Chronic pain. It can be frustrating, aggravating, and debilitating. Yet, for many, there may be help.
Fibromyalgia, by definition, is a long-term, low-grade, on-going pain of the muscles and connective tissue. It has a myriad of causes, and that’s why it can be so difficult to correct. Modern medicine, with its high-technology approach, can elicit superb results for causes of acute trauma and pathology. But what about all those problems of ill health in-between, including fibromyalgia? Lab tests will sometimes show an autoimmune imbalance, but not always. And some medications, such as steroidal therapy, can help keep chronic pain in check. But medications occasionally have side effects. And the crux of the matter is, why does the body need medication to begin with? Medications and surgeries are extremely useful in giving overwhelmed tissues a boost to complete their designated task. Yet, when our bodies are simply in a dysfunctional state, the tissues, organs and cells can still function properly. But it’s as if they have simply forgotten how. When that occurs, people end up with illnesses and ailments that are difficult to diagnose, let alone heal. Chronic, long-term pre-existing conditions are not looked upon fondly by health insurance companies either. What are these ailments I’m alluding to? Ailments such as, allergies, asthma, headaches, infectious diseases, back pain, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and anxiety. It’s difficult to pin-point a specific cause with conditions such as these, and thus it’s difficult to offer a specific cure.
Paying attention to one’s general health can often benefit specific problems like fibromyalgia. This includes looking into one’s diet, exercise, stress management, occupation, hobbies, previous injuries, hereditary factors and family health history. Self-participation, in other words, is essential for any health recovery. Such an in depth and committed approach to improve health requires dedication and perseverance, but the payoffs are well worth it.
Fibromyalgia can involve depression, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, fluid retention, poor memory, dizziness, paraethesia (numbness and tingling), and chronic muscle pain. A diagnosis of fibromyalgia is often linked to hypersensitive nervous and immune systems, triggering secondary ailments such as infections, injuries, allergies and mood swings. Without a specific cause, a specific cure is not very likely. Fibromyalgia even has many features in common with “new“ disorders, like chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivities, with quite a bit of symptomatic overlap with these types of chronic disorders.
Nutritionally, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals have all shown benefits with fibromyalgia, (antioxidants such as vitamins E, C, A, CoQ-10, magnesium, selenium and B complex). Diet also needs to be addressed. Foods within the diet that can stimulate pain include; nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, fried foods, partially hydrogenated oil (trans-fats), and refined sugar. Even if the pain never entirely goes away, as is often the case with chronic disorders, managing the pain can allow for a more regular daily lifestyle, instead of being overwhelmed with incessant pain.
(Dr. Richard Hanson, chiropractor in Jamestown, New York, can be reached at (716)664-0445. Most major insurances are now being accepted.)