Tag Archives: fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia

As a health and wellness clinic in Mississauga we often work with patients who suffer with fibromyalgia.  The condition can be very painful and debilitating if steps are not taken to learn how to function with it and move forward in spite of it.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome characterized by widespread, migrating, and frequently debilitating pain and fatigue.  The medical rheumatologists determine the diagnosis through a series of criteria:

  • Chronic, widespread pain in each of the four quadrants (above and below the waist, bilaterally, in the axial skeleton) that has been present for at least 3 months
  • Pain elicited upon palpation of less than four kilograms of pressure in a least 11 of 18 tender points

Patients with fibromyalgia often times experience stiffness, fatigue, numbness, migraines, tension headaches, IBS, TMJ problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, anxiety, depression, fog, sleep problems, and have difficulty with exercise.

What is the cause of Fibromyalgia?

“Fibromyalgia is a complicated condition that likely has more
than one single cause, although recent data tends to support
the notion that the primary cause is a breakdown in the normal
function of the central nervous system (CNS) and the
abnormal pain amplification experienced by patients tend to
occur at the level of the spine, not of the peripheral tissues.1,4
This is important in considering its clinical application with
chiropractic care. In regards to pain processing, perception of
pain involves an ascending and descending neural pathway.
Peripheral nerves send information to the brain via the spinal
cord (ascending) for processing and the brain relays the
appropriate response back down the spinal cord, out the
peripheral nerves (descending). In patients with fibromyalgia,
these two pathways have been shown to operate abnormally.1,6”

The above excerpt is from:

Resolution of Chronic Fibromyalgia and Improved Spinal Curves Following Correction of an Atlas Subluxation: A Case Report & Selective Review of the Literature

 

What is the medical treatment of Fibromyalgia?

Patient suffering with fibromyalgia are often in such bad pain that the medical system initially aims at addressing the pain levels through use of painkillers.  Unfortunately:

“The American Pain Society cautions against the use of opioids, corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti inflammatories, benzodiazepines, and tender or trigger point injections for the treatment of fibromyalgia due to a lack of evidence of efficiency.”

If not pain killers, how do you survive with Fibromyalgia?

“…more than 90% of patients also seek alternative therapies on their own accord and report a strong preference for non-pharmacological treatment options.”

As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, a huge aspect of helping a patient suffering with fibromyalgia is to help them to learn to function with it and to improve in spite of it.

These are some main points I think of when helping a patient learn about Fibromyalgia and how to move forward with it:

By understanding these points, it can help a person make action steps to improve health and function in spite of fibromyalgia pains.  Chiropractors are experts at helping patients implement strategies to address to points, but ultimately the person experiencing the fibromyalgia pains has to master the understanding of them to live at their best.

  1. The brain is the most important part of our body and allows us to feal, function, adapt to the environment, move, and live.
  2. The spine allows us to move about against gravity, has muscular attachments, but ultimately it protects the spinal cord from injury.
  3. The brain can only respond to the information it receives from the nerves.  If the information it receives are signalling danger, the brain feels pain and responds accordingly.
  4. Danger signals from the nerves do not necessarily mean damage is occurring.
  5. When the nerves are pinched or bothered at any point along the nerve pathway, the entire nerve pathway signals are sensed as danger
  6. When the spinal cord itself is under strain or stress, all of the messages processed through it to the brain will be at a heightened sense of danger.

How do you implement the above points to help?

The above points can be simple…but also confusing and complex.  Especially to live and act according to them.  As mentioned above, Chiropractors are trained at implementing the above physiological science into practical action steps for our patients.  Many times our practical action steps involve adjusting the spine in order to reduce interference along the nerve system and then to also help encourage proper function.  Most of the contact points are done along the spine and pelvis, but some can be along the nerve pathways or mechanical pathways into the legs or arms.

A lot of the patient education and goals are aimed towards functional goals that help to point out successes in function, and not pain.  One example of why we do this as practitioners is that it is important to guide a person towards where they want to go and accomplish as opposed to constantly highlighting where they are.  The pain focus can unfortunately take up a person’s whole consciousness, leading them to not see any functional health improvements, life enjoyment, or quality of life aspects.

To learn more about applying Chiropractic thinking towards fibromyalgia challenges, connect with a Chiropractor, have your spine and nerve system analyzed, and then implement and try your hardest to understand the concepts.  I have found that the patients who are able to do this are able to have the best results and are the happiest, in spite of fibromyalgia.  You can also read more regarding these concepts, under a different topic at:

The most important part of the body
Vertebral Subluxation
Activator Methods Chiropractic  
Upper Neck Injuries

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Callum Peever – Chiropractor in Mississauga