The word fibromyalgia is quite new… Fibro – fibrous My – muscle Algia – pain… and it doesn’t tell us much about a person suffering from chronic pain.
Fibromyalgia is a complex condition, the main symptoms include:
- Widespread pain
- Extreme sensitivity
- Poor sleep quality
- Cognitive problems (fibro-fog)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Dizziness / clumsiness
- Feeling too hot or too cold
- Restless legs syndrome
- Tingling, numbness, pins and needles
- Painful menstruation
- Anxiety and depression
What causes fibromyalgia?
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it’s thought to be related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and nerves) processes pain messages carried around the body.
In many cases, the condition appears to be triggered by a physically or emotionally stressful event, such as:
- an injury or infection
- giving birth
- having an operation
- the breakdown of a relationship
- the death of a loved one
Do I treat fibromyalgia? no. I don’t treat the condition, I work with the person who has been diagnosed with the condition.
When working with someone diagnosed with fibromyalgia I am looking at their individual situation and history of stress and trauma. If we can rebalance their body functionally then they have a better chance of recovery.
Given that pain is one of the main symptoms we need to look at the causative factors triggering the inflammatory response. See my page on inflammation.
Looking at the diet we may eliminate some toxic food choices, and fill some gaps nutritionally. I may suggest nutritional supplements like vitamin D, magnesium or malic acid.
Through an extensive physical examination I assess the persons whole body looking at postural and muscular imbalances. I then assess the spine to identify areas of mechanical compromise, which can have a huge effect on nervous system function.
Introducing appropriate exercise is essential to everyone’s health, whether diagnosed with fibromyalgia or not. With fibromyalgia sufferers being in severe pain and struggling with fatigue, a gentle, progressive and patient approach is often the way to go. We can start with simple breathing exercises, and progress from there.
If a triggering factor in the start of a persons fibromyalgia journey has been an emotionally traumatic event, it is sometimes best to combine these natural approaches with emotional support. Whether with family and friends or an appropriate professional, emotional help is enormously valuable.
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11408989/ Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins. Ann Pharmacother 2001 Jun;35(6):702-6.
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17982749/ Randomized Controlled Trial. Effects of muscle strengthening versus aerobic exercise program in fibromyalgia. Rheumatol Int 2008 Apr;28(6):527-32.
- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232047086_Management_of_Fibromyalgia_Rationale_for_the_Use_of_Magnesium_and_Malic_Acid Management of Fibromyalgia: Rationale for the Use of Magnesium and Malic Acid July 2009 Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine 3(1):49-59
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8587088/ Clinical Trial. Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with Super Malic: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover pilot study J Rheumatol. 1995 May;22(5):953-8.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK57272/ Translational Pain Research: From Mouse to Man. Chapter 1Painful Multi-Symptom Disorders. A Systems Perspective. C. Richard Chapman.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2278005/pdf/nihms-40524.pdf Pain and Stress in a Systems Perspective:Reciprocal Neural, Endocrine and Immune InteractionsC. Richard Chapman, Ph.D., Robert P. Tuckett, Ph.D., and Chan Woo Song, M.D., Ph.D.