Fibromyalgia turns a whisper of pain into a scream. It is a condition caused by the amplification of pain by the nervous system. Light stimuli become painful and average levels of pain are experienced as much more severe. The brain’s normal processing of pain becomes impaired, leading to intense discomfort, fatigue, anxiety and many associated conditions. Fibromyalgia remains little understood and often dismissed or managed only with increasingly strong painkillers.
Studies have shown that a range of triggers can gradually sensitise the nervous system, eventually causing it to overreact. These can range from diseases to chemical imbalances to emotional stress. By far the most common cause of sensitisation is long-standing musculo-skeletal pain.
- When an issue goes untreated, the nervous system is continuously bombarded with pain messages over an extended period of time.
- Eventually, the ‘message’ of pain can become amplified and diffused across many parts of the body.
- The source of pain becomes confused and appears to spread.
- A painful shoulder or trigger points in the back or neck can become the root causes of fibromyalgia.
Trigger points are painful knots in the muscles which can feel hard to the touch and cause the surrounding area to feel sore. Left untreated, they can form satellite trigger points around themselves. These can be felt under the skin, and a chiropractor, physio or massage therapist will apply pressure to relieve the knot.
Can chiropractic treatment help fibromyalgia?
To be clear, chiropractic treatment can’t cure fibromyalgia. However, a course of non-invasive, precise adjustments can help relieve pressure on joints and treat the back pain caused by misalignments. These issues are often part of the triggering causes of fibromyalgia.
Pain discourages the normal range of movement, so when we’re suffering of course we tend to hesitate to exercise or even move. The aim of chiropractic treatment or physiotherapy is to restore movement. This means that muscles can regain their tone and strength, support the joints as they are designed to do and get you back to exercise and activity. And this, incidentally, relieves the mental stress associated with fibromyalgia.
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