Fibromyalgia Helped Following Chiropractic: A Case Study

What is Fibromyalgia? Can Chiropractic Care Help Fibromyalgia Pain?

On March 13, 2017, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study documenting the improvement from chiropractic of a woman who had been suffering with fibromyalgia, widespread pain, fatigue, depression, and headaches.

Fibromyalgia Helped Following Chiropractic Austin TX Chiropractor Best Reviews Yelp Google Facebook NextdoorFibromyalgia is a chronic, widespread pain syndrome with an unknown medical cause. The word itself is actually a descriptive term that can be broken down into three words. “Fibro” is a Latin word meaning fibrous tissues such as tendons and ligaments. The middle part “my” is short for “myo” which is Latin for muscles. And the word “algia” is Latin meaning pain. The study authors note how common this problem is by stating that, “It is estimated to affect 2-3% of the American population and is the second most common diagnosis made in rheumatology clinics in the United States.”

Fibromyalgia is about ten times more common in women than men, and commonly starts between the ages of 60 to 79 years. Due to many patients with fibromyalgia also suffering from depression, common medical treatment is low-dose antidepressants as well as pain medication.

In this case, a 40-year-old woman went to the chiropractor with an 8-year history of medically diagnosed fibromyalgia. Her symptoms included widespread pain, including neck pain, mid and upper-back pain, and arm and shoulder pain. She was also suffering from headaches, high blood pressure, and depression. The medical care she had been receiving for her condition included three non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) per day, seizure medication, and a series of three cortisone injections.

A chiropractic examination was performed to access the woman’s spine and nervous system. This consisted of postural evaluation, x-rays of the spine, paraspinal surface electromyography (sEMG), paraspinal thermography, range of motion (ROM), and motion and static palpation. Additionally, a 36-question short-form (SF-36) questionnaire was given. This questionnaire is a standard and verifiable measurement of quality of life as stated by the patient. It is often used to gauge the overall improvement of a patient in their abilities to have a normal and function life. The scores that the patient can give themselves in each of the areas range from 0 for the worst possible, to 100 representing the highest level of functioning possible.

The woman received a total of 44 chiropractic visits over a 5 month period after which a re-examination was performed and all tests were compared to the original findings. The study records that all objective findings showed improvement including the patient’s range of motion, the sEMG tests, as well as x-ray findings.

The SF-36 patient questionnaire showed considerable improvement in most all the areas as reported by the woman. Her emotional well-being improved 10 points from 39.6 to 49.6. Her reported energy/fatigue improved 37.5 points from a 16.6 to 54.1. She reported that her general health improved 35.0 points from a 3.0 to 38.0. As for pain, her original rating was a complete 0, which improved 36.7 points. Likewise she rated her physical functioning at 0 before her care which improved to 39.4 after chiropractic. Her limitations due to emotional problems improved 8.3 points from 50.9 to 59.2. The woman reported that her social functioning improved 37.5 points from an original 21.2 to 58.7 after chiropractic.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, “Reduction in radiographic vertebral subluxations and improvements in spinal alignment and posture, ranges of motion, musculoskeletal pain, headaches, and health-related quality of life were achieved using [chiropractic] on a patient diagnosed with fibromyalgia.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. Austin chiropractor located in north central Austin, TX.


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Migraines, Tension Headaches, and Arm Pain Resolved with Chiropractic

What To Do With Chronic Headaches? Can Chiropractic Care Help Migraines?

The Chiropractic Journal of Australia published a case study in their June 2016 edition documenting the resolution of long term migraine headaches, tension headaches, and arm pain through chiropractic.

Migraines, Tension Headaches, and Arm Pain Resolved with Chiropractic - Austin Chiropractor celebrity care best reviewsAccording to the study authors, headaches are the most common neurological problem affecting people. According to the World Health Organization, about 47 percent of the population will suffer at least one headache in any given year. Headaches can affect any age group. The study reports that there have been numerous studies showing chiropractic being effective for patients suffering from headaches. However, they note that few studies are available on chiropractic helping the elderly with headaches.

In this study, an 89-year-old man presented himself to the chiropractor for care. The man was suffering from chronic daily tension-type headaches in the front of his head. His headaches had developed into incapacitating migraine headaches every 2 to 3 weeks over the past several years. He also reported suffering from years of chronic right arm and neck pain.

The man’s history included significant trauma, including multiple motor vehicle accidents in 1957 and 1962 in which he suffered fractures in his right arm and spine respectively. The man was a World War II veteran and had suffered a blast injury during an artillery bombardment.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included spinal palpation, a postural and balance assessment, range of motion (ROM), orthopedic and neurological tests, muscle strength and stretch reflexes tests, and sensory and cranial nerve testing. Spinal x-rays were also performed.

Based on the examination findings and x-rays, the diagnosis given was “…chronic daily tension-type headaches, episodic migraines without aura, musculoskeletal neck and arm pain, and concomitant vertebral subluxations.” Chiropractic care was started using a specific adjusting protocol to address the subluxations found.

The study reports that following the first adjustment the patient almost immediately noticed a considerable decrease in the intensity and frequency of his headaches, and arm and neck pain. After six weeks of care, the patient reported that he was continuing to improve and that his headaches were no longer daily and were much less in severity. He also noted that he had not gotten any migraine headaches.

After 12 weeks of care, the patient reported a complete cessation of all headaches and migraines, and also that his arm pain had completely subsided. He commented that he felt a lot more comfortable walking and he had more energy for daily activities. In a one-year follow up, the man reported no further headaches, neck pain, or arm pain.

In their conclusion, the authors wrote, “This case study describes the presentation, chiropractic care provided, and outcomes of care of an 89-year-old male experiencing medically diagnosed chronic daily tension-type headaches, episodic migraines and co-existing musculoskeletal neck and arm pain. The patient reported a cessation of longstanding headaches and musculoskeletal complaints after 12 weeks of chiropractic care.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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