Despite affecting up to six percent of the total world population, fibromyalgia is still a mysterious disorder. Fibromyalgia syndrome is a disorder that causes pain in the soft tissue around the human body. This includes musculoskeletal pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and other connective or supportive tissue.
The primary symptom of fibromyalgia syndrome, often abbreviated as FMS or simply FM, is chronic pain in the muscles throughout the entire body, but there are other common symptoms as well. People that suffer from FMS may exhibit irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fatigue, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, tingling skin, muscle twitching, cognitive dysfunction, and heart palpitations.
To combat the pain of this condition, most patients turn to over the counter or pharmaceutical pain relievers. Unfortunately, these pain management drugs have many side effects, some of which are very serious. Damage to your stomach lining, liver, and kidneys are common side effects, and some of these “miracle” drugs used to alleviate pain have been linked to heart failure and stroke.
But there are natural alternatives that patients can explore. Chiropractic care, combined with nutritional support, offers a reliable way for patients to deal with several symptoms of this peculiar condition.
How Chiropractic Care Can Relieve Fibromyalgia
Chiropractic care relies on the belief that many illnesses or health issues are caused by misalignments in the skeletal structure, especially the spinal cord. Chiropractic adjustments can help strengthen and correct the irregularities in the body, relieving pain and other signs of FMS, while helping you maintain balance and health.
At Blue River Chiropractic, Dr. Zahasky uses a series of movements to help restore balance. These include stretches and adjustments.
Tanya M. has this to say about our office -
In January of this year I was weight lifting in the gym doing some overhead presses when I felt a pop and burning sensation in the right side of my head. About a week later I ended up in the Emergency room- I had dizziness,nausea, brain fog, numbness and tingling in my hands and feet, headaches,exhaustion, forgetfulness, vision problems and facial ticks.... I saw my GP who referred me for an MRI - I told him day two of all of this that I wanted to see my chiropractor he suggested I wait until I have the MRI and see neurology -more than a month later. In between time I had physical therapy weekly, I had my eyes tested, and saw ENT who referred me for even more tests. I finally saw a neurologist in late february who misdiagnosed me and offered me a prescription for anxiety medication. I asked her if it was okay to see my Chiropractor now...
The neurologist "warned me" of the "risks" of seeing a chiropractor... needless to say I scheduled my appointment with Dr. Ben for his next available. I explained all I had been through the previous 49 days, I told him of the pop burning sensation while weight lifting, he knew exactly what was wrong- he adjusted me and instantly I began feeling relief. I had told every care provider about this pop and burning in the side of my head at every appointment - not one of them put two and two together that my neck was out of alignment and my nerves were affecting my life in a drastic way - to put it simply.
I am relieved that my health overall is good, but mostly I am happy to say Chiropractic care and Dr. Ben gave me my quality of life back.
I will never go out of maintenance again. Thank you Dr. Ben!
Fibromyalgia patients are now relying on chiropractors more than ever before because of the numerous advantages they offer.
Reduce Pain. Chronic pain is the most common and grueling symptom of fibromyalgia. These small-scale studies show that recurring chiropractic care can help reduce pain in FMS patients.
Improve Sleep. FMS patients usually suffer from irregular sleep patterns, often a result of other symptoms, such as pain, tingling sensation, or cognitive dysfunction. Spinal adjustments can sometimes relieve these other symptoms, which means better sleep, regulated sleep patterns, and better healing.
Increase Blood Flow. Blood oxygen levels and flow rate have a huge effect on how quickly toxins are released from the body and how quickly muscles heal. Increased blood flow can also help relax your muscles, reduce pain, and improve mobility.
Improve Fatigue Issues. The exhaustion that comes from pain and lack of sleep can result in debilitating fatigue. Chiropractic care can help address this lack of energy and help the body stay active for longer periods.
Enhance Range of Motion and Coordination. Untreated FMS often results in a limited range of motion. Chiropractic techniques such as passive stretching and soft tissue therapy can help regain mobility and improve or maintain range of motion.
Additional Alternative Health Care Options
Other well-known techniques that may also yield great results include:
Massage. Benefits may include pain alleviation, enhanced muscle recovery, the release of endorphins, and reduced anxiety — just to name a few.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine healing technique. Thin needles are gently placed on pressure points to balance and heal the body. Acupuncture is often an excellent treatment option for those who suffer from chronic pain.
Essential Oils. These plant-derived oils can be powerfully soothing when applied topically with a carrier oil. Lavender and frankincense essential oils are frequent choices for soothing muscular pain, but there are many more known to help relieve pain and muscle tension.
Natural Dietary Supplements to Support Fibromyalgia Patients
Nutrition plays a large role in helping FMS patients control and even reduce FMS symptoms. Curamin, CBD oil, and Fibrenza are some of the best options that our team at Apple Wellness has been able to find. These supplements provide a great long-term solution, as they help to heal the body through nutritional support.
Curcumin is among the strongest anti-inflammatories available. Its pain-relieving abilities even rival those of pharmaceutical opioids. Curcumin offers neuroprotective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It may also help relieve depression, IBS, irregular sleep patterns, and anxiety. Our favorite curcumin product currently available is Curamin.
CBD (cannabidiol) oil is one of the most effective substances you can take for relieving FMS pain because of the unique way it influences the body. CBD stimulates certain receptors that regulate temperature, inflammation, the perception of pain, sleep patterns, mood, and more. CBD use can also help improve a patient’s range of motion, especially when used in unison with chiropractic care.
You can find topical CBD oil available in at Apple Wellness - swing by our local Madison supplement store to learn more.
*CBD oil does not contain THC and is not a psychoactive substance, so you will not experience mind-altering effects.
People with FMS typically have high levels of fibrin present in their entire body. Fibrin is excess scar tissue, which blocks micro-circulation and clogs up tiny vessels in the afflicted areas. This cuts off blood supply and ‘suffocates’ the area, leading to sharp and aching pain sensations.
Systemic enzymes in Fibrenza allow you to break down the surplus of scar tissue and destroy excess fibrin in your bloodstream. The result? Less pain, and less inflammation. (Systemic enzymes also help your muscles recover after working out or suffering an injury, which can help prevent symptoms from manifesting in the first place.)
Lifestyle Changes for Preventive Care
You can also make a few lifestyle changes to help relieve or prevent symptoms of FMS. These include:
Cut out sugar, white flour, and all processed foods.
Avoid additives such as MSG and aspartame.
Limit your intake of caffeine and chocolate.
Select organic fruits and vegetables. Eat plenty of fresh produce daily.
Purchase high-quality meat, and eat plenty of wild-caught fish.
Follow an exercise regime tailored to your abilities. (Don’t be discouraged - FMS doesn’t mean you have to give up your athletic goals. Find a trainer with experience in FMS to help you!)
Reduce all possible stress factors in your life. Stress can make FMS symptoms much worse.
Overcoming Fibromyalgia for a Fuller Life
FMS may be difficult to treat, but thanks to chiropractic care and a collection of nutritional supplements, you can still live a full, active life without skipping a beat. Both of these alternatives revolve around the same belief that by finding a balance, supporting our bodies, and staying properly nourished, we give ourselves the tools we need to heal.
If you’re facing a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, you don’t have to go through it alone. Find support of medical experts, like those at Blue River Chiropractic, who can help you to relieve symptoms and help your body heal. And of course, the team at Apple Wellness is here to help you ‘find your healthy place’.