Fibromyalgia, you just don’t understand. If you have never had this problem, how can you relate to it?
by William D Charschan DC,CCSP. Author Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain
It is interesting how people think about their experiences with chronic pain, and how they believe that their doctor’s diagnosis of fibromyalgia is a means to an end of finding a cure. After all, their doctor, who is supposed to be the authority on health issues the average person out there does not understand, made a definitive diagnosis based on their education, experience and doctoral internship. Doctors are generally the best of the best as far as intelligence, since they required very high grades to get into medical school and put in many hours toward their medical degree.
Aside from most people’s assumptions regarding their primary doctor who’s job it is to help them manage their health, (most of them really care about their patients) the big problem is that they have a huge blind spot that was built into their education. This concerns the musculoskeletal system, which is why so many people endure so many tests which offer so little help for their cost and complexity.
Most people also do not know that the term Fibromyalgia was created by the board of rheumatology in 1990. Simply explained, they took a number of cases they had a hard time explaining, looked at their similarities (with symptoms they did not quite understand) and then created the classification called fibromyalgia. 20 years later, people are walking around convinced they have this after their doctor used the classification to diagnosed them with it when really, they simply fit into a criteria. Fibromyalgia was created by doctors who needed to create a way for other medical people with little training in evaluation of the musculoskeletal system to classify and create some sort of treatment for those who are suffering from chronic pain, loss of sleep and fatigue. Fibromyalgia is a theory looking for a mechanism and a drug from the medical point of view.
Along comes Lyrica, the drug of choice because it addresses one of the main cardinal signs of fibromyalgia which is sleep disturbance. It is reported as a medication that relieves symptoms in those suffering from Fibromyalgia’s symptoms. In other words, when you do not understand the problem, medicate it and what they found out is that as people sleep better, they feel better; fair enough.
On the other hand, in the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain, we see a different side of Fibromyalgia written for the average person who is suffering that shows the tender points are part of a different problem, known as bio implosion that was coined by Brian Rothbart DPM. As in the basic pronation accommodation pattern described by Charschan in the 1990’s, this is how the fascial system accommodates to asymmetry of the body, creating the tender points that are used to diagnose the problem. The pain caused by the asymmetry, its effect on the fascia surrounding your mid-section and the chronic strain placed through the pelvis by these forced, ensures chronic pain in all the joints of the body. That affects sleep.
The current medical school of thought is that if we use a substance to affect sleep and pain, all is good or better. In other words, pain management of something that is misunderstood because of a diagnostic blind spot most medical physicians have by design. Simply explained, using drugs which have no have no effect on someone’s structure (which is behind the reason for their pain and lack of sleep and fatigue) is not helping the problem’s cause, just relieves the symptoms (in many but not all cases).
When the problem is longstanding enough, the brain can rewire itself to deal with the noxious stimuli throughout the body. This can create the inappropriate sensations seen with many chronic fibromyalgia named cases that are out of sync with what is actually found on physical examination. In cases like this, perhaps Lyrica should be part of a regimen of treatment, until the musculoskeletal problems are improved and until the brain rewires itself more appropriately after the noxious stimuli from chronic musculoskeletal dysfunction is corrected.
Treatment of Fibromyalgia needs a multidisciplinary approach, rather than the current approach of whether to see one type of health care provider or another, since no one has all the answers. Chiropractors are trained to deal with the musculoskeletal end. Rheumatologists are helpful from a management point of view. Shouldn’t there be a coordinated effort to properly address the condition. Rheumatologists also would benefit from continuing education to better understand what is behind what they are treating, which is a musculoskeletal issue gone bad and misunderstood.
It is indeed a jungle out there for the Fibromyalgia sufferer, trying to find the right healthcare provider. Many fibromyalgia sufferers have asked “why doesn’t anyone understand me?
Fibromyalgia sufferers need a body mechanic who will understand how the body works, look at you, not just your symptoms, understand the mechanism of your pain and work toward resolving that mechanism. There is no brand of treatment in this model, because the mechanic picks and chooses which treatment tools make the most sense to resolve a structural issue. As per Cheating Mother Nature, most chronic pain problems are structural, and the idea of going to this or that person who does this or that is going to be hit or miss. A body mechanic can be any type of therapist, including the chiropractor, although chiropractors are bred to be more holistic in their level of thinking and diagnosis.
The best experience for someone fibromyalgia can be to find someone who understands body mechanics and looks at the body as a whole, not just the symptoms and works toward normalizing body mechanics, thereby finding the cause and offering relief or resolution for the chronic pain sufferer.
If the healthcare provider you are visiting cannot understand why you hurt, it is time to move on. They should be able to explain why you hurt in most cases simply and in a way that makes sense. Hint: Often the problem area is not where the pain is.
What do you think? As always, I value your opinions.