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Handling Your Fibromyalgia via Chiropractic Therapy

Fibromyalgia is a disorder of the musculoskeletal system that causes extensive pain throughout the body that is often associated with feelings of exhaustion, need to sleep, memory problems, and mood swings. The scientific theory is that the disease magnifies normal sensations into painful ones by altering how the brain processes pain signals. 

The causes of fibromyalgia are mysterious but it is known that it sometimes starts up after experiencing some sort of physical trauma, surgery, infection, or even severe psychological stress. However, some cases have been known to gradually build up overtime with no known triggering event. 

For some reason, women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men. Other disorders commonly associated with fibromyalgia are tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression. Traditional medicine has yet to discover a cure for this frustrating disease and the treatment plan typically consists of prescription medication to control pain, recommended exercises, relaxation, and general stress reduction.

Chiropractic care, on the other hand, has researched the effectiveness of its own methods on treating fibromyalgia. One such case study looked at the results of a physiotherapy program that used both chiropractic manipulation of the connective tissues beneath the muscles, or fascia, and ultra sound therapy. The study aimed to reduce pain, insomnia, and generally improve the quality of life for patients living with fibromyalgia.

The study involved 20 different females, all of whom had fibromyalgia. Before treatment began all were evaluated via survey questions to determine levels of pain intensity, complaint of nonrestorative sleep, and the impact of fibromyalgia on the quality of their lives. These same questions were asked after 20 sessions of chiropractic treatment for comparison. A follow up analysis was also made with 14 of the participants a year later. 

Treatment was compromised of deep massaging of the connective tissue of the back on a daily basis, over 20 sessions, coupled with ultrasound therapy of the upper back every other session. Ultrasound therapy uses a device that emits sounds waves into the skin itself to vibrate the tissues of the body, activating them with a massage-like action that loosens and relaxes tissues that are hard to reach with human hands.

Results at the end of the study showed significant reduction in pain intensity from fibromyalgia symptoms. The impact that fibromyalgia had on day to day activities was also significantly reduced. Sleep was improved greatly for all patients which carried over into improving the general quality of life.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Billie Ward

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