Fibromyalgia (FM or FMS or ME) is characterized by chronic widespread pain heightened and painful response to pressure) Fibromyalgia is now also referred to as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Fibromyalgia symptoms are not restricted to pain, leading to the use of the alternative term fibromyalgia syndrome for the condition. Other symptoms include debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance, and joint stiffness. Some people also report difficulty with swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, numbness and tingling, and cognitive dysfunction. Fibromyalgia is frequently associated with psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety and stress-related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder. Not all people with fibromyalgia experience all associated symptoms.
Its exact cause is unknown but is believed to involve psychological, genetic, neurobiological and environmental factors. There is evidence that environmental factors and certain genes increase the risk of developing fibromyalgia – these same genes are also associated with other functional somatic syndromes and major depressive disorder. The central symptom of fibromyalgia, namely widespread pain, appears to result from neuro-chemical imbalances including activation of inflammatory pathways in the brain which results in abnormalities in pain processing.
The brains of fibromyalgia patients show functional and structural differences from those of healthy individuals, but it is unclear whether the brain anomalies cause fibromyalgia symptoms or are the product of an unknown underlying common cause. Some research suggests that these brain anomalies may be the result of childhood stress, or prolonged or severe stress.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is the common name for a group of significantly debilitating medical conditions characterized by persistent fatigue and other specific symptoms that lasts for a minimum of six months in adults (and 3 months in children or adolescents). The fatigue is not due to exertion, not significantly relieved by rest, and is not caused by other medical conditions.
Symptoms of CFS include malaise after exertion; unrefreshing sleep, widespread muscle and joint pain, sore throat, headaches of a type not previously experienced, cognitive difficulties, chronic and severe mental and physical exhaustion, and other characteristic symptoms in a previously healthy and active person. Additional symptoms may be reported, including muscle weakness, increased sensitivity to light, sounds and smells, orthostatic intolerance, digestive disturbances, depression, painful and often slightly swollen lymph nodes, cardiac and respiratory problems. It is unclear if these symptoms represent co-morbid conditions or if they are produced by an underlying etiology of CFS. CFS symptoms vary in number, type, and severity from person to person. Quality of life of persons with CFS can be extremely compromised.
The MultiCare Approach:
We have developed a comprehensive personalized approach to these syndromes which addresses not only the symptoms, but long term management, and oftentimes the resolution of the syndromes.
Patient Stabilization with the use of techniques which are effective in treating many facets of these symptoms. However, stabilization is actually the beginning step in the process of “peeling away” at the condition. These would include:
- Manual therapies
- Physical therapy modalities
- Acupuncture treatment
- Initiate natural medicine treatment
Call today to discuss how our unique integrated approach to Fibromyalgia and Chronic fatigue Syndrome can help you.