The chronic pain and other unpleasant symptoms of fibromyalgia and associated conditions can be debilitating and have a significant negative impact on a patient and often their families as well.
Promoting Chiropractic Care
According to the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, a non-profit organization founded in 2003 to increase public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care, chiropractic treatments can help reduce the extreme fatigue and joint stiffness fibromyalgia sufferers experience.
According to the foundation spokesperson and the president of Life Chiropractic College West University, Gerry Clum, D.C., fibromyalgia involves "turmoil of the central nervous system." Chiropractors are trained to deal with the central nervous system and can provide treatment to help reduce the system's sensitization.
Gentle manipulation of the pelvis and spine can help correct any misalignments and help reduce pain. The hands-on adjustments can also help improve joint movement and the pain associated with joint stiffness. Sometimes frequent treatment can help eliminate the pain completely.
An elimination or reduction of pain can help alleviate some of the other symptoms of fibromyalgia like sleep deprivation, fatigue and depression, according to the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress.
Just Public Relations Hype?
Statements by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress may come across as simple public relations. After all, you might think, the purpose of the foundation is to promote chiropractic care and they may be willing to say or do anything to make it look better than it is.
Perhaps. But experiences from actual fibromyalgia patients show that chiropractic care is effective, at least for some people. The difficulty in treating fibromyalgia is that the symptoms show up differently in different people.
Retired Brig. Gen. Becky Halstead is quoted in Medical News Today as saying the treatments she received from her chiropractor helped her feel better on a day-to-day basis. The first woman General in the US Army to command in Iraq says that the chiropractic treatment wasn't taken alone but was used in conjunction with other treatments like diet changes and lifestyle changes.
Arlene, a woman in her early 60s who has suffered from fibromyalgia and extreme fatigue for several years, says that chiropractic care has helped her become more active and help her become more involved in the lives of her grandchildren.
"Chiropractic care isn't a cure," says Arlene, "but it almost felt like a cure after I started feeling better after a few treatments. I was able to move around easier and I was able to sleep better went a long way to making me feel overall better and like a contributing member of society."
Arlene is quick to point out that she still experiences the symptoms of fibromyalgia and that she's also taking medication to help alleviate the symptoms. But she also says that she doesn't think that she would be able to do what she can do today without her regular chiropractic adjustments.
Getting the Right Chiropractic Treatment
Not all chiropractors are the same. Some don't know what fibromyalgia is. If your joint movement is very limited, some may claim not to be able to do anything for you.
This happened to Lisa, a 40-something fibromyalgia sufferer. "The first chiropractor I went to said he had never seen so many locked up joints in his life and there was nothing he could do to help me."
But part of making sure you get the best medical care possible is to be your own personal advocate. This is what Lisa did.
She found a chiropractor who practiced a technique called motion palpation. This is where joints are adjusted and then checked to make sure they're moving properly after adjusting. More adjustments are done until the joint is moving as smoothly as possible.
You need to make sure you choose a chiropractor who is willing to test and do this to all your major joints. When choosing a chiropractor make sure they plan to tests the joints in the following areas:
· Middle back
· Upper back
· Lower back