Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder often characterized by pervasive musculoskeletal pain, overwhelming fatigue, cognitive problems and mood instability. It is a condition that often develops following surgery, prolonged psychological stress or a lengthy illness. Sometimes, people suffer from unspecified fibromyalgia, or fibromyalgia that cannot be tied to "triggering" event.
Nearly 90 percent of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women. In addition, women with fibromyalgia are frequently "dual-diagnosed" with recurring migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, TMJ and depression severe enough to require the use of antidepressants.
Signs of Fibromyalgia
Classic symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Muscle pain, spasms and stiffness
- Difficulty remembering things and focusing on tasks (referred to as "fibro fog")
- Heightened sensitivity to smells, noises and lights
- Severe menstrual cramping
- Frequent need to urinate
- Feeling as if feet and hands are swelled, although no edema is indicated
One of the most distressing symptoms of fibromyalgia is numbness and/or tingling in the face, extremities, feet and hands that cannot be relieved by rubbing the affected body part. Doctors suspect that this numbness and tingling occurs when muscle stiffness and spasms create chronically tense muscles that press against and, thus, irritate nerve endings.
Another possible reason for fibromyalgia related numbness and tingling is cold-induced vasospasm, a condition where blood vessels in the arms and legs become spastic and narrow significantly. As a consequence of reduced blood circulation, fingers, toes and even the earlobes may tingle, become numb and turn white.
Relieving Fibromyalgia Pain, Numbness and Tingling with Therapeutic Massage
Dr. Korey Kothmann of Lubbock Advanced Physical Medicine offers a whole body, or "holistic" approach to managing your fibromyalgia pain. This is done through the incorporation of chiropractic techniques, lifestyle recommendations and nutritional counseling to create an effective, personalized treatment plan.
Dr. Kothmann also specializes in therapeutic massage for immediate relief from the painful numbness and tingling of fibromyalgia. Massage therapy also helps:
- Enhance mood and restore your sense of well-being
- Reduce blood pressure
- Relieve depression, anxiety and insomnia
- Improve immune system functioning
One theory explaining why therapeutic massage is so effective for alleviating fibromyalgia symptoms involves the blocking of pain receptors due to the stimulation of the PNS (parasympathetic nervous system). This activation of the PNS is thought to generate the release of serotonin and endorphins, two hormones strongly implicated in "feeling good". Research has shown that receiving a medical massage produces sensations similar to those experienced after exercising, as serotonin and endorphins are released into the bloodstream.
Eliminating Fibromyalgia Pain Attacks with Manipulation and Adjustment
Untreated misalignment of spinal vertebrae may exacerbate fibromyalgia pain by irritating and inflaming nerve endings. If your spine is not properly aligned, abnormally positioned vertebrae will compress or "pinch" these sensitive nerves, triggering painful episodes that only worsen your fatigue, irritability and depression. Restoring spinal alignment through manipulation and adjustment not only removes pressure on nerves but will also significantly reduce the severity of fibromyalgia pain and any numbness or tingling accompanying pain.
For more information about a whole-body approach to coping with and controlling painful symptoms of fibromyalgia, call our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kothmann.