Fibromyalgia is above all more than a hundred symptoms, which hinder everyday life. It is a common chronic disease characterized mainly by continuous and diffuse pain throughout the body, poor sleep and excessive fatigue (abnormal fatigue).
Fibromyalgia is defined by a collection of symptoms and this is why we speak of a syndrome rather than a clearly defined disease. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are different for each individual so they can change from hour to hour or from day to day. Here is the list of the main symptoms:
Non-Restorative Sleep (feeling tired after a full nights sleep)
Morning Stiffness (that can continue during the day)
Digestive Disorders (stomach spasms, constipation, diarrhea, etc.)
Headaches and/or Migraines
Increased Pain in Changing Temperatures (humidity, cold and air conditioning)
Feelings of Swelling, Numbness
Pain Amplified by a Lack or Excess of Physical Activity
Anxiety and/or Depression
Concentration Disorder and Memory Loss
Fatigue and Muscle Weakness
The medical history (accident, emotional shock, stress/overworked, hormonal changes, sexual/physical abuse during childhood, viral illness, etc.) and clinical examination of the patient are essential before making a diagnosis.
The first thing to do is eliminate any serious illness. The diagnosis is based on two main symptoms; generalized pain lasting more than 3 months (both at the top and bottom of the waist, both on the left and right side of the body and on the front and back of the body) and a pain felt by the pressure at least 11 of the 18 sensitive points.
What is Chiropractics Role?
Current research indicates that chiropractic care can relieve fibromyalgia.
In one study, researchers at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto followed 21 patients with fibromyalgia. Chiropractic care has decreased the symptoms of fibromyalgia. In particular, patients benefited from greater range of motion and decreased levels of pain.
Another study looked at the effects of chiropractic care in patients with fibromyalgia. Subjects received specialized care including chiropractic adjustments and a special form of therapeutic massage, ischemic compression. 9 of 15 subjects who completed the study experienced a significant reduction in pain intensity, felt less fatigue, and improved sleep quality.