Fibromyalgia is a troubling and painful medical condition, which can be as difficult to treat effectively as it is to diagnose. Sufferers who are experiencing the condition may deal with a range of symptoms, one of which includes pain in almost all areas of the body.
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) offers a definition of fibromyalgia, characterizing it as a condition which causes sustained pain in all four quadrants of the body, for a period of three months or longer. It also notes that more than nine out of ten sufferers are women.
The reasons for the gender imbalance are unclear, but the condition is widespread. Estimates in the UK place the ratio of sufferers as high as one in 20 of the general population. While the condition usually afflicts people between the ages of 30 and 60, it can strike at any time of life, including in childhood. It is estimated that between three and six million Americans may be suffering from the condition at any given time.
The condition is also tough to diagnose, as many of its signifying symptoms can also be ascribed to other causes. In general terms, sufferers can experience a wide range of symptoms, as well as the pain detailed above. Headaches, sleepless nights, intense period pain, joint stiffness (especially in the morning), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and an over-sensitivity to temperature changes are all among the signs that someone may be suffering with fibromyalgia.
Treating the condition can be very difficult, with doctors often using a combination of possible remedies. Counseling and ‘talking cures’ are sometimes employed to help patients cope better with pain. Medicines such as anti-depressants and pain killers can also offer some relief from aspects of the condition, while regular, gentle exercise can also have positive effects. There are alternatives, however.
Some sufferers may also want to have a look at the advice offered by Dr. Angela Free St. John, at her website drangeladc.com. Here, the symptoms and possible causes of the illness are described. As well as that, though, there is also specific advice on how chiropractic treatments can ease the condition.
Chiropractic treatments can help patients keep their spine and back muscles flexible, which is an important part of mitigating the effects of the condition. Fibromyalgia causes muscles to tighten up and become much less flexible. This can build into a negative cycle, where inactivity, or a lack of treatment, leads to a worsening of the condition.
The treatment offered to many sufferers is often a more gentle form of chiropractic massage. This is because the muscles may have tightened to a degree where they find it hard to heal, and can therefore suffer additional damage if the treatment is too severe. Many who are suffering with the condition undergo chiropractic treatments three or four times a month.
This keeps the spine and muscles flexible, and allows the patient to experience a much improved quality of sleep. With exercise, the right treatment, and plenty of patience, it is possible for fibromyalgia sufferers to experience relief, if not cure, from their condition.