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What Are the Benefits of Chiropractic for Fibromyalgia?

By Brandi L. Brown
Updated May 17, 2024
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The benefits of chiropractic for fibromyalgia are a source of intense debate among the medical community at large. Patients and doctors who use chiropractic care to treat fibromyalgia say the treatments help to get joints working smoothly on their own and can assist fibromyalgia patients in getting better long-term. Using chiropractic for fibromyalgia requires being open to treatments such as motion palpitation and applied kinesiology, which are not as tried and true as many mainstream treatments.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic inflammation of the body’s tissues. The medical community is not sure of the exact cause of the disease as of 2011, though possible causes include chronic underlying viruses, trauma and ongoing sleep problems. The condition causes its sufferers to have “trigger points,” or continually painful spots, on the body. These trigger points usually appear in soft tissue around the joints and, for most people with fibromyalgia, pain radiates from the area.

In using chiropractic for fibromyalgia, the doctor adjusts the joints that are causing pain. Motion palpitation is a method by which the chiropractor feels the joints before adjusting them. He or she will check to see how the joint feels when stationary and in motion. The chiropractor also will check the joint’s feel immediately after the adjustment to determine how the patient’s joints feel when aligned. Over the course of several treatments, the patient should feel the joints moving normally, which the doctor will be able to tell from the movement of the joints.

Applied kinesiology is another type of chiropractic for fibromyalgia. Applied kinesiology is the process of using the body’s movements to determine how joints and connective tissues should be aligned. Some in the medical community discredit applied kinesiology as a pseudo-science, but the practice has wider acceptance in the holistic health community. Using this technique, the chiropractor adjusts the major joints of the body, including the knees, ankles, elbows and wrists. The doctor then checks with the patient to see if his or her body is moving in a way that feels comfortable, checking for the patient’s ability to move, twist and bend.

Using chiropractic care for fibromyalgia still raises some eyebrows as of 2011. Medical research has not yielded definitive results, though some studies show success with using chiropractic treatments for fibromyalgia care. Being willing to try various types of treatments may lead patients to discover which doctors and which treatment methodologies work best to bring fibromyalgia relief.

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