Fibromyalgia symptoms are debilitating, where sufferers experience body pain, fatigue and depression. Find out more about this condition and how it can be treated.
WHAT IS IT?
Fibromyalgia symptoms are widespread pain, fatigue, sleep problems and depression. It is a little understood and poorly treated condition. It affects 2% to 4% of populations and it is difficult to ascertain how or why it starts. It is most commonly handled by Rheumatologists, but can also be classified into neurology, psychiatry or general medicine.
Did you know this is a disease helped by Upper Cervical Chiropractors?
WHAT IS THE CAUSE?
The cause of Fibromyalgia is currently unknown. Theories for the cause suggesting links to inflammation, stress, infection, physical trauma and nerve system problems. It is known as a ‘diagnosis of exclusion’, meaning it is only given as a diagnosis after other serious conditions have been ruled out, such as arthritis, brain disease, depression or infection. Some doctors have even made the claim that, “Fibromyalgia does not exist”, because there is no satisfactory definition for the condition.
WHAT TRIGGERS FIBROMYALGIA?
While the cause of Fibromyalgia remains uncertain, there have been some common triggers which cause flare-ups for sufferers:
Although medication is a common treatment for Fibromyalgia symptoms, it can sometimes cause unwanted side effects or increase symptoms. This may affect nerve functions, increasing sensitivity. This is especially true when there is a change in medication or a new medication.
A physical injury is often the start of Fibromyalgia, with a physical insult causing changes in the sensitivity of the body and interfering with its normal functions for healing.
This is another common trend, where a suspected bacterial or viral infection occurs, then Fibromyalgia continues after the illness has gone. Subsequent illnesses will trigger a flare-up of Fibromyalgia symptoms, due to the immune system focusing on the illness.
Stress is one of (if not the biggest)triggers for Fibromyalgia. Stress is not just a problem that effects mental or emotional state. When under stress this causes a physiological reaction, changing chemical reactions in the brain, organs and immune system. Stress can manifest as body aches and pain for most people, but is particularly worse for Fibromyalgia sufferers. (Read more about stress here)
Dietary choices can worsen Fibromyalgia symptoms, especially foods which the person has an intolerance to or foods that are inflammatory. A healthy diet is a must to give your immune system a vital boost.
For more about Fibromyalgia Triggers, click here.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
The current diagnostic protocol for Fibromyalgia symptoms includes a pain based assessment system to show pain that is spread throughout
the body rather than one focal point with general tiredness for over 3 months. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is also diagnosed in 90–100% of Fibromyalgia cases. The treatment is usually a mix of medications, including pain killers, anti-seizure medication and anti-depressants. Estimates show up to 40% will significantly improve, but few of these are thought to fully recover. Occupational therapy, counselling and exercises may also be given to manage the disease, but no medical cure is established for Fibromyalgia symptoms.
Medicine currently provides improvements for less than 40% of Fibromyalgia cases, even when combined with other therapies
WHAT IS THE CURRENT TREATMENT FOR FIBROMYALGIA?
While in the past research has focused on a rheumatologic and psychological, new hypotheses suggest changes in muscle metabolism, including decreased blood flow, causing overall weakness and fatigue. Other current research is focused on abnormalities in neurophysiology, affecting
nerve function and regulation of neurotransmitters and hormones.
More holistic practitioners will recommend exercise, therapy, meditation and changes in diet. However, for most cases this offers minimal improvement.
Chiropractors specialise in the nerve system, restoring balance and allowing the body to heal efficiently without medication
HOW CAN CHIROPRACTIC HELP?
Chiropractic has a long history of helping patients to manage and reduce Fibromyalgia symptoms. Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic care is especially effective. A study by Amalu tested the effectiveness of Chiropractic to treat Fibromyalgia symptoms, showing improvements of 92–100% for both Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This was focused on correcting biomechanical function at the occipito-atlanto-axial complex, also known and the Upper Cervical spine, located at the top of the neck where the neck and skull meet.
The Upper Cervical spine is made up of the first 2 bones at the top of the neck, C1 and C2. This area is so important because it protects the brainstem. The brainstem is the controller for the nerve system, organising the messages from the brain to the right parts of the body (and from
the body back to the brain!). If the Upper Cervical spine is compromised it will stop the brainstem from working properly, disrupting the nerve pathways to the rest of the body. This can develop into Fibromyalgia. Upper Cervical Chiropractors focus on these bones in the upper neck, correcting the cause of the problem and reducing the interference in the nerve messages from the brain. This allows the body to heal optimally and naturally, without medication.
At Vitality Chiropractic we are Singapore’s only Upper Cervical specific centre, with experience helping patients with Fibromyalgia to take their lives back. Click here to read Patient Reviews or hear Testimonials.
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