Can Chiropractic and Fibromyalgia work together? Yes they can.
There are Fibromyalgia Chiropractic treatments that can ease pain and can be helpful in reducing specific Fibro symptoms.
Sometimes though, Chiropractors can get a bit of a bad wrap. And sometimes it can be warranted, especially in the case of Fibromyalgia. And if you have experience with Chiropractic and Fibromyalgia treatment, then you will likely lean heavily towards one of these points of views.
Have you ever really wondered just why this is? Why do some Fibro sufferers have high praise for their Chiropractor, while others love to have a good rant about just how un-worthwhile their Chiropractic treatment was?
Well, it could all be down to the “type” of Chiropractor they have seen.
Chiropractic Treatment Types
In the world of Chiropractic work, Chiropractors are usually divided in to what is known as“standard”, or “straight Chiropractors”, and those that are known as “mixers”
Both types specialize in musculoskeletal health as well as the central nervous system. Both work on the belief that the body is in a continuous state of healing, directed by the central nervous system. Both involve looking for subluxations in the body.
However, when treating a patient, a standard Chiro will usually rely heavily on spinal manipulation to get results. This can be the reason some FMS patients have left a Chiropractic and Fibromyalgia treatment session feeling frustrated, disappointed, misunderstood and worst of all, still in pain.
Of course, spinal manipulation can be a very valid treatment method for Fibromyalgia, especially if you have been involved in a car accident or a fall. If you have not experienced some sort of physical trauma, or the Chiropractor only uses spinal manipulation, is when Fibromyalgia and Chiropractic treatment doesn’t always work well together.
But there is also another big difference between a standard and a mixer Chiropractic treatment session. And that is a mixer session is usually between 30 – 40 minutes longer and more expensive.
Why? Because they do so much more, than just a “standard” in and out Chiropractic treatment. And really, that’s what the majority of Fibromyalgia patients need. Time, patience, understanding and the knowledge that their practitioner has more up their sleeve than just a quick manipulation.
If You Have Seen A Chiropractor Whose Treatment Consisted Of:
1. A 5 minute manipulation and a ‘See you next week’.
2. A 5 minute manipulation, three times a week
3. Or, a practitioner who requests thrice weekly visits with the promise of curing you within 6 months time….
Is a good indication that they are a “standard” Chiropractor who only follow the original teachings of Chiropractic medicine. Which unfortunately is not usually thorough enough to successfully treat Fibromyalgia.
Chiropractic Methods A “Mixer” May Use
A Chiropractor who is a mixer however, may use a variety of methods to determine what issues may be affecting you. And will also have a variety of treatment methods that may be better suited to a fragile Fibromyalgia body. This will usually depend on their training, and what fields of holistic care they use as part of their practice.
Not all mixers use the same methods or techniques, and some may even sway towards different types of alternative medicine. Including the use of meridian techniques, aura and chakra balancing, color and even sound healing to enhance their sessions and restore the body back to health.
For the most part though, Chiropractic and Fibromyalgia treatment will always focus on musculoskeletal function and health. And here are some examples of what methods they may use.
Examples Of Mixer Chiropractic Treatments Can Include:
- Chiropractic Massage
- Diet & Nutrition Advice
- Exercise and Postural Advice
- Applied Kinesiology
- Inversion Table Therapy
- Chiropractic Manipulative Reflex Technique
- Cranial adjustments
- Neuromuscular Reeducation
What Might These Chiropractic And Fibromyalgia Treatments Involve?
Chiropractic Massage: Chiropractic massage is used for the same reason all massage for Fibromyalgia is. To gently soothe the body and coerce it from a state of stress to a better state of calm.
Unlike regular massage however, Chiropractic massage mainly focuses on the support muscles of the torso and back, working to stretch and loosen muscles while enhancing lymph flow. Benefits include pain relief, the elimination of metabolic waste, improved immune system function, better sleep as well as improved mental clarity. A Chiropractor may use massage as a treatment on its own, or use it as a tool to prepare the body for further treatments.
Diet & Nutrition: Advising the importance of a good diet is usually common practice by most Chiropractors. However, as the links between diet and its affect on the body such as digestive dysfunction, inflammation and body wide pain become more apparent in Fibromyalgia, many Chiropractors are continuing their studies in diet and nutrition. You can expect a knowledgeable Chiro to advise on diet changes as well as possible dietary supplements and vitamins they feel may benefit you.
Exercise & Postural Improvements: A Chiropractor will usually advise postural improvements to help alleviate some pressure on joints and the spine. This can include simple daily exercises to improve muscle strength, or alternate ways of sitting, lifting and even standing. This is all with the purpose of giving your body a better opportunity to support itself correctly, which overtime can lead to less pain.
Applied Kinesiology: Uses muscle testing to examine how a person’s body is functioning. It is a very gentle and quick process which can give a great insight into the inner workings of the body. A muscle may test as weak when a limb is placed in a particular position but it can also test weak due to environmental or food sensitivities. Applied Kinesiology can be beneficial for Fibromyalgia as it can quickly and gently pinpoint vitamin deficiencies or highlight other possible allergens.
Inversion Table Therapy: Inversion tables are most commonly used to assist with lower back pain. They are padded tables that are connected to a metal frame with hinges. To use the table, you are strapped in and then slowly tipped upside down. They work by gently stretching out the connective tissue to allow more space between the vertebrae, counteracting compression on nerves and disks. Chiropractors, Osteopaths and even some Physiotherapists may use inversion table therapy as a very gentle and natural way of adjusting the lower back and spine.
CMRT: Chiropractic Manipulative Reflex Technique, or CMRT is a technique that is actually quite similar to acupuncture. It involves the Chiropractor examining the body’s natural reflexes to determine how well specific organs may or may not be functioning through the central nervous system. It can address disorders in digestion, circulation, blood pressure and even menstrual issues to name a few.
Cranial Adjustments: Also known as cranial sacral therapy or cranial sacral massage, it is a gentle treatment that adjusts the cranial bones. It involves very lightly manipulating the bones of the skull to treat a range of conditions, including headaches, back and neck pain etc. Cranial adjustments are not painful and is usually a very soothing process, as a release of pressure is felt as the Chiropractor makes pain relieving corrections to the cranial bones.
Neuromuscular Reeducation: Is a technique used by rehabilitation therapists to restore normal movement. Usually a program consist of repetitive movements, posturing, and stimulation designed to reinforce nerve signals for functional movements. It is theorized that when the nerve signals are “retrained” and appropriate muscle movements are repeated, movement patterns become automatic again. Neuromuscular re-education is usually done along with other types of treatment to promote functional muscle movement.
How To Find A “Mixer”
If you are interested in Chiropractic and Fibromyalgia treatment and want to find a mixer, usually the best way is by an internet search. You will be able to very quickly determine the type of Chiropractor by their web page and what treatment methods they offer.
If however, you have had a bad experience with Fibromyalgia and Chiropractic treatment, there are still many treatment options to help alleviate pain and get you back on track.
You can find them on our Fibromyalgia Treatments page.