Chiropractor, The Long Island Spine & Sports Injury Center

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Fibromyalgia and Chiropractic Care

What is Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that is distinguished by musculoskeletal pain throughout the body, fatigue, and tenderness to pressure. Fibromyalgia is primarily experienced by women. While it is not yet know what causes fibromyalgia, the latest research suggests it is related to stress. The criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia, established by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), states that the pain must be experienced in all four quadrants of the body, last for at least 3 months, and include 11 of the 18 designated tender points in the body.

Fibromyalgia symptoms

Additionally, individuals undergoing fibromyalgia may also experience symptoms such as:

  • Cognitive and memory problems (sometimes referred to as “fibro fog”)
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Morning stiffness
  • Numbness or tingling of the extremities
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Temperature sensitivity

Lady experiencing fibromyalgia painFibromyalgia tends to progress slowly, usually beginning early in adulthood. It is a chronic condition that will last a long time, and although it is painful, it does not cause damage to the muscles, joints, or internal organs. Fibromyalgia may cause metabolic abnormalities due to a stress-induced decrease in blood flow to the pituitary gland. Muscle knots are associated with fibromyalgia due to abnormally large amounts of a protein called ground substance that can build up in injured areas of muscles.

The Mayo Clinic reports that the brains of people with fibromyalgia change due to repeated nerve stimulation causes. This change incorporates an abnormal increase in levels of specific chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters). Additionally, the brain's pain receptors appear to develop memories of the pain and become more sensitive to it, allowing the brain to overreact to pain signals.

Treating Fibromyalgia With Chiropractic Care

Fibromyalgia treatments require different techniques to deal with the pain differences in trigger points and tender points, and must take into consideration that their muscles will take longer to heal. Chiropractic treatment is key in keeping the muscles and spine from losing too much movement. It is common for individuals to have gentle chiropractic adjustments 3-4 times a month. As a case study of a 45-year-old woman with fibromyalgia for 11 years pointed out, regular adjustments produced a significant reduction in the severity of her symptoms and pain.

Dr. Gary Olson will also use a combination of trigger point therapy, cold laser therapy, massage, and lifestyle changes to effectively reduce the severity and duration of fibromyalgia pain. Cold laser therapy is able to treat acute pain and stimulate tissue healing while reducing pain. A study done in 1997 with 846 people experiencing fibromyalgia reported in the Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine and Surgery that two-thirds of the participants had improvement in both pain and mobility.

Dr. Gary Olson will create a treatment plan including therapies, lifestyle changes, rest, and exercise to help you experience pain relief from fibromyalgia. Contact Dr. Gary Olson at 631.462.0917 to set an appointment or use our convenient form below. If you found this article informative, please recommend it to your friends and family.

© 2018 Dr. Gary Olson DC, PC, The Long Island Spine & Sports Injury Center

These articles are the property of Dr. Gray Olson DC, PC. They may not be reused without permission. You are welcome to link to this article. Dr. Gary Olson has been proudly serving Long Island, NY since 1999.

The contents of this website are based upon the opinions and experience of Dr. Olson. The information on this site is not intended as medical advice. The information contained on this website is a sharing of knowledge based on the experience, training, and research of Dr. Olson. Dr. Olson recommends that patients make their health care decisions after doing their research and consulting with a qualified health care professional.

Contact us at 631.462.0917 to set an appointment.

Location and Office Hours for Dr. Gary Olson, DC

Office Hours

Monday & Wednesday
   9 am – 1 pm

Tuesday & Thursday
   9 am – 1 pm
   3 pm – 7 pm

Friday & Saturday
   9 am – 1 pm

Sunday:  Emergency


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