Fibromyalgia refers to widespread and persistent musculoskeletal pain. This pain can be experienced anywhere but the common areas where pain is experienced the most, or is the most severe, are the neck, lower back, and mid-back. Because this pain is a constant problem, patients most often also experience chronic fatigue, tiring easily, morning stiffness, urinary urgency, tingling and numbness, gastrointestinal symptoms, and anxiety or stress. The most common complaint from patients with fibromyalgia is sleep disturbance.
Though prescription and over the counter pain killers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NASIDs) can temporary relieve pain, these drugs do not treat other fibromyalgia symptoms or the underlying causes of fibromyalgia. Some of these underlying causes include trauma or stress, irritated nerves, lack of exercise, nutritional deficiencies, and/or toxicity.
Because the causes of fibromyalgia are so diverse, the Physiomed employs an interdisciplinary approach to treating patients with fibromyalgia. Physiomed offers chiropractic treatment, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture to help treat patients with fibromyalgia.
How Chiropractic Treatment can help:
Chiropractic care is based on the theory that illness and pain are caused by misalignments in your skeletal structure. Because the body is a connected system, it relies on your bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons to be functioning efficiently. Chiropractors treat pain and related symptoms by correcting the imbalances in your skeletal structure. Currently, many more fibromyalgia patients are seeking chiropractic care and are seeing results. There have been numerous medical studies to date. One such study examined the effectiveness of spinal manipulation in relieving fibromyalgia symptoms and after just 15 treatments, fibromyalgia patients experienced less pain, fatigue, and even enjoyed better sleep quality.
How Physiotherapy can help:
Physiotherapy, or physical therapy, is specifically designed to decrease pain and increase physical mobility in a wide range of patients. There have been many positive medical studies supporting physiotherapy in treating fibromyalgia. A study in Norway found that patients with fibromyalgia who were treated with physiotherapy reported significant decreases in pain, muscle stiffness, and tender points. They also experienced less muscle fatigue and increased physical mobility. Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques to treat patients in order to improve muscle strength, joint function, and overall mobility. These techniques include manual treatments, physical treatments (with use of deep heating packs or cooling packs), electrotherapy treatments, and/or personalized exercise routines. An assessment is always done on the first day with a physiotherapist in order to create an effective and personalized treatment and exercise program.
How Massage Therapy can help:
Massage therapy is a hands-on treatment that is becoming more and more popular, both with fibromyalgia patients and other pain sufferers. During massage therapy, your muscles and soft tissues are manipulated in order to relieve stress, reduce pain and stiffness, and increase flexibility. Massage therapy is argued to be one of the most beneficial treatments for fibromyalgia pain and fatigue. In a survey completed by fibromyalgia sufferers, massage therapy was rated the best fibromyalgia treatment by an overwhelming margin. Massage therapy has been known to help increase blood circulation to the muscles, for faster muscle repair. As well, massage therapy increases flexibility and range of motion while reducing stress, pain, and stiffness. Improvement in sleep has also been contributed to massage therapy.
How Acupuncture can help:
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice used to eliminate pain and treat other health problems by restoring balance to your body and helping to improve your overall function. In addition to being an effective treatment for chronic pain and fibromyalgia, acupuncture has also been shown to help with acute pain, gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular problems, and nerve and muscle disorders. Acupuncture is based on the belief that it restores balance to your body by increasing the amount of life force, chi, in your body. Western scientists believe that acupuncture may actually block pain impulses from reaching the brain and increasing the level of endorphins in the body, thereby minimizing pain. Acupuncture may also increase serotonin, endomorphin-1, beta-endorphin, and encephalin – chemicals that help reduce pain symptoms.
Because acupuncture is not widely understood by North American doctors, many medical studies have been done to explore its potential benefits and limitations. A recent study done by the Mayo Clinic found that fibromyalgia symptoms, such as fatigue and anxiety, were reduced when patients were treated with acupuncture.