adjustment. The goal is to achieve unimpeded blood and energy flow and to insure that all parts are working in harmony. This also helps loosen the muscles' tight grip on joints. A helpful metaphor to understand this process is to think of getting your car's frame aligned for smooth driving and equal tire wear.

Another technique is ischemic compression to relieve trigger points of pain. A thumb or finger is pressed firmly on a sore spot. This causes a temporary blood blockage, which when it is relieved, causes increased circulation to wash away waste products and supply more oxygen for tissue healing. This could be likened to closing and opening the gates on a dam to regulate water flow.

Another treatment is applied kinesiology. Its supporters use muscle testing techniques that they say let's them hear what the body needs at that moment and then provide it. Since fibromyalgia impairs the smooth functioning of the body, mind and spirit, this focused listening leads to suggestions for nutritional, physical and spiritual remedies.

Chiropractic techniques are not quick fixes, except for an immediate feeling of relief as the patient's tight muscles are relaxed. Research has shown that after a course of treatment over a couple of months there is meaningful lessening of pain and fatigue, and much better sleep. One caution is that older individuals may not respond as well.

Theories about the causes of fibromyalgia all seem to indicate that there is a malfunction in the way that a sufferer's body processes pain signals. Whatever the underlying cause, a visit to the chiropractor can help.

Stephen Daniels is an acclaimed researcher. If you are looking for a chiropractor in the Chicago area, he recommends Their practitioners are experienced working with fibromyalgia patients through chiropracty, acupuncture and massage.