Fibromyalgia is an unpleasant condition of generalised and often heightened pain in the muscles and tendons of the body. Diagnostic criteria list up to 18 symmetrical tender points on the body but in fact the condition often includes a wide range of associated signs and symptoms, such that it is often referred to as a Fibromyalgia Syndrome.
Signs and Symptoms
- Sleep disturbance
- Temperature dysregulationegRaynauds
- Irritable bladder
- Poor memory/attention span
- Headache, dizziness, occipital pain
- Mechanical low back pain
- Sciatic pain
Ease the symptoms of Fibromyalgia
There is significant co-occurrence of fibromyalgia with hypothyroidism, Rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and scleroderma. It occurs 9 times more frequently in women than men and at any age though most commonly between 30 and 60. There is also some evidence for genetic predisposition.
One uniting feature of the symptoms of fibromyalgia is that they can be associated with poor regulation in the autonomic nervous system of the body. Onset of fibromyalgia is associated with prolonged stress and poor sleep. These conditions prevent the body from repairing and self healing in the normal way and thereby can trigger a “cascade” of the above symptoms as the body’s normal regulatory mechanisms go gradually more awry.
Osteopaths may be able to help with both diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia. A thorough osteopathic case history will allow the osteopath to understand the range of symptoms, and through assessment of movement and gentle touch the osteopath will be able to gauge the state of the tissues and how to treat appropriately for relief of symptoms. Osteopaths are highly aware of the role of the autonomic nervous system in health and illness and have many gentle and effective ways of interacting with it to rebalance neurological tone and stimulate the healing process.
“Prior to discovering acupuncture I had tried various forms of pain relief for osteoarthritis in the hands and feet. I was skeptical at first then felt the benefits and have returned on a regular basis for treatment. Again recently when I damaged the ligaments in my foot Denise has helped with the treatment, which has enabled me to get back to an active lifestyle.”
“I had really bad back problems and arthritis. Since having treatment I am much better.”