Fibromyalgia is a classification that was added in 1990 by Rheumatologists to describe a painful condition where the pain the patients reported was extreme compared to the clinical signs found on evaluation. They had traits in common including tender points as well as sleep disturbances.
Rheumatologists have little training in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal pain, however, they created this category which they referred to as Fibromyalgia. Once the category was established, the condition Fibromyalgia was considered a disease and drugs such as Lyrica were recommended for the alleviation of the symptoms. Lyrica was originally a sleep aid used in Europe.
Chiropractors have often treated many of these patients, successfully relieving the painful symptoms and improving the mechanisms behind the chronic pain symptoms. Perhaps, their holistic approach to evaluation and care and the current understanding behind pain which involves the fascial system may be why they get the results they do.
The book, Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain has a chapter on Fibromyalgia suggesting the tender points are merely points of stress caused by poor body mechanics. If you suffer from or were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, you will want to read this book.
Interestingly, there are a subset of those diagnosed with the condition who have pain that is well beyond what is expected with the physical findings. We are understanding that the idea of neuroplasticity, which is how we learn new habits and movements may also be how pain perception can be misunderstood by the body and maybe the reason for the extreme pain reported by fibromyalgia sufferers.
Perhaps, in those extreme cases, the medicinal approach used by rheumatologists combined with the skills of a chiropractor may be the best approach to have the brain relearn appropriate pain perception.
Recently, an article in Everyday Health that interviewed doctors and cited some of the latest literature suggests that many of those who were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia actually have myofascial pain syndrome which is quite treatable with methods used by chiropractors including exercises, myofascial treatment, foot orthotics to level the pelvis as well as manipulation.
Since most doctors have little training in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, asking them to diagnose this condition may explain the high misdiagnosis rate of the condition. Perhaps, people who have chronic pain throughout the body should consider seeing a chiropractor first.
Check out the article below.
Are Most Patients With Fibromyalgia Misdiagnosed?
A new study finds that physicians often miss the diagnosis in those who have fibromyalgia and diagnose it in those who don’t.
By Brian P. Dunleavy
Frederick Wolfe, MD, describes the process of diagnosis as a “negotiation” between patient and clinician.
This is particularly true with fibromyalgia, he says, because there’s no specific test that can be used to identify it. And depending on the outcome of these exchanges, those with the condition can be left frustrated and confused, not to mention inadequately treated.
“Fibromyalgia is sort of an optional diagnosis,” notes Dr. Wolfe, a semi-retired rheumatologist who heads up Forward: The National Databank for Rheumatic Diseases in Wichita, Kansas.
“There’s no blood test for fibromyalgia. A diagnosis is based on patient self-reporting and physician evaluation. You can go to your doctor and say you’re anxious or depressed, and have pain in many places, and some doctors may diagnose you with depression or anxiety. Some doctors might say, ‘You have fibromyalgia,’ while others might say, ‘You have arthritis,’” Wolfe says.