Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome marked by widespread muscular tenderness and pain. Those with FM commonly experience disturbances in sleep, mood, and cognition, as well as having neural symptoms also.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by 18 tender points (9 pairs) throughout the body. These tender points are located in the hips, neck, chest, elbow and knee.Fibromyalgia sufferers will have at least 11 tender points and will have had symptoms for >3 months.
It is accepted that the treatment of Fibromyalgia is multimodal. Generally, this encompasses relaxation, meditation, exercise, physiotherapy, acupuncture, nutrition, medication and laser therapy.
Resistance training is a great way to build up muscle strength, power, and endurance. Studies have shown that after 16-21 weeks of beginning a resistance training programme, the tenderness and pain levels in female Fibromyalgia sufferers reduced. The training helped to improve overall well-being, physical function, and muscle strength.
After 12 weeks of beginning a flexibility programme, overall muscle and joint pliability and flexibility improved. And, doing 20-30min walks @ approx. 60-70% max heart rate has been shown to improve mood and sleep patterns.
Evidence suggests that acupuncture can provide short term benefits to Fibromyalgia patients, generally up to one month within treatment. The acupuncture needles are placed on the 9 pairs of Fibromyalgia tender points. Its effects have been further enhanced when combined with other modalities, like exercise or laser therapy.
Laser has many benefits for those with Fibromyalgia. It is a painless intervention for those with Fibromyalgia. Laser stimulates cell growth, increases cell metabolism, invokes an anti-inflammatory response, promotes oedema reduction, stimulates nerve function, reduces the production of substance P, and stimulates the production of endorphins. Laser is applied to the area of pain and/or the 9 pairs of tender points for 20-30seconds per point.
Laser helps to improve sleep, improve physical function, increase mobility, reduce pain, muscle spasm and fatigue.
Nutrition is vital in managing Fibromyalgia. Various studies have connected Fibromyalgia to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine and a compromised gut function as a result. There are a variety of ways to help cleanse your gut and improve your digestive function. For example: ultrainflamx, omega 3 fish oils, probiotics, turmeric, and vitamin D3 are all very effective in creating a healthy gut. It is also beneficial to either cut out dairy or wheat, depending on which is more sensitive to your gut.
Meditation has been shown to improve mood and sleep patterns in individuals with altered sleep and mood swings. Try to find a quiet room, darkly lit, for 10-15mins twice daily to listen to some relaxing music. Focus on taking deep, slow breaths and try focussing on something that makes you happy. The HeadSpace App is very effective in instructing meditation too.
As you can see, Fibromyalgia must be approached using a variety of different interventions. In our clinic, we have expert medical professionals who have experience in dealing with Fibromyalgia. If you think you suffer with this condition, or know of anyone that does, book an appointment today and let us help you get on the road to managing this condition and getting back to your life!
Dry needling is a minimally invasive procedure in which an acupuncture needle is inserted directly into a muscle (known as a myofascial trigger point – MTrP). An MTrP is a highly localized, hyperirritable spot in a palpable, taut band of skeletal muscle fibers. Essentially an MTrP is a knot within a muscle. 74-85% of patients with pain present with MTrPs in their area of discomfort.
Dry needling an MTrP is most effective when local ‘twitch responses’ are elicited, probably because of rapid depolarization of the involved muscle fibers, which manifests as local twitches. Once the needle hits a tight part of the muscle, the patients’ muscle can twitch. After the muscle has finished twitching, the spontaneous electrical activity subsides and the pain and dysfunction decrease dramatically.
Dry needling breaks up muscle tightness, tension, knots and scar tissue. It helps in reducing muscle spasms, pain and muscle sensitivity. More specifically, dry needling has been proven to be very effective for low back pain. It provides pain relief and functional improvement in those with chronic low back pain and lumbar myofascial pain. Evidence suggests the improvements are further enhanced when the muscle is stretched afterwards. Needling deep into the muscle has been shown to be more effective than superficial needling. Howver, over the areas of the lungs or large blood vessels, superficial dry needling has been shown to be more appropriate and just as effective. Dry needling is a very safe method of treating muscular injuries and pains, and adverse side effects post treatment are very rare.
If you are suffering with muscular pain and tightness, please do not hesitate to contact us to book a consultation
Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic Portlaoise
Chiropractic | Active Release Techniques (ART®) | Functional Range Conditioning (FRC®)
Many of you who already attend the clinic may have had one of us use our LiteCure Laser on you. And as you sat there, feeling the warmth coming from that little machine, you were probably wondering, what’s this laser treatment all about?!
What is a Laser?
Firstly we have to start with the basics- what is a laser? According to google, a laser is “a device that generates an intense beam of coherent monochromatic light (or other electromagnetic radiation) by stimulated emission of photons from excited atoms or molecules.”
Lets try to simplify that. LASER is actually and acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. So in other words, through some amazing process of science and physics this light coming out of the machine is a very intense, amplified beam of light.
