Hands-On Approach to Treating Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that affects about 5 million Americans over the age of 18. This common and uncomfortable health problem is characterized by pain and tenderness throughout your body. Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men, though some men and children do develop this condition. Fibromyalgia symptoms may appear early in life, but most people are diagnosed with fibromyalgia during middle age. This page examines the causes and symptoms of fibromyalgia. It also introduces a hands-on healing approach that can yield profound health benefits for many people suffering with this condition.
You may have a greater likelihood of developing fibromyalgia if you have the following rheumatic diseases:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Systemic lupus erythematosus (i.e., lupus)
Ankylosing spondylitis (i.e., spinal arthritis)
Fibromyalgia is usually classified as an arthritis-like condition, though it’s not a true form of arthritis, as it does not involve inflammation or tissue damage. Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic condition, however, because it causes chronic pain and affects your joints and soft tissues.
Some researchers feel that fibromyalgia magnifies painful sensations by altering the way your brain handles pain signals. The pain and other symptoms associated with this health problem can significantly lower your quality of life.
Causes & Symptoms
The true underlying cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. Many researchers believe that the cause of fibromyalgia is multifactorial. Three main factors that may contribute to this health problem are:
- Genetics: fibromyalgia tends to run in families
Infections: certain illnesses seem to trigger or exacerbate fibromyalgia
Physical or emotional trauma: traumatic events appear to be linked to fibromyalgia
In some cases, fibromyalgia symptoms appear spontaneously, without any cause. In other cases, fibromyalgia symptoms accumulate slowly. Regardless, most people with this condition experience the common symptom of tenderness (when firm pressure is applied) in the following body parts:
- Back of the head
Between the shoulder blades
Tops of the shoulders
Front sides of the neck
Sides of the hips
Fatigue is another symptom common among fibromyalgia sufferers. Sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, are also commonly experienced by those with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia Pain Treatment
The conventional medical approach to fibromyalgia involves prescription drugs, including pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medication. This approach may not be appropriate for everyone, however, especially when more conservative treatment options are available. A combination of counseling (to help you better manage stressful situations) and hands-on healing techniques from our chiropractors may produce excellent results.