Everyone has dealt with acute or chronic pain at some point in their lives. The body’s response tells many of us where the pain is located and can leave the body sore as the immune system begins to heal the affected area. When disorders like autoimmune diseases start to attack the body for no reason, then that is when chronic issues and disorders begin to overlap in risk profiles on other various problems that affect both the muscles and organs. Autoimmune diseases like fibromyalgia can affect a person’s body; however, they could be associated with different issues affecting the body. Today’s article looks at fibromyalgia, how it affects the musculoskeletal system, and how chiropractic care helps manage fibromyalgia in the body. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in musculoskeletal treatments to help those with fibromyalgia. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Have you experienced excruciating pain that is spread all over your body? Do you have trouble sleeping and feel exhausted every day? Do you experience brain fog or other cognitive disturbances? Many of these issues are signs and conditions of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is defined as a chronic condition that is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain. Symptoms like fatigue, cognitive disturbances, and multiple somatic symptoms often overlap and accompany this disorder. Around two to eight percent of the world population suffers from fibromyalgia, and it affects women more than men. Sadly though, fibromyalgia is a challenge to diagnose, and the pain can last several months to years. Some of the main symptoms that fibromyalgia does to the body include:
- Muscle and joint stiffness
- General sensitivity
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Mood disorders
Fibromyalgia could also potentially be associated with specific diseases like diabetes, lupus, rheumatic diseases, and musculoskeletal disorders.
How Does It Affect The Musculoskeletal System?
The musculoskeletal system in the body has three muscle groups: skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscles that provide different functions correlating how the body moves. Individuals with fibromyalgia will experience amplified painful sensations affecting their brain and spinal cord to process pain and nonpainful signals potentially associated with musculoskeletal disorders. The neural structures from the brain become hyper-reactive to any soft tissues close to the spine, known as segmental facilitation. These changes that occur to the soft tissues are called trigger points, and if situated in the muscles, they are referred to as “myofascial” trigger points. Studies reveal that the pathophysiology of musculoskeletal dysfunction can be considered secondary to central abnormalities of pain modulation associated with fibromyalgia.
An Overview Of Fibromyalgia-Video
Have you been experiencing excruciating pain in different areas of your body? Have you been constantly tired throughout the entire day? Or has your mood been dampened all of a sudden? These are the signs that you have fibromyalgia, and the video above gives an overview of what fibromyalgia is. Fibromyalgia is defined as a chronic disorder that is difficult to diagnose. Studies reveal that fibromyalgia is possible to be described as a cognitive disorder that triggers painful amplifications and sensory nociceptors that become hypersensitive. So what does this mean, and how is the nervous system affected by fibromyalgia? The nervous system has the central and peripheral systems. The peripheral system has a component known as the autonomic nervous system that regulates involuntary bodily functions. The autonomic system consists of two subsystems: the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. For individuals with fibromyalgia, the sympathetic nervous system, which provides the “fight or flight” response, is constantly active, causing the parasympathetic nervous system, which provides the “rest and digest” response, to be inactive in the body. The good news is that individuals with fibromyalgia and its associated symptoms can find relief through treatment.
Chiropractic Care & Fibromyalgia
Even though there hasn’t been a cure for fibromyalgia yet, treatments are available to manage and improve the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia with chiropractic care. Chiropractic care can help relieve fibromyalgia pain by carefully correcting spinal misalignments or subluxations through spinal adjustments and manual manipulations of the body. Studies reveal that the effectiveness of chiropractic care for fibromyalgia patients helps improve their range of motion to the cervical and lumbar areas of the spine. Chiropractic care can help improve their flexibility, decrease their pain levels, and have better sleep quality. People diagnosed with fibromyalgia need to understand that many options for pain management don’t rely on medicines. Chiropractic care is gentle and non-invasive. It can be helpful for individuals that want to take control of their circumstances and have chiropractic therapy as a vital part of managing their well-being.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that affects the musculoskeletal system by causing stiffness in the muscles and joints, general sensitivity, and other chronic issues associated with this disorder. Individuals with fibromyalgia will describe their pain as unbearable due to the nerves in the sympathetic system being hyperactive and tender to the touch. Fortunately, treatments like chiropractic care can help relieve fibromyalgia pain through spinal adjustments and manual manipulations. Chiropractic care for individuals with fibromyalgia can help improve their range of motion and flexibility and decrease their pain levels without using medicines. Incorporating chiropractic care as a treatment for fibromyalgia can be vital in managing a person’s well-being.
Bhargava, Juhi, and John A Hurley. “Fibromyalgia – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 1 May 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK540974/.
Blunt, K L, et al. “The Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Fibromyalgia Patients: A Pilot Study.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1997, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9272472/.
Geel, S E. “The Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Musculoskeletal Pathophysiology.” Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 1994, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8036524/.
Maugars, Yves, et al. “Fibromyalgia and Associated Disorders: From Pain to Chronic Suffering, from Subjective Hypersensitivity to Hypersensitivity Syndrome.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 1 July 2021, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2021.666914/full.
Siracusa, Rosalba, et al. “Fibromyalgia: Pathogenesis, Mechanisms, Diagnosis and Treatment Options Update.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, MDPI, 9 Apr. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8068842/.
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