What do I mean by global? Well it does occur in countries around the world, but more to the point, fibromyalgia is only one piece of a complex full-body puzzle. Patients with fibromyalgia will report widespread pain in the neck, back and in other areas, but there’s also much more to the story.
Usually, patients will have sympathetic activation-stressed nerves, which can result in a depressed immune system, obesity, TMJ problems, and even high blood pressure. Headaches are also quite common, as are other aches and pains. Fibromyalgia sufferers usually have a long list of symptoms they have had over the years.
And after years of pain, most patients have avoided certain movements and exercises, thus further diminishing their quality of life.
This can all seem daunting to many doctors who want to find a pill for every pain. You may have also been prescribed antidepressants thinking this would get at this global bodily disorder.
There is not one thing that seems to help these types of patients-no silver bullet. If there were such a cure, I’d do it tomorrow.
Rather you need to address the problem globally by correcting misalignments of the full spine and extremities, and making sure your joints are moving properly. Diet is also an issue. For many patients they will need to lose weight and I can assist in doing this in a controlled way. Most patients need guidance about certain foods and fats that promote inflammation, which is a key point in addressing symptoms.
There may also be certain chemicals that you are ingesting that are contributing to the problem, rather than helping.
Lastly, all of my patients need to start exercising. Being a couch potato is no solution for fibromyalgia. Inactivity and inflexibility just makes joint and muscle pains worse.
I start patients off with simple daily stretches to add flexibility followed by walking. Some patients can barely get out of bed, so we start with walking to the end of the block. The goal is to get up to 15-30 minutes of fast paced walking each day. Once your weight is down to a manageable level, I encourage patients to join a gym, so they can develop more strength in all of their muscles. This comprehensive approach I believe is key to addressing fibromyalgia symptoms, as well as other important health problems that often accompany it.