Fibromyalgia syndrome is a condition that 10 million U.S. adults have been diagnosed with at a 4 to 1, female to male ratio. Fibromyalgia sufferers experience widespread pain, aching and stiffness in muscles and joints, along with other symptoms. The condition is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed, as there are no lab or imaging tests available to identify it.

Currently, diagnosing the disorder is based largely on a patient's self-account of symptoms. Research has found there to be a 66% error rate in diagnosing fibromyalgia, as only 34% of cases could be confirmed at follow-up appointments. This is because doctors must first rule out other conditions such as cancer, Lyme disease, hypothyroidism, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis and several others that may show similar symptoms. It's important to note that fibromyalgia frequently exists alongside other medical conditions, making diagnosis even more challenging as well as causing more suffering for the individual. On a positive note, many fibromyalgia patients have found relief through chiropractic care.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is believed to be related to a defect in central nervous system pathways. Researchers propose that repeated nerve stimulation may cause the brain of those with this disorder to change by increasing pain signals, altering neurotransmitter levels. In addition, receptors in the brain may develop a memory of the pain and become more sensitive to it, amplifying pain signals.

Factors that increase one's risk of fibromyalgia include sex, family history and disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Fibromyalgia may also result from a physical trauma or psychological stress.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

One person's set of symptoms may differ from another's, but the most common symptoms are aching all over the body, varying degrees of pain, tender points, fatigue, sleep difficulties, morning stiffness, and depression and/or anxiety. Other symptoms may include difficulties concentrating or remembering things (often referred to as “fibro fog”); muscle spasms, tingling in the hands, arms, feet and legs; and headaches. The condition may be accompanied by irritable bowel syndrome, painful menstrual cramps, temporomandibular joint disorders and painful bladder syndrome.

The aching that comes with fibromyalgia can mimic the pain caused by bursitis, tendonitis or osteoarthritis—except that it is usually all over the body. The pain may be sharp, deep, throbbing, dull or aching. It can be felt in the muscles and ligaments around joints and tendons. This pain comes and goes, and it can spread throughout the entire body. There may also be tender points around the body rooted in the tissues surrounding joints.

Fatigue may be present whether a person has had a good night's rest or not and can mimic feelings of having the flu or working long hours with a lack of sleep. Sleeping issues are also common, and a person may have difficulty falling asleep and may wake up several times throughout the night. Morning stiffness typically occurs in the muscles and joints of the back, arms and legs and may last only 15-20 minutes or for hours up to the entire day.

Why Seek Chiropractic Care for Fibromyalgia?

As difficult as fibromyalgia is to diagnose, it can be even more difficult to treat. The good news is that chiropractic care is available for those who suffer from the pain and discomfort that fibromyalgia can bring. Regular chiropractic adjustments may help alleviate pain in the neck, back and legs. Chiropractic care may also help improve sleep and reduce fatigue.

In addition, many people with fibromyalgia have found relief through long-term aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility exercises. Mind-body therapies such as guided imagery, biofeedback and meditation may also be beneficial.

Chiropractors can address your concerns and recommend exercises and interventions that may reduce symptoms. If you are concerned about symptoms you're experiencing, we can help determine whether they are a result of fibromyalgia and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I've been coming to see Dr. Bob since 1984 for my back pain. After each visit, the vast improvement lasts about one whole month. Even after all these years, Dr. Bob continues to provide outstanding care for me, my children, and my grandchildren. I've referred several people to HealthWise Chiropractic, so they too can see the results I have. My favorite part of my visits is the friendliness and professionalism of the staff and doctors and, of course, the results I get that improve my daily living."
    Danny S.
  • "About ten years ago I was at the gym, I bent over and couldn't get up, the pain was horrible. I contacted Healthwise and Dr. Mike gave me an emergency appointment that evening. He did a complete physical and x-ray before he started any treatment. After my first treatment I was able to stand up and walk with minimal pain. With a few visits I was back to normal. I continued treatments as needed for the next several years.
    I see Dr. Bob regularly to stay fit and pain-free. He tests my strength and weakness to determine the best treatment. Our open discussion led him to help my acid reflux. I now exercise and walk as is essential for a septuagenarian.
    I told Dr. Bob that I was starting to get knee pain that I thought was arthritis; I didn't think chiropractic care could help. He told me about new equipment to help. I look forward to improvement.
    I was a skeptic of chiropractic care, now I would recommend HealthWise to anyone with chronic/simple pain. It worked for me. It can work for you!"
    Sherry B.
  • "I was very miserable with constant pain in my leg while knowing it had something to do with my back. My friend surprised me with an appointment with Dr. Bob. After being treated by Dr. Bob I knew right away it was exactly what I needed. I learned a lot through my conversations with the doctor. I am really thankful to Dr. Bob and his staff."
    Ed L.
  • "I had a very limited understanding of chiropractic care until I tried it for the first time 12 years ago. I came in with severe pain in my neck, which prohibited me from moving my head. I was greeted by a kind staff, had an exam and x-rays done on my first appointment followed by an adjustment. I felt so much better after my first adjustment and by following the treatment plan my headaches and migraines improved. My overall health has improved because of chiropractic care. Dr. Bob helps make sure that I am taking the right supplements to optimize my health and fitness performance. They have helped me with allergies, knee and shoulder pain, and earaches. I had no idea when I began my chiropractic journey just how much help the doctors and staff at HealthWise would be at improving my quality of life."
    Britt H.
  • "I have been a patient at HealthWise Chiropractic for over 20 years. In the past and currently I am seeing Dr. Bob, however, I have seen all docs at Healthwise. My general issues are usually seasonally related to sinus and allergies. Recently I have been receiving treatment for my hip and lower back. Dr. Bob zeros in on trigger points and quickly relieves my pain. He is a wealth of knowledge and offers help and suggestion on my health issues. The staff is friendly and helpful. I leave feeling better and I believe helps to keep my body aligned and energized. I have also come in after falls, injuries and surgeries. I truly believe my adjustments at the time added to a quicker recovery."
    Liz B.
  • "I have been a patient of Dr. Bob for two and half months. . I see him for an adjustment every two weeks. I started seeing a chiropractor for the first time in January 2021 while working in Florida for my continued lower back pain and chronic bilateral hip bursitis. Because my pain was mostly relieved with continued adjustments, I decided to continue with treatment when returning to Wisconsin. I have been very happy with my continued pain relief/adjustments at HealthWise. I highly recommend anyone with chronic back and neck pain to try chiropractic adjustments here at HealthWise. It will make your life better."
    Marianne V.
  • "Really enjoyed the different things that they can do for you and your pain management. Would highly recommend."
    Rhiannon P.
  • "I enjoy coming, getting readjusted and any additional therapies. It has made my life healthier and less stressful. If I have questions, they are answered at that visit. The staff is very professional, personable and friendly. I always look forward to my next visit with them. I am glad to be part of Healthwise Chiropractic family:)"
    Marcella L.
  • "Dr. Mike is fantastic! He is very personable….will take time to really to your needs… I enjoy my visits…the maintenance has helped tremendously…..and he is there when the emergency pops up! Excellent Chiropractor!"
    Ann W.

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