Living with fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyositis, fibrositis and myofascial pain syndrome, is not easy. Fatigue, radiating, gnawing, shooting, or burning muscle, tendon, and joint pain constantly, tender points all over your body and an increased sensitivity to pain, heat cold, touch, and bright lights. Even worse, sleeplessness, IBS, headaches, irritable bladder, “brain fog”, depression and/or anxiety.1 Millions of people, the majority being women, suffer from fibromyalgia. No one knows what causes it and why women suffer from this condition more than men. Medically, professionals are at a loss when faced with fibromyalgia. Some believe it is of genetic origin; however, no disease is purely genetic – there must be environmental triggers.2 Drugs that are typically prescribed only mask the symptoms and give temporary relief at best. Because of the limitations of the medical approach, MDs are approaching fibromyalgia treatment using a combination of therapies: medication, physical therapy, counseling, and support groups. These approaches have had limited success.3
People are turning to non-medical approaches for fibromyalgia at an increasing rate. Patients are reporting they have found it best to start with low impact exercises, like walking and swimming, before pushing themselves to perform strenuous workouts.4-5 Acupressure, acupuncture, relaxation techniques (including meditation) and nutritional therapy have also had some success.6-7 More and more fibromyalgia sufferers are turning to the drug-free, natural chiropractic approach.8 The role of your doctor of chiropractic is to free you from subluxations. Subluxations may be painless, but can cause disturbed body function, lowered resistance to disease, lack of energy, loss of height and premature aging. In one study, researchers found a ten times increased risk of fibromyalgia within one year of a neck injury.9
The response of patients with fibromyalgia to chiropractic has been documented over the years. In one study 23 fibromyalgia sufferers with chronic fatigue syndrome (5 male, 18 female) who were from 11 to 76 years of age received chiropractic care. Under care, all 23 patients reported improvement and all of them maintained their improvements after one year of follow-up or more. Every patient reported that thy were able to resume their normal activities including full-time work. The researches wrote: “Improvement in symptoms of 92-100% was achieved in both these syndromes (fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome).”10 In another study of 15 women who began chiropractic care, 60% (nine) reported at least a 50% reduction in their pain symptoms, as well as less fatigue and improved sleep quality. The improvement in these three areas continued at one-month follow-up.11 In a separate study published in The American Journal of Medicine, researchers found that 45.9% of people who had fibromyalgia and went to a chiropractor experienced great improvement, while antidepressant medication benefited only 36.3% of those studied and exercise was limited to a 31.8% rate of improvement.12 Even further, in another study, a 31-year-old woman on pain medications for fibromyalgia sought chiropractic care. Her vertebral subluxations were reduced, her neck curve improved, and she stopped taking pain medications.13
Your body’s natural healing ability has been documented to heal nearly any disease or condition.14 Every person, whether they are suffering from a disease or not, needs a body free of subluxations. Anyone suffering from fibromyalgia should see a chiropractor for a checkup! It may make the difference between recovery and continued illness, between a life of pain and a life of ease.
- Buskila D, Cohen H. Comorbidity of fibromyalgia and psychiatric disorders. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2007;11(5):333-338.
- Buskila D, Sarzi-Puttini P. Biology and therapy of fibromyalgia: genetic aspects of fibromyalgia syndrome. Arthritis Res Ther. 2006;8(5):218.
- Berenson A. Drug approved. Is disease real? New York Times. January 14, 2008.
- Gowans SE, deHueck A. Effectiveness of exercise in management of fibromyalgia. Current Opinion in Rheumatology. 2004;16(2):138-142.
- Valim V, Oliviera L, Suda A et al. Aerobic fitness effects in fibromyalgia. J Rheumatol. 2003;30(5):1060-1069.
- Schneider MJ, Kim KH et al. Complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of pain in fibromyalgia: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. JMPT. 2011;34(7):483-496.
- Kaplan KH, Goldenberg DL, Galvin-Nadeau M. The impact of a meditation-based stress reduction program on fibromyalgia. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1993;15(5):284-289.
- Wolf F, Anderson J, Harkness D et al. Prospective, longitudinal study of service utilization and costs in fibromyalgia. Arthritis & Rheumatism. 1997;40:1560-1570.
- Buskila D, Neumann L, Vaisberg G et al. Increased rates of fibromyalgia following cervical spine injury: a controlled study of 161 cases of traumatic injury. Arthritis & Rheumatism. 1997;40:446-452.
- Amalu WC. Upper cervical management of primary fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome cases. Today’s Chiropractic. May/June 2000;76-86.
- Hain S, Hain F. Combined ischemic compression and spinal manipulation in the treatment of fibromyalgia: a preliminary estimate of dose efficacy. Journal of Manipulative and Psychological Therapeutics. 2000;23(4):225-230.
- Wolf F. The clinical syndrome of fibrositis. The American Journal of Medicine. 1986;81(suppl #A):7-14.
- Soriano W, Apatiga A. Resolution of fibromyalgia & polypharmacy concomitant with increased cervical subluxation: a case study. Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research. October 21, 2014:61-67.
- O’Regan B, Hirshberg C. Spontaneous Remission: An annotated bibliography. Sausalito, CA: Institute of Noetic Sciences. 1993.