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How Chiropractic Care Benefits Fibromyalgia Patients


A recent study has developed further evidence supporting the idea that chiropractic therapy can be beneficial for people who suffer symptoms of fibromyalgia. The research was designed around 120 people between the ages of 40 and 65 who have been experiencing distressing symptoms from fibromyalgia for over a period of four years or more.

Participants responded to a survey that asked them to rate their pain on a scale from 0 to 10. Each person involved in the study exhibited limited moment in the neck area of the spine (cervical spine).

To test the efficacy of chiropractic care in bringing pain relief to sufferers of fibromyalgia, each participant was asked to undergo 12 weeks of general therapy. The treatment regimen was as follows:

  • Education program about how fibromyalgia can be treated and available treatment options (one two hour session per week).
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy that promoted discussion about pain management through relaxation exercises, transforming negative beliefs about treatment of fibromyalgia, and positive reinforcement for actions that counteract fibromyalgia symptoms (one two-hour session per week).
  • Exercise program including relaxation techniques combined with active and passive stretching (three one-hour sessions a week plus 20 minute sessions twice daily at home).

 Half of the study participants were also randomly assigned to receive chiropractic care in addition to the above treatment course. The chiropractic therapy focused mainly on upper cervical adjustments to the spine. These adjustments were high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts to a specific set of vertebrae in the upper cervical spine three time per week for the first month. This treatment was reduced to just once a week for the remaining eight weeks of the study.

Over the course of the study period, at its beginning, middle, and end, the participants were asked to fill out a survey that determined the effect of the treatments on their fibromyalgia pain. The questionnaire focused on physical function abilities, work days missed due to pain, sleep disturbances, levels of pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

Results showed that for those patients who received chiropractic care, pain from fibromyalgia was significantly decreased in comparison to participants who didn’t receive chiropractic care. Analysis of the patient questionnaires showed an improvement of 15 percent for patients undergoing chiropractic therapy. The conclusion that can be drawn from the research is that by adding chiropractic therapy to a current treatment plan for fibromyalgia, sufferers can experience a greater amount of relief.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Craig Sunter

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