When it comes to fibromyalgia or any health condition for that matter, a proper diagnosis can mean getting the necessary treatment. This is where the road gets bumpy for many people who are suffering from the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia – the path to diagnosis is often not a straightforward one.
Under the old diagnostic guidelines, various tender points were used to determine if a person had fibromyalgia. Firm pressure was applied to 18 specific spots across the body, and if at least 11 of these were tender, then a diagnosis was made. A flaw in this system was that fibromyalgia symptoms come and go, so on any given day, all of those tender points may not be present. Because of the uncertainty under the old guidelines, an alternative set was developed. Three factors are usually looked for:
- Widespread pain of at least 3 months’ duration
- Extreme fatigue, unclear thinking, or the presence of other symptoms
- Other underlying conditions that may be causing the symptoms have been ruled out.
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I’ve Been Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia – Now What?
There’s a range of treatment options available for fibromyalgia sufferers, from incorporating gentle exercise to various medications. Some basic recommendations include stress reduction, adhering to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible, and getting regular exercise (swimming, walking, and biking are good options). Suggested medications include pain relievers, antidepressants, and sometimes even anti-seizure drugs to help reduce the pain.
Many people with fibromyalgia have found their way to Precision Chiropractic West for two reasons: they want a natural approach, and they want to get to the root cause of their issue rather than just treating symptoms. Since fibromyalgia is a condition in which the brain isn’t able to normally process pain signals, we look for areas of obstruction to those signals within the nervous system. More specifically, we focus on the uppermost vertebra in the neck, the atlas. When the atlas is out of alignment, it can affect how the body and brain communicate with each other over the nervous system. When patients come to our office, we identify if an atlas misalignment is present, and if so, if it’s the underlying cause of their health condition. Our upper cervical adjusting technique is extremely precise and very gentle, which makes it the perfect solution for natural, drug-free, lasting relief.