Fibromyalgia is a debilitating disorder that affects a variety of systems in the body. It is identified by constant musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, memory problems, and sleep disturbances. Symptoms usually begin after being exposed to extreme physical trauma, infection, or prolonged psychological stress. There are no tests that help with diagnosis, and identifying it requires a skilled doctor’s expertise in recognizing symptoms. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, so unfortunately the best course of treatment is pain management.
Many experts believe that exposure to traumatic situations may cause a trigger in fibromyalgia symptoms. These situations are thought to result in an increased level of brain chemicals that signal pain. This results in brain receptors becoming extremely sensitized and overreacting to painful and nonpainful signals alike.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Symptoms can vary, depending on the individual, but in general, fibromyalgia causes widespread pain, which includes tender points, joint stiffness, muscle pain, insomnia, and exhaustion. Some of the primary symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
- Widespread pain
This is characterized as a dull ache that has lasted at least 3 months. The pain has to be present on both sides of the body and above and below the waist.
This is described as restless sleep, meaning that regardless of how many hours of sleep you have, you still wake up feeling tired. People suffering from fibromyalgia also report sleep being interrupted by pain, and others may also have other sleep disorders like restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea.
- Cognitive difficulties
This is usually referred to as fibro fog and is characterized by low focus, inability to concentrate or pay attention to mental tasks.
Additional Symptoms include:
- Abdominal Cramps
- Severe Tension Headaches
- Factors that Increase fibromyalgia Risk
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Painful bladder syndrome
If you have a family history of fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus, you may be at an increased risk of developing fibromyalgia. It is also more common in women than men.
Chiropractic Care for Fibromyalgia in the DMV
While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, the symptoms can be managed with a variety of treatments. When you meet with the chiropractor you will first have a consultation to discuss your pain symptoms and your concerns. The doctor will actively consider the description of your experience and then make the best recommendation for treatment. Some of these recommendations may include massage therapy, exercise therapy, or something else entirely.
Oftentimes, fibromyalgia is accompanied by a narrowing of the spinal canal, called spinal stenosis. This condition can cause additional pain, difficulty walking, and numbness or tingling in the legs. Chiropractic adjustments can help maximize the spaces around the spinal cord and nerve roots to help reduce your symptoms. Receiving regular adjustments can also help reduce inflammation and maximize the range of motion of your vertebrae.
fibromyalgia causes an over-sensitization to pain, so many patients tend to avoid massage therapy altogether. For constant sufferers, the thought of applying pressure to an already painful area seems incredibly unappealing. However, when done correctly, massage therapy can improve pain symptoms.
Some of the primary symptoms of fibromyalgia are fatigue, restless sleep, and depression. When patients suffering from fibromyalgia participate in activities like walking, swimming, or biking, they often report improved energy levels. Exercise triggers the production of endorphins in the brain, which are chemicals that the brain produces to reduce stress. This means that exercise can often improve the quality of sleep for patients, allowing them to wake feeling more energized. Studies have shown that exercise has a lasting effect on managing some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
If you are still searching for a “chiropractor near me” who can treat your fibromyalgia? Schedule an appointment with the chiropractors at RxWellness Spine & Health by calling (703) 904-9666. We serve Virginia, Maryland, DC, and surrounding communities.
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