Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition affecting as many as 3 million people across North America and beyond each year. The disorder is difficult to diagnose and even more challenging to diagnose, largely because it’s symptoms – which include ongoing aches and pains and chronic fatigue – are often challenging to identify. Additionally, fibromyalgia is an even more difficult disorder to treat because its exact cause remains unknown to healthcare professionals.
If you believe that you have a patient suffering from fibromyalgia or that is experiencing another source of chronic pain, it may be advisable to check for their tender points. This is one of the best ways to diagnose a fibromyalgia patient, and to separate fibromyalgia sufferers from those experiencing other chronic pain conditions.
At Ideal Spine, we believe in thorough investigation of symptoms as a way to deliver a higher level of individualized care.
What are tender points?
Tender points are one of the defining characteristics of the disorder. There are roughly 18 identified tender points, though it’s important to note that not all tender points will trigger all fibromyalgia patients. These points feel sore when pressed, and they may be a source of consistent aches and pains for the patient. They exist on the elbows, shoulders, knees, the back of the head, hips and abdomen.
Diagnosing suspected fibromyalgia
If you’re treating a patient you believe is experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms, the best thing you can do for that patient is to attempt to diagnose them. If they’re not suffering from fibromyalgia, they may be suffering from another chronic pain condition that’s easier to both identify and treat.
In addition to chronic pain and fatigue, fibromyalgia patients may suffer from a lack of sleep and restless leg syndrome. If you identify all of these traits, plus sensitivity along some or all of the identified tender points, it’s reasonable to assume fibromyalgia may be the cause of your patient’s discomfort.
Treating fibromyalgia with chiropractic care
Because there’s no known cause of fibromyalgia, it’s important to understand that there’s no panacea treatment capable of reducing its pain or symptoms. It is possible, however, to use regular adjustments, physical therapy, and pain management solutions to help patients overcome the worst of their symptoms and lead a relatively happy, fulfilled lifestyle.
The most important aspect of fibromyalgia treatment is pain management. Helping patients manage the consistent, chronic pain they’re experiencing is the best way you can assist them in coping with their ongoing condition. Pain management strategies may include physical therapy, acupuncture, vitamin D supplements, massage therapy and more. Some natural pain relievers, like CBD and capsaicin, may alleviate both pain and inflammation.
When adjusting or treating patients with fibromyalgia, it’s important to maintain a clear line of communication. These patients may require extra care and caution during treatment sessions, and it’s important to remember actions that may be uncomfortable on a typical patient could be excruciating on a patient suffering from fibromyalgia.
If you’re hoping to learn more about ways that you can treat patients with fibromyalgia, or if you’re looking to identify the 18 tender points you can use to diagnose this illness, consider visiting the next Chiropractic BioPhysics seminar near you.
Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.