Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S., the majority being women. It is characterized by widespread pain in the muscles, tendons and ligaments and tender points throughout the body where even the slightest amount of pressure causes pain. Most people with fibromyalgia also experience moderate to extreme fatigue, sleep disturbances, sensitivity to touch, light, and sound, and cognitive difficulties. Many individuals also experience a number of other symptoms and overlapping conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, lupus and arthritis. For those with severe symptoms, fibromyalgia can be extremely debilitating and interfere with basic daily activities.
Standard Medical Approach to Fibromyalgia
No single treatment will take away all the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. But most people do get some relief by trying a combination of therapies. Here are some of the medical treatment options your medical doctor may offer:
- Lyrica: This is the first drug approved by the FDA specifically for the treatment of fibromyalgia. While this is a step forward, it is no cure. Lyrica has been shown to cut pain levels in half, but only in 30% of the people who took it.
- Low doses of antidepressant medication: These medicines may improve sleep and decrease fibromyalgia pain.
- Biofeedback and relaxation techniques: Besides lessening pain, these alternative therapies also decrease the number of tender points.
- Acupuncture: Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can decrease tender point pain in fibromyalgia patients.
- Tender point injections: A steroid injection into a painful area may provide temporary relief of fibromyalgic pain.
- Massage therapy: This can help relax and soothe painful muscles.
- S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe): A small group of studies shows that this supplement may be helpful.
The NUCCA Approach to Fibromyalgia
While the exact cause of fibromyalgia syndrome is unknown, recent research has pinpointed injury to the upper cervical spine as a risk factor for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue onset. This trauma leads to compression of the brain stem, which may cause a brain chemical known as substance P to be released. This brain chemical works as a pain messenger and it is believed that high levels of this chemical may account for the chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia.
While many fibromyalgia patients recall a specific trauma, such as whiplash or a concussion, many do not. Trauma from sports or everyday slips and falls can cause a person to become misaligned, often without realizing it. And while the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia can be triggered immediately following a trauma, in most cases it can take months or years to develop. The purpose of NUCCA chiropractic care is to reverse the trauma-induced upper neck injury, thereby reducing irritation to the nerves in the brain stem and spinal cord that can trigger pain, neuromuscular dysfunction, and fatigue. This highly advanced procedure repositions the weight of the head over the center of the neck to remove nerve compression and restore body balance allowing your body to heal and recover.
Although NUCCA care is not a cure for fibromyalgia, patients generally report a significant reduction in the symptoms associated with the condition, most noticeably the severe pain and fatigue that is characteristic of fibromyalgia. Many find they are able to resume activities that they found too difficult to do prior to care. Read testimonials from real patients, on how NUCCA chiropractic helped them!
Would you like to learn more about fibromyalgia? Then check out our complimentary eBook on the subject, written by Dr. Lapenski, by clicking here.