Fibromyalgia is a rather uncommon condition that currently affects around 2 percent of the population. However, that statistic could be wrong due to the unpredictability of symptoms that can identify this condition. Such symptoms that can ultimately stem from fibromyalgia include pain that is not exclusive to a single part of the body, insomnia and other sleep ailments, and certain conditions that already exist. These preexisting conditions consist of depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches. Fibromyalgia itself is defined as a condition where pain is widespread throughout the body that is triggered by an unusual stimulus such as a handshake, hug, and even a slight touch. There are 3 non-medicated alternatives to the treatment of Fibromyalgia: Acupuncture, Chiropractic services, and Physical Therapy. These services are all offered at Performance Spine and Sports Medicine.
Physical therapy uses several different methods to treat fibromyalgia. The most common is using exercise to increase muscle balance on trigger points (sources of aching) that cause pain. These exercises are not only easy, but effective. Another way to help with pain is by using hot or cold packs on areas where discomfort is most severe. This is called hydrotherapy, and is used by the majority of physical therapists because they both have healing benefits. Ice therapy reduces swelling, and heat therapy allows for blood, oxygen, and nutrients to flow faster through the body. Physical therapists at Performance Spine and Sports Medicine also use TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) units to treat pain by sending minute amounts of electricity into nerve pathways. This is especially beneficial to fibromyalgia patients because it allows a relief of pain in the exact place of discomfort.
Chiropractic care focuses on placing skeletal systems in proper structure. With fibromyalgia patients, chiropractors can adjust parts of the body such as the neck and spine, in order to relieve trigger points. Our chiropractic staff at Performance Spine and Sports Medicine also use an instrument called the “activator gun” which can pinpoint areas of tenderness and relieve bodily stress.
Acupuncture is a common treatment for fibromyalgia. It works by inserting thin, almost sensation less needles into sore areas of the body. These needles help relax skin and muscles within a short range of where it was inserted. It works the same way for all people, and in some cases can be deemed more effective for fibromyalgia patients because of the accuracy of treatment. No fear of needles is necessary because acupuncture has been proven to be one of the safest and painless methods of treatment to date.