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FIBROMYALGIA – What is it & What Causes It?

by: Dr. Ron Repice

Hey I’m going to tell you something today that you might not know. No doctor knows everything. And that goes for me as well. I love to learn, and I attend a lot of conferences all over the U.S. to try and stay up with technology, but I don’t know everything. But you’ll like what I’m going to share with you if you have fibromyalgia.

Medical science is yet to discover the cause for this condition. I think I know, but that’s another story, for another handout.

Because there are so many different symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, there are just as many theories for what causes it.

Since those with (FM) fibromyalgia often experience an altered mood – such as depression – many experts focus on the psychologi­cal aspect of the disease. Others feel that FM is more a physiological entity, and has its origins in physical trauma or chronic postural alterations.

Some suggest that FM is a central nervous system disorder, with imbalances in neurochemicals – since those with FM are hypersensitive to even the slightest stimuli.

They often have a pain response to normally non-painful pressure or activity. It’s not even out of the question that a combination of psycho­logical and physical triggers can result in the onset of many of FM symptoms.

I offer my skills to FM patients, hoping to relieve some of their symptoms. In fact, evidence suggests that those with FM consult with chiropractors like me quite regularly. According to a study conducted at a tertiary Mayo Clinic, 37% of the 300+ FM patients surveyed had visited a chiropractor in the previous 6 months.

But does chiropractic work for them? Great question.

Some recent studies indicate it does and I feel it does. In ONE example, chiropractors surveyed FM patients before, during and after a series of treatments to see if they responded favorably to chiroprac­tic adjustments combined with a specific soft tissue technique known as ischemic compression.

In this prelimi­nary study, 60% of the subjects who were treated with this protocol experi­enced a significant improvement – with respect to pain reduction, improved sleep and decreased fatigue. If you had one of those symptoms, wouldn’t you want to get rid of them? Sure you would.

Although pure scientific research on the chiropractic treatment of fibromyal­gia is lacking, some early studies are showing that chiropractic could help improve FM patients’ quality of life.

As a doctor of chiropractic I am trained as a neuromus­culoskeletal specialist, and one of the main focuses of chiropractic care over the long haul is the positive effects it can have on a person’s nervous system.

Since all information from the outside world is collected and analyzed by the nervous system, it’s logical to assume that if a person with FM is sensitive to a stimulus that others are not, there may be something wrong with this system. Their nervous system, and the only thing that will help with that is specific chiropractic adjustments to the right area, at the prescribed times, on an ongoing schedule.

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