Fibromyalgia can affect sufferers in many different ways. You might be feeling tired, your jaw might hurt, or you might experience numbness or light-headedness. The complexity of fibromyalgia is reflected in the diagnosing process which can take up to 4 years to accurately diagnose. Common symptoms like fatigue, skin sensitivities, dizziness, chronic headaches or memory impairments are usually trigger symptoms that may help guide your family physician in the right direction for diagnosis. However, because the symptoms can be quite vague it is commonly thought to be other conditions. Some symptoms of fibromyalgia are shared with other diseases such as anemia, hypothyroidism or allergies. The key diagnosing factor is tender points.
Though fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body, tender points are much more sensitive than other nearby areas. Pressure placed on a tender point can cause flinching or pulling away from the cause of the strain. These tender points play a big role in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia because pain is subjective and one person's generalized pain may not equate to someone else's generalized pain.
There are a total of 18 tender points (or 9 pairs) on the body. They are typically located near the joints but not inside the joints themselves and tend to be very small. These pairs of tender points are symmetrically positioned on the body. They are not areas of deep pain but are seemingly just under the surface of the skin and pressure will cause intense pain. For a correct diagnosis, 11 tender points need to be present. Because the position of these points is not random they are currently the most predictable reference to help with a correct diagnosis. So where are these tender points? The 9 pairs are located at:
Chiropractic care for fibromyalgia is rooted in the very core of the chiropractic belief that a strong skeletal structure is essential to a strong body. Balancing structure through stretches and adjustments, fibro pain may be alleviated successfully. A lot of fibromyalgia tender points are centered around the spine and proper spinal manipulation may help decompress these areas near the neck and head to alleviate some of the chronic pain associated with the condition.
By firstly assessing spinal alignment and muscles as well as checking these 18 tender points, chiropractic care can hone into the correct treatment plan that may help ease fibromyalgia symptoms. When pain associated with fibromyalgia is reduced, other symptoms such as fatigue and depression may also reduce to improve overall quality of life.
The best thing you can do if you suffer from fibromyalgia is incorporate chiropractic care into your pain management toolbox. Schedule your assessment with Dr. Serge Lanoue to improve your fibromyalgia symptoms.
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Dr. Serge Lanoue, Chiropractor | 270 Brunel Road, Mississauga, ON, L4Z 1T5