Is Fibromyalgia a Life Sentence for Pain?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that impacts every aspect of life for those who suffer from it. The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is often given to people with chronic widespread pain when doctors cannot identify a specific condition or cause such as tissue damage. As a result, fibromyalgia remains elusive and confusing. Since people don’t know what causes it, some think it is a physical illness while others assume it is a purely psychological condition. This of course begs the question:
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Thankfully, there is currently enough research published to confidently say that fibromyalgia is at least partly due to a disorder of something called “central pain processing“. Central Pain Processing is how the brain feels pain. In a person with fibromyalgia, this means that a higher than normal pain response occurs as a result of a normal, not too painful activity. The Central Pain Processor in their brains interprets the activities as painful even when they are not damaging the body.
Other Conditions Caused By Pain Processing Problems
There are several other conditions that include pain processing problems. Some of these include irritable bowel syndrome, TMJ or jaw dysfunction, and chronic low back pain. A pain processing problem may be caused by chemical changes in the brain. Some chemical changes have been clearly identified in fibromyalgia sufferers. These include abnormal amounts of brain chemicals which help transmit information from our feet and arms to the brain.
In some cases there can be psychological or behavioral issues that play a role in the cause of fibromyalgia. Another study considered the cause of fibromyalgia to be a “neurologic disease.” This study identified the cause as interactions of life stressors such as financial or marital problems plus hormonal issues in people who are genetically predisposed.
Since there is no common voice, it appears that the cause of fibromyalgia is not one specific thing, but rather the presence of environmental issues like stress AND chemical imbalances in our endocrine (hormone) and nervous (brain) systems that team up to clobber those of us who may be genetically geared towards having fibromyalgia. This explanation of the cause is important because there are issues both outside and inside the body that have to be addressed to treat or manage the condition. A “multidisciplinary approach” with a team of healthcare providers works extremely well in managing fibromyalgia. With physical, biological, psychological and social issues needing management, the team may consist of a primary care doctor, a counselor and a doctor of chiropractic.
Chiropractic Care And Fibromyalgia
Chiropractic is an integral, important service to include because the primary complaint of fibromyalgia is “widespread musculoskeletal pain” and no other profession focuses more on that system than chiropractic. Patients with fibromyalgia frequently tell me that their structured treatment plan is very effective for managing fibromyalgia. This plan includes computerized chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue therapies, different forms of physiological therapeutics (such as electrical stimulation and cold laser therapy), nutritional counseling, and exercise guidance. We pride ourselves in the management of complex problems like fibromyalgia and are proud to be a part of the team!
If you, a friend or family member requires care for fibromyalgia, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing Eastside Chiropractic!