Are you suffering from widespread pain and weakness in your muscles?

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a long-term or chronic syndrome that is associated with a widespread pain in muscles, soft tissues and bones. It can be accompanied by fatigue, interrupted sleep, memory loss and mood swings. Symptoms of fibromyalgia are considered subjective. This means there is no test to determine the cause. Due to the symptoms being subjective there isn't a clear known cause and is often misdiagnosed.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms: Fibromyalgia is associated with pain and tenderness in muscles, soft tissues and bones. Often these areas of pain or tenderness are called trigger points. A trigger point is a discreet knot or tight, ropy band of muscle that forms when muscle fails to relax. The knot often can be felt under the skin and may twitch involuntarily when touched (called a jump sign). The trigger point can trap or irritate surrounding nerves and cause referred pain - pain felt in another part of the body (e.g., pain from a heart attack that is felt in the jaw or arm). Scar tissue, loss of range of motion, and weakness may form over time.

Doctors compile a list of symptoms from patients and often conduct testing to rule out other disorders/conditions and to determine the cause of pain By looking at symptoms and diagnostic testing results, a doctor may diagnose a patient with fibromyalgia. Patients with fibromyalgia may experience:
* fatigue
* trouble sleeping
* sleeping for long periods of time without feeling rested
* headaches
* depression
* irritability
* anxiety
* painful menstruation
* pins and needles
* sensitivity to heat and cold
* inability to focus or difficulty paying attention
* pain or dull aching in the lower abdomen

What causes fibromyalgia?

Doctors and medical researchers do not know the cause of fibromyalgia but with decades of research they are closer to understanding the factors of the chronic disease that work together to cause it. Some of the identified factors include: infections, genetics, trauma and stress.

* Infections: previous illness or infections may be a trigger for fibromyalgia or make symptoms of the condition worse.
* Genetics: fibromyalgia has been linked to families. You may be at a higher risk for developing fibromyalgia if another family member has previously been diagnosed. Genetic research scientists believe that a genetic mutation may play a role to the condition but the specific genes have not been identified yet.
* Trauma: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been linked as a consistent contributing factor of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. A patient who may experience a great physical or emotional trauma may develop fibromyalgia.
* Stress: is a leading cause of many chronic conditions and holds true with fibromyalgia as well. Stress over a long term period, months or years, can be very detrimental to your health. It is suggested that when the brain is overwhelmed with a continuous amount of stress it lowers its pain threshold. Other theories suggest that nerves and receptors become over stimulated and sensitive which can increase pain signals to the body and a feeling of exaggerated pain.

Fibromyalgia Treatment:

Fibromyalgia may be treated with medication, therapy and stress reduction. At Advantage Healthcare of Charleston, Chiropractic Adjustments, Physical Rehabilitation, Trigger Point Injections, Cold Laser Therapy and Hydrotherapy may be used to help relieve symptoms. These treatments all aid in helping relieve pain associated with this chronic disease.

Chiropractic Adjustments: can help relieve pain associated with Fibromyalgia by relaxing the tightened muscles and allowing the spine to retain its natural curve. If the muscles are tight they can pull the spine out of alignment and cause nerves to become pinched which in turn will create more pain symptoms and eventually the nerves will become damaged.

Physical Rehabilitation: aids in relaxing the tightened muscles and soft tissues related to fibromyalgia. We use Myofascial Release Therapy which uses applied pressure and low load stretching to the affected areas to decrease muscle tightness. This technique helps relax, stretch, soften and increase length of the tissues and muscles.

Trigger point injections (TPI): are used to treat extremely painful, tight and tender areas of muscle. Normal muscle contracts and relaxes when it is active. The cause of your muscle pain or spasms may be one or more trigger points. Your health care provider may decide to inject the painful spots to relax the muscle. This can help relieve your pain. Relaxing the muscle can also make movement easier. You may then be able to exercise to strengthen the muscle and help it heal.

Cold Laser Therapy: is to muscles what photosynthesis is to plants. Plants absorb sunlight which is converted to energy so that the plant can grow. With muscles, tissues and fibers the non-thermal photons of light emitted from the laser pass through the different layers (approximately 2 to 5 centimeters) of skin. When the light reaches the target area it is absorbed and interacts with the light sensitive elements in the cell. The energy from the laser light is absorbed and initiates the injured or damaged tissue/muscles to normalize. It also aids in the reduction of pain, inflammation, edema and decreased healing time.

Hydrotherapy: uses water in the treatment of disease. Advantage Healthcare of Charleston utilizes a hydrotherapy bed which combines the use of water, heat and massage. Although water is the main source of the therapy the patient never gets wet. The hydrotherapy bed provides temporary relief of minor aches and pains, it reduces levels of stress and anxiety, increases circulation to the areas massaged and helps relieve muscle soreness, stiffness and tension.

Fibromyalgia affects more than 12 million Americans and Females are ten times more likely to develop this disease than men. Currently there is no known cure, but with treatment, symptoms may be reduced. It is important that any provider you choose to see has knowledge of your chronic disease so that they can adjust their treatment regimen to fit your needs and reduce injury to your muscles which have a slower healing time.

Call us today to receive your COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION to see how we can help you achieve your optimal health!

Testimonial: "When I first found Advantage Healthcare of Charleston I was in so much pain I felt like I just wanted to die. I had been to multiple doctors who just wanted to cut on me to try and determine what was going on with me. I never felt like I was being heard but more so ignored. I felt like everyone around me thought I was making my pain up. The staff at AHC is very caring and listened to what all of my symptoms were. Their team of providers worked together to figure out the best course of treatment for my case. Today I can report that I have had a 80% reduction in pain and that it has reduced from being debilitating to occasional. I couldn't have lucked out better when I found AHC and I would refer anyone to them." -M. May



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