Fibromyalgia is like a silent storm, brewing discomfort and pain in millions of lives, often without a visible trace.
Amidst the aches and fatigue that form the crux of this chronic condition, many find themselves asking, Can a Chiropractor Help with Fibromyalgia?
In the search for relief, a chiropractor’s gentle, healing hands might hold the promise of a brighter, less painful tomorrow.
Let’s take an insight into chiropractic care to see if it could be the lighthouse guiding you through the fog of fibromyalgia.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a health problem that makes you feel pain all over your body.
People with fibromyalgia can also feel very tired, have trouble sleeping, and feel stiff when they wake up.
It’s not easy to know if someone has fibromyalgia because you can’t see it on the outside, and tests often don’t show it.
It is more common in females.
Fibromyalgia patients have “tender points“ on their body.
These points are places where it hurts extra when you press on them. These spots can be on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs.
Living with fibromyalgia can be tough, but there are ways to help deal with the pain and other problems it causes. Some people find that eating healthy foods and getting massages help too.
People are different, so finding what helps you feel better is important.
Complications of Fibromyalgia
Living with fibromyalgia can make everyday life hard. It’s not just the pain but also other things that can happen because of this condition.
Here are some problems people with fibromyalgia might face:
- Tiredness: People with fibromyalgia often feel tired, even if they sleep a lot. This can make it hard to do day-to-day stuff.
- Sleep Problems: It can be tough to fall asleep or stay asleep, which makes the tiredness even worse.
- Mood Changes: Fibromyalgia can make you feel sad or anxious. Sometimes, it can lead to depression.
- Memory Issues: This is often called “fibro fog.” It can make it hard to focus, pay attention, or remember things.
- Headaches: Many people with fibromyalgia get bad headaches or migraines often.
- Stomach Troubles: Fibromyalgia can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, and other problems with the belly.
Signs of Fibromyalgia
People with fibromyalgia deal with many signs that something is not right in their bodies.
Here are some clues that a person might have fibromyalgia:
- Widespread Pain: It feels like a dull ache that has been there for a long time. It can happen in different muscles and joints all over the body.
- Feeling Very Tired: Even if someone sleeps a lot or takes it easy, they still feel like they have no energy and are too tired to do things.
- Sleeping Problems: It’s hard for people with fibromyalgia to get a good night’s rest; they might wake up a lot or not feel rested when they wake up.
- Tender Spots: Certain spots on the body hurt a lot when you press on them, like the knees, chest, or elbows.
- Belly Problems: There might be pain in the stomach or problems like feeling sick, upset stomach, or going to the bathroom too much or not enough.
How Can a Chiropractor Help with Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain, fatigue, and other symptoms, making it a chronic condition.
It can be debilitating, but there are ways to manage and alleviate its symptoms. One promising approach is through chiropractic care.
Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who focus on diagnosing, treating, and preventing mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Here is how chiropractic care can be pivotal in managing fibromyalgia symptoms:
Spinal Manipulation and Pain Relief
Chiropractic care involves using hands-on spinal manipulations to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury caused by a traumatic event or repetitive stress. These adjustments can reduce pain and inflammation. For those with fibromyalgia, such manipulations can sometimes help alleviate the chronic pain that is characteristic of the condition.
Improving Sleep and Reducing Fatigue
Chronic pain from fibromyalgia often leads to sleep difficulties, which then compound fatigue and discomfort. Chiropractic adjustments can reduce stress on the body and promote better sleep patterns, which, in turn, may lessen the fatigue experienced by fibromyalgia patients.
Addressing Muscle Stiffness and Joint Pain
For fibromyalgia sufferers, these techniques can offer significant relief from muscle stiffness and joint pain.
Incorporating Lifestyle Adjustments
Chiropractors often provide holistic care that extends beyond spinal adjustments.
They may offer guidance on lifestyle choices that can impact the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms.
This might include advice on
- Exercise routines are tailored to increase flexibility and strength without overexerting the patient.
