How Chiropractic Care Can Help Fibromyalgia

July 29, 2013 by Dr. Ihsan O. Erhuy

Fibromyalgia is a painful medical conditions that affects approximately 5 million people in the United States. This medical condition is much more common among women; with 80-90% of the cases being middle-aged women. It is a medical disorder that causes extreme fatigue as well as muscle pain. People who suffer from the condition have different points in their body called tender points, that hurt with pressure. Common points are in the shoulders, arms, legs, back, hips and neck.

About Fibromyalgia

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you most likely experience symptoms like insomnia, morning stiffness, painful menstrual periods, headaches, numbness or tingling in your hands and feet, and memory problems and issues with your thinking processes. You may also have other medical conditions causing chronic pain aside from the fibromyalgia, such as inflammatory bowel disease, endometriosis or chronic fatigue syndrome.

There isn’t a known cause of fibromyalgia. It is linked to a variety of things, including repetitive injuries, illness, stress, traumatic events and some diseases. If you are a middle-aged women, you have the highest risk of getting fibromyalgia. It is more common in people with diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, spinal arthritis and systemic lupus. If you have a family member with lupus, it increases you risk.

Treatments for Fibromyalgia

The reason chiropractic care is often recommended for fibromyalgia is because it is difficult to treat. Often times, the treatment method includes a variety of different things, such as seeing a rheumatologist, chiropractor, physical therapist, and being prescribed medications by your physician. Lifestyle changes like improving your sleep patterns, eating right, and exercising are also recommended.

What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is technically alternative treatment, but it is becoming used much more often for various illnesses and medical conditions. It is estimated that about 20 percent of adults have seen a chiropractor at least once in their life. These patients report they have experienced pain relief and their bodies function better. Chiropractors view your body as a connected system and tend to keep everything functioning normally, your muscles, ligaments, joints, bones and tendons all need to be cared for simultaneously. Everything should be kept balanced, otherwise you will experience pain. Chiropractors rely on manipulations, stretching and adjustments to accomplish this for any type of pain or discomfort, including for fibromyalgia patients.

Types of Chiropractors

There are two main types of chiropractors” straight chiropractors and mixers. The mixer is going to combine adjustment and manipulation techniques with additional holistic techniques, such as aromatherapy, massage and encouraging proper diet and exercise. On the other side, a straight chiropractor is only interested in manipulations, adjustments and certain stretches. Each of them is effective, but you might want to consider the pros and cons of each before choosing a good chiropractor for your fibromyalgia.

How Chiropractic Care Help Fibromyalgia Patients?

If you have fibromyalgia, you need to consider getting chiropractic care as a treatment option. Not only is it helpful for reducing pain, but it helps keep your body from loosing movement. Fibromyalgia is known to tighten your muscles, which can then lose their pliability and movement. Adjustments, stretches and manipulations can help you retain your body’s natural movements, even with this disease.

Since chiropractors believe that everything in the body connects, they typically start with making small adjustments to the neck and spine. With this, much of the chronic pain you experience from your fibromyalgia in other areas of your body, is reduced considerably. Other benefits of chiropractic care, like more body movement and less tightening, also helps you sleep better because you have regular body movement.

Keep in mind to fully benefit from chiropractic care, you will need regular adjustments, possible up to 3-4 times each month. Making weekly visits a priority is a good idea. This helps your muscles consistently remain relaxed, stretched out and mobile so you can keep moving them, reduce tightness and get plenty of sleep. It is also not uncommon to have to switch up the treatment plan with your chiropractor on occasion, in order to keep up with changes of the disease.


Aside from adjustments, manipulations are also commonly done for fibromyalgia patients. This is a technique that includes a swift thrust in the vertebrae of your spine, along with gentle pressure, turning and twisting. What happens is your vertebrae is manipulated and shifted back into place, which can relieve tightness all over your body and relieve some of the pressure you have been experiencing. Other benefits of manipulation include increased blood flow, increased production of endorphins and more pain tolerance.

With chiropractic care, you have the opportunity to get your pain reduced and have more motion in your body. But don’t ignore the advice of your physician; use these two treatment options simultaneously.

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