What is fibromyalgia syndrome and what forms of traditional and alternative treatment exist? We’re going to review the symptoms of this chronic pain disorder briefly. Then we will look at four types of treatment for fibromyalgia. We will conclude with a natural form of care that is giving hope to many who prefer to find drug-free relief.
What Is Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
Let’s get to know fibromyalgia a little better by taking a closer look at the symptoms of this condition. We’ll start with pain. This is the symptom that characterizes fibromyalgia. But did you know that there are certain points on the body where a patient is more likely to experience tenderness? In fact, applying pressure and getting a response from 11 or more of 18 preset fibromyalgia trigger points is the primary test a doctor will perform to diagnose this condition.
Fibromyalgia Tender Points
Where are the tender points located? They are in nine sets of two at the following locations:
- Back of the neck – The two points here are at the base of the skull on either side of the neck.
- Front of the neck – These points are on either side of the throat, a few inches above the collarbone.
- Upper back – One either side of the upper back, right where the muscles join the shoulder blades is the location for these two points.
- Shoulders – These points are on either side of the spine, midway between the neck and shoulder.
- Chest – Switching back around to the front of the body, these points are on either side of the breastbone at about the second rib.
- Elbows – On the inside of each elbow, just below the crease and toward the outside of the arm there are also two fibromyalgia trigger points.
- Lower back – Next we travel down to just above the buttocks on either side of the lower back.
- Hips – Where the buttocks meet the thigh muscles there is another point on each side.
- Knees – We conclude our list with the lowest fibromyalgia trigger points. Tenderness tender to exist on the inside of the pads of the knees.
There are plenty of other fibromyalgia symptoms including insomnia, fatigue, weight gain, depression and anxiety, vertigo, headaches or migraines, nausea, and the list goes on and on. Let’s take a look at four types of treatment for fibromyalgia, so you can stop dwelling on the symptoms and start feeling better as soon as possible.
There are plenty of pills that doctors. Prescribe for fibromyalgia. The main problem is that none of them were designed specifically as treatment for fibromyalgia. In fact, most of the prescribed medications are pain relievers, inflammation reducers, muscle relaxers, and antidepressants.
Each of these medications comes with its own list of side effects. Plus, fibromyalgia patients seem to have varying reactions to different drugs, so what works for a friend may do nothing for you and vice versa. So what can you do if you want to avoid pharmaceuticals?
Taking care of yourself can certainly help to reduce symptoms even though this is by no means a cure-all. What are some lifestyle changes that can benefit a fibromyalgia patient?
- Getting daily exercise – You’re not going to be doing cross-fit with a chronic pain condition, and you don’t have to in order to be active. Swimming, walking, and even some forms of stretching can prove beneficial. On the other hand, being sedentary can increase pain and stiffness as well as lead to weight gain that makes the joints have to work harder.
- Stress management techniques – Avoiding stress is impossible, so managing it through relaxation techniques is vital for fibromyalgia patients in order to avoid the flare-ups that stress and anxiety can cause. Whether you take up a hobby, meditate daily on positive things, or find spirituality, the key is learning what makes you feel better so you have fewer flare-ups.
You may be referred to a specialist by your primary care doctor. What types of specialists are commonly involved in the treatment of fibromyalgia?
- Clinical Psychologist – Many fibromyalgia patients deal with depression and anxiety.
- Physical Therapist – Through exercise, physical therapy may help to restore muscle strength and reduce pain levels.
- Rheumatologist – This is a doctor who specializes in rheumatic disease such as arthritis.
- Neurologist – Since fibromyalgia is related to the central nervous system, it makes sense to check for changes in brain function.
There are a number of different therapies that have been recommended for fibromyalgia. For example, some patients have received cognitive behavioral therapy in an effort to fight insomnia. Massage therapy has been recommended for relaxing tense muscles. Some have turned to acupuncture, a form of Chinese medicine. What we would like to introduce you to now is something that many people are finding effective – upper cervical chiropractic.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Fibromyalgia
Upper cervical practitioners focus on the top two bones of the spine located at the base of the skull. As a result of their location, a misalignment may lead to inhibited blood flow to the brain or even issues with brainstem function. Either of these factors can lead to the onset of fibromyalgia symptoms. It is no wonder then that many patients have a head or neck injury in their past.
If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, why not give upper cervical chiropractic a try? This gentle and precise form of chiropractic has been able to help numerous patients in case studies. Some have even found complete resolution. Schedule a consultation with an upper cervical chiropractor near you to learn more.