- Stress management techniques include meditation, yoga, or controlled breathing practices.
- Ergonomic modifications at work or home to minimize repetitive muscular strain or improve posture.
Good nutrition is another cornerstone of chiropractic care’s holistic approach.
A chiropractor may:
- Recommend an anti-inflammatory diet to help manage fibromyalgia by reducing systemic inflammation.
- Suggest dietary supplements to address nutritional deficiencies that could exacerbate symptoms.
- Provide advice on maintaining a balanced diet that supports overall health and well-being.
How to Find a Chiropractor for Fibromyalgia?
When looking for a chiropractor to help with fibromyalgia, you should find someone who has previously worked with this pain.
Here are some tips to help you find the right person:
- Look Online: Search for chiropractors who say they work with fibromyalgia patients. Look for community reviews about them.
- Check Their License: Make sure the chiropractor is licensed to work in your state. You can typically locate this information by visiting their website or contacting their office directly.
- Meet Them First: Chiropractors often talk with you before starting treatment. This is a good time to ask them how they help people with fibromyalgia.
Here are a few alternative therapies:
- Yoga & Tai Chi: These gentle exercises can help relax the muscles and reduce stress, which might make you feel better.
- Acupuncture or Dry needling: A professional sticks very thin needles into certain spots on the body to help with pain.
- Massage Therapy: Getting massages can help ease tense muscles and make you feel more relaxed. It can also make pain less bothersome.
- Meditation & Deep Breathing: These help calm the mind and ease dealing with pain and stress.
- Herbs and Supplements: Some people find relief by taking things like magnesium or omega-3s, but it’s important to talk to a doctor first.
- Name: Emily
- Age: 38
- Occupation: Graphic Designer
- Health History: Diagnosed with fibromyalgia
Emily came to the clinic with chronic issues stemming from fibromyalgia, including persistent pain and fatigue. These symptoms significantly impacted her daily functioning as a graphic designer and in her activities.
The treatment plan for Emily focused on regular chiropractic spinal adjustments to address her discomfort. Additionally, she received recommendations for ergonomic changes to her workspace that aimed to minimize strain and promote a healthier working environment.
Throughout treatment, Emily reported a noticeable decrease in her pain levels. With ongoing chiropractic care and adherence to ergonomic advice, she also experienced improved concentration and less daytime fatigue.
This progression marks a positive response to the treatment strategy implemented for her fibromyalgia symptoms.
1. Will a chiropractor for fibromyalgia use the same treatments as other conditions?
While some chiropractic techniques are common, a chiropractor for fibromyalgia may tailor treatments to your specific symptoms and pain levels, focusing on gentle approaches that are effective for fibromyalgia.
2. Can I get help with sleep problems from a chiropractor for fibromyalgia?
Some people find that chiropractic care improves their sleep by reducing pain and tension, which may make sleeping easier.
3. Do I need a doctor’s referral to see a chiropractor for fibromyalgia?
No, you usually don’t need a referral, but discussing chiropractic care with your doctor is a good idea to ensure it fits into your overall treatment plan.
4. How long does it take to feel better with chiropractic care for fibromyalgia?
It’s different for everyone. Some people feel relief after a few sessions, while others may need more time. Your chiropractor can give you an idea of what to expect.
5. Does insurance cover chiropractic care for fibromyalgia treatment?
Coverage varies by insurance company policy, so check with your provider. Many plans do cover chiropractic care, including for fibromyalgia.
6. Can children with fibromyalgia see a chiropractor?
Yes, chiropractors can treat children with fibromyalgia using gentle techniques suited to their young age and development.
If you or someone you love is dealing with fibromyalgia, a chiropractor for fibromyalgia can offer a comforting hand.
It may relieve pain but help you sleep better and make your days easier. We know that living with fibromyalgia isn’t simple, but you’re not alone.
Thanks to Dr John for sharing his successful case study with us. For more tips, advice, and ways to feel better, read our blogs at our chiropric wellness blog.