Fibromyalgia: How to Relieve Pain, Reduce Stress, and Improve Mood Naturally Without Drugs
Chiropractor in Vaughan Explains How
According to a 2014 Canadian Community Health Survey by Statistics Canada, 519,146 (1.7%) of Canadians aged 12 and over have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.1
Fibromyalgia is a condition that is characterized by generalized body pain and an abnormal heightened sensitivity to pain.2 It is also associated with sleep disturbances, memory issues, fatigue, and depression.3
There is no known cause for fibromyalgia. And currently, there are no lab tests or diagnostic imaging studies that can diagnosis fibromyalgia either.
Often times patients who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia are prescribed pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil. In some cases, antidepressants or anti-seizure drugs may be prescribed. 3
Chiropractic Care for Fibromyalgia
For anyone who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chiropractic care should be considered as a viable “treatment” option. I used the word “treatment” loosely here because chiropractic is not about treating any specific condition, such as fibromyalgia. However, many patients with fibromyalgia that I have seen in my office have responded extremely well from chiropractic care. In many of these cases, chiropractic care was their last resort, after medications and other therapies like massage, acupuncture, and physiotherapy.
How Can Chiropractic Help Someone with Fibromyalgia
The aim of chiropractic is always to discover what’s causing the underlying health problem and to correct the underlying cause not just treat the symptom. Convention medical care is about treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, the pain, fatigue, mood changes, and sleep disturbances. Hence, within the medical model, they are treating the condition—fibromyalgia
Chiropractic is about checking for spinal misalignments (also called vertebral subluxations)/ So, if the symptoms that are associated in patients with fibromyalgia are caused by subluxations, then chiropractic can help. But chiropractic is always about correcting the subluxations.
Why is chiropractic relevant to patients with fibromyalgia?
Here are 3 reasons:
1. Pain Relief: Well, we know that subluxations cause interference to the normal function of the nervous system. The nervous is responsible for all body functions, all healing, and all repair. Subluxations can trigger irritation on tissues like nerves, muscles, tendons, and discs. All these tissues are pain sensitive. Therefore, by correcting subluxations, often times painful conditions are relieved, and this possible also in patients with fibromyalgia.
2. Stress Relief: Chiropractic has a profound effect on relieving the dangerous affects of chronic stress. Chronic stress can be detrimental to your health. When someone is chronically stress, the sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive. This is the ‘Fight or Flight’ part of your nervous system. Stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, are constantly being secreted in the body during chronic stress. Chiropractic adjustments to the spine can help balance the sympathetic nervous system overdrive and therefore the stress response in the body. This is why patients under chiropractic care tell me that they now have a better ability to handle stress. Well, one of the theories for the cause of fibromyalgia is stress.4 Therefore, it is plausible that by decreasing the effects of stress on the nervous system with chiropractic care could help people with fibromyalgia.
3. Improving Mood: Some of the newest research in chiropractic today involves the effect of chiropractic adjustments on the brain. Studies are now showing the chiropractic has a positive effect on brain function. Research subjects were attached to brain wave scanners, electroencephalogram (EEG), which measure the persons brain waves. Researches found that there was in increase in alpha brain wave response. The alpha brain waves are associated with greater relaxation, health, and heeling.5 The more relaxed you are the better mood you are in.
In summary, anyone that has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia should visit a chiropractor. Even though chiropractic is not a specific treatment for fibromyalgia, considering the benefits that are possible from chiropractic care, patients can begin to experience less pain, a better ability to handle stress, more happiness, and better mood.
- Okifuji, A and Hare B. Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Review of Evidence. Pain Ther. 2013 Dec; 2(2): 87–104.