How can the laser help me feel better?
So we now know that the little machine is sending out a high powered very intense beam of light. That’s great and all, but how does this light actually help decrease pain and help to stimulate healing of the area?
To put it simply, the light from the laser gives energy to the underlying tissues, helping the tissues to increase blood flow to the area and accelerate healing process!
What’s the catch?
A treatment that is painless for the patient, easy for the practitioner, and gets good results; there must be a downside right? Well, no. It is FDA approved, and with thousands of studies performed, there have been no reported side effects of treatment with the laser! It is as good as it sounds!
From acute to chronic conditions, muscle, tendon, ligament, bone, or disc injuries, laser therapy is a quick and easy way to help reduce pain and speed the healing. Treatments with just the laser last from 15-30 minutes and results are typically seen in 4-6 treatments. Contact us today to see if laser treatment is right for you!
The most common type of headaches are tension headaches. Most of us have likely experienced one at some point in our lives. Headaches can usually be tolerated by most of us if they happen only on rare occasion, or at least infrequent enough to bother us. But what about when you start getting headaches more than once a month? What about every week? And at the extreme, multiple times a week? These symptoms are your body trying to tell you that something is not right! So what’s the cause of these headaches? And what can we do to help?
Causes of Tension Headaches:
Do you get headaches that start at the back of your neck or shoulders? Do you feel pressure around your head? These are some of the symptoms of tension headaches. Unlike some of the other types of headaches, tension headaches usually have a mechanical cause. Mechanical meaning a more physical cause. For example, dysfunction in the muscles of the neck, head, shoulders, and in the joints of the neck. Specifically the muscles at the base of the skull, the suboccipital muscles, are some of the most commonly implicated muscles with these headaches.
What Triggers these Muscles to Tense Up?
Forward head posture: working with head in a prolonged flexed position for too long
Stress: many people “hold” their stress at the top of the shoulders and with these muscles connecting up into the neck and head, too much tightness here can lead to headaches.
Grinding teeth/ Jaw problems
How we treat Tension Headache?
The good news for those who suffer from these type of headaches, is that they respond very well to conservative care, which is what the Lawlor Clinic specialises in! We use Active Release Techniques ®, to provide a targeted release to the problem muscles and tissues, and manipulation or mobilisation to the joints in the spine, and other therapies including Dry Needling and Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation (DNS) to help you get back to focusing on life instead of focusing on a headache.
If you are still unsure, contact us today for a quick chat to see how we can help!
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Portlaoise
Chiropractic | Physiotherapy | Active Release Techniques (ART®)
To date, Fibromyalgia is still a misunderstood condition. There are many theories as to what causes it, what can trigger it, and what can help with the pain. But we don’t know for sure. As you can imagine, that can be very frustrating for someone who has been diagnosed with this condition, not knowing what to do about it. Lets learn a little more about this common condition.
1. Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes wide spread muscular pain, it is more common in women than in men, and can run in families. Fibro= fibrous tissue, myo= muscle and algia= pain.
2. The newest theories on the causes of it are leaning towards a dysfunction in the nervous system. Something triggers the nervous system and the persons pain response is altered. Or how the brain is interpreting the pain is altered.
3. There are many other symptoms associated with this condition besides muscle pain, some of these include: fatigue, muscle weakness, poor concentration, brain fog, headaches, and anxiety, just to name a few.
4. There is no specific test for fibromyalgia. It cannot be detected in a blood test or scan. The best way to diagnose it is from the persons specific history. Guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology state that the person must have : ” widespread pain lasting more than 3 months, and other general physical symptoms including fatigue, waking unrefreshed, and cognitive (memory or thought) problems.”
5. There is also no specific treatment for fibromyalgia. Common is for patients to be put on pain killers, or anti-inflammatories, and sometimes anti-depressants.
You may be feeling quite grim right now, because we don’t know what causes it, and it can be hard to treat. So what can we do?
Exercise – regular exercises seems to be one of the biggest things that helps to keep fibromyalgia manageable. Not only is this shown in the research about the condition, but in our experiences here in the clinic.
Chiropractic treatments – chiropractic care can help relieve muscle tension and pain that comes along with fibromyalgia.
Laser – our class 4 laser is also a great tool at helping ease the pain of those tender points associated with this condition.
Dry needling/acupuncture- another one that our fibromyalgia patients feel the benefits from.
Nutritional supplementation- more research needs to be done, but there is some evidence to support certain supplements and their role in helping this condition, including vitamin D, co-enzyme Q10, probiotics, and trace minerals magnesium and zinc.
So you can see, there are things that you can do to actively work on taking control of this condition. Our best advice, find a provider who will work with you, looking at the whole picture and incorporating some of the things above, and help you to stay consistent.
Have fibromyalgia? Book an appointment today and let us help you get on the road to managing this condition and getting back to your life!