Fibromyalgia (FM) is one of the most commonly diagnosed soft tissue conditions in most branches of health care, including chiropractic. A paper was recently published with the primary purpose to review the existing literature / published research to determine what aspects of chiropractic treatment are the most commonly used and, to determine the quality of those treatment approaches. The emphasis of the study was to look at non-drug, conservative forms of therapy, rather than medication based approaches.
Commonly utilized chiropractic treatment options found to be beneficial include massage, muscle strengthening exercises, acupuncture, spinal manipulation, movement/ body awareness, vitamins, herbs, and dietary modification. Cognitive behavioral therapy, not typically a chiropractic specific form of care, was also reported to be of significant benefit, as well as aerobic exercise. This study places chiropractic in a very favorable position in the management of FM.
Chiropractic is unique in that it encompasses many non-drug, non-surgical forms of treatment, making it appealing to many who do not want to risk the chances of drug related side effects and post-surgical complications. Patients with FM require a multi- dimensional treatment approach and a health care provider versed in whole-body, holistic concepts is in the best position to help this population.
Fibromyalgia can be primary where the specific cause is not well understood or secondary to an underlying injury or condition. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine the exact cause as other conditions can be present and/or arise simultaneously with FM making it difficult to differentiate between primary and secondary. When other conditions are present, sometimes attending those specific conditions will improve the status of FM and focus on treatments that address all of the patient’s physical and emotional health issues yields the most patient satisfying results.