Fibromyalgia and chiropractic: A great fit

Chiropractic care is a very common alternative or complementary treatment for fibromyalgia pain. People use it to treat pain of pressure points, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, and pain from musculoskeletal injuries. Chiropractic treatment is effective for treating fibromyalgia because it may reduce pain levels, and increase cervical and lumbar ranges of motion.

"Fibromyalgia involves turmoil of the central nervous system, yielding a situation known as central sensitization, which causes heightened nervous system responses," explains Gerry Clum, D.C., former president of Life West Chiropractic College. "Overall health and wellness is affected by an individual's nervous system, an area in which chiropractors are proficiently trained to address, making chiropractic care a viable option for fibromyalgia patients."

Chiropractic treatment is based on the principle that the body is a self-healing organism. To reduce pain and increase healing, the doctor of chiropractic uses spinal adjustments. The goal is to increase the mobility between spinal vertebrae, which have become restricted, locked, or slightly out of proper position. Though often termed an alternative treatment, chiropractic care is now becoming more accepted by the mainstream medical community.

Recently, fibromyalgia patients have been seeking chiropractic care increasingly more often. Because fibromyalgia causes numerous tender points all over the body, many fibromyalgia patients suffer from back pain, neck pain, and leg cramps. In an attempt to solve these problems, many sufferers have looked to chiropractors. Because simple adjustments to the neck and spine can restore the carriage of the whole body, a lot of fibromyalgia sufferers find that alignments of the spine can significantly reduce pain all over their bodies.

While scientists continue to develop a better understanding of fibromyalgia, chiropractors aim to correct misalignments of the spine and pelvis through hands-on adjustments. As joint motion improves, fibromyalgia patients discover that the excruciating pain can be reduced or, in some cases, eliminated. Once this pain is under control, other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia - such as fatigue, sleep deprivation, and depression - also diminish.

Numerous studies have been conducted analyzing the benefits of chiropractic care in fibromyalgia patients. A 1985 study asked 81 fibromyalgia patients to indicate drug or alternative treatments that best relieved their pain. Chiropractic care treatment scored surprisingly high in this study. Another study examined the effectiveness of spinal manipulation in relieving fibromyalgia symptoms. After just 15 treatments, fibromyalgia patients suffered from less pain and fatigue, and actually enjoyed better sleep quality.

Dr. Wayne Fichter, D.C., is the lead doctor at Natural Spine Solutions, with more than 15 years of experience treating families. He also has been the lead doctor in handling serious neck and back problems through non-surgical spinal decompression. Call (208) 966-4425 for all of your spinal and wellness needs.

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