Fibromyalgia; more than a pain regulation problem that is often misunderstood
Most doctors are now convinced the Fibromyalgia is a disease that is caused by a problem with pain regulation and how the brain deals with it. Medications such as Lyrica are designed to improve this by calming down these pain pathways and it is also known for off label use that it helps improve the quality of sleep as well.
Fibromyalgia is a classification that was created in 1990 by the Medical Board of Rheumatology, notable by the way sleep is affected, the presence of tender points that are consistent with those people who are diagnosed and pain that seems out of proportion to what is found clinically on evaluation. Since the classification was created, whose purpose was to give medical doctors a way to diagnose and perhaps treat these pain sufferers, many people are now on drugs such as Lyrica and many doctors are convinced that the problem has to do with something wrong in the brain; an area that Lyrica targets.
The problem with this theory, and the doctors that created it is that they had little training in how the musculoskeletal system works, and made assumptions based on cases they did not fully understand but did notice some commonality in people who suffered from the condition.
In the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain, the section on Fibromyalgia tells quite a different story. People who suffer the most from Fibromyalgia are built asymmetrically. The worst sufferers are women, who have wider hips which will exacerbate asymmetry because the wide hips increase the strain on the core and the legs, as well as the knees. From the authors perspective, when dissecting the tender points mentioned as part of the diagnostic criteria (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibromyalgia), they do not describe what the tender points are, or how they got there or why they exist.
What Dr. Charschan, the book’s author uncovered is that a few years after the Fibromyalgia classification was created, Dr. Brian Rothbart, a podiatric researcher developed an engineering model that explains what happens when someone’s feet flare out. When you look more closely at Dr. Rothbart’s work, if the foot flare is uneven from one side or the other, or if one foot is straight, and the other one toes out, the effect will be pelvis torsion. Pelvic torsion will tighten the legs, distort the upper body and create tender points exactly as described by the Board of Rheumatology.
What can we deduce from this.
Patients being labeled with Fibromyalgia are not in pain because they have a brain or chemical disorder in most cases, but they are in pain because torsion of the pelvis distorts all the body joints, places them under stress and makes them hurt. If longstanding enough, the brain may very well misinterpret the chronic stimuli or time, creating pain that is indeed out of proportion to what is seen clinically to those who are well versed in evaluating musculoskeletal function.
Ignoring the musculoskeletal origins of chronic pain is harmful, costly both financially as well as with a person’s quality of life and both frustrating and takes its toll on those who suffer with it, as well as the relationships they share with their families and friends.
There is a better way to evaluate and treat the condition however, we must look at the condition for what it is, a manifestation of how someone is built, or their body style. Since body style is inherited, we often see other family members who are also suffering from the condition.
Where to start.
1. A good myofascial therapist is helpful, either using myofascial release, active release techniques (r) (a trademarked style of fascial release), or Graston Technique.
2. A chiropractor can be quite helpful, especially if they are versed in fascial therapy methods. Manipulation alone is of limited effectiveness.
3. Core stabilization regimens will help decrease the pelvic distortion, decreasing the pain.
4. Foot orthotics are helpful, since they will reduce asymmetry and reduce pelvic torsion.
In some of the worst cases, a rheumatologist in combination with what I outlined above may be a good combination of professionals, since if the brain has rewired itself inappropriately, Lyrica may be helpful for a short time to reduce the symptoms until the person’s body begins to accommodate to the improved mechanics created by appropriate treatment and rehabilitation.
Learn more by reading Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain available on Amazon.com and other major booksellers. Visit our web site at for exercises, videos and other health orientated information.