Unexplained Pain and Fatigue?
Fibromyalgia affects the muscles and soft tissue. The word Fibromyalgia is derived from three words: fibro, which is Latin for fibrous tissue; myo, which is Greek for muscle; and algia, which is Greek for pain. It is a chronic syndrome which includes symptoms such as muscle pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points. More than 12 million Americans are afflicted by Fibromyalgia; women are 10 times more likely to get the disease compared to men, and are usually between the ages of 25 to 60 years old. Fibromyalgia is the result of stress-induced changes to your metabolism and healing process. The condition often starts slowly, but will continue to worsen unless proper treatment and lifestyle changes are made.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a neurological condition that causes a variety of pain symptoms all over your body. It is caused by damage or trauma to the brain stem, which is instrumental for sending signals throughout your body. There are 3 parts to your brain stem: top (called the mesencephalon), middle (called the pons), and bottom (medulla). Normally, the brain fires impulses down to the lower two parts of the brain stem, (the pontomedullary area) and that slows down the upper brain stem (mesencephalon). With the Fibromyalgia patient, this is not happening. The lower part of the brainstem (ponto-medullary region) is not slowing the upper brain stem (mesencephalon).
This neural dysfunction can cause your body to ache everywhere. You may also experience horrible fatigue. Certain spots on your body may be very painful to touch. You might also experience swelling, aching muscles, disturbances in your sleep, and mood swings or depression.
But what would cause the injury or dysfunction to the brain stem in the first place? Though medical orthodoxy will claim that the causes are unknown, the consistent factor that determines the development of Fibromyalgia is stress, in the form of Physical, Emotional, and/or Chemical stress.
Physical Stress from car accidents, falls, bumps, or bruises.
Emotional Stress due to financial difficulties, a failed marriage, abuse, or difficulties at work.
Chemical Stress from alcohol, tobacco, and/or sugar- junk food.
Stress causes the brain to lose synapses, or decrease its frequency of firing. When you are stressed, a chemical called cortisol is released into the bloodstream. Consistently elevated levels of cortisol is toxic to the brain and causes a decreased firing of brain signals.
Fibromyalgia symptoms include but are not limited to the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic headaches
- Dryness in mouth, nose, and eyes
- Hypersensitivity to cold and/or heat
- Inability to concentrate (called “fibro fog”)
- Loss of memory
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Numbness or tingling in the fingers and feet
Treatment for Fibromyalgia
It is often thought that Fibromyalgia is manageable, but ultimately progressive and permanent. Conventional medical treatment involves pharmaceutical drugs, with its attendant risks and side effects. Fortunately, the truth is that Fibromyalgia is treatable and reversible. We offer 3 types of treatments that heal and provide relief without surgery or drugs: Physical, Neurological, and Metabolic Treatments.
Our physical treatments include:
- Therapeutic massage: This manipulates the muscles and soft tissues of the body and helps ease deep muscle pain. It also helps relieve pain of tender points, muscles spasms, and tense muscles.
- Myofascial Release Therapy: This works on a broader range of muscles, and can gently stretch, soften, lengthen, and realign the connective tissue to ease discomfort.
- Trigger Point Therapy: This can alleviate the knots in your muscle fibers that have gone into spasms.
- Cold Laser Therapy: This stimulates tissues into healing and decreases pain sensations. A study of 846 fibromyalgia sufferers in 1997 and reported in the Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine and Surgery revealed that two-thirds of the group experienced less pain and more mobility following cold laser therapy. Another study in Rheumatology International in 2002 reported significant improvement in pain, fatigue and morning stiffness after cold laser therapy.
The American Pain Society recommends moderately intense aerobic exercise at least two or three times a week. They also endorse clinician-assisted treatments, such as hypnosis, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and chiropractic manipulation for pain relief.
Our neurological treatments include:
- Oxygen therapy: Oxygen is fuel for your brain and nervous system. Your brain and nervous system need two things to survive…..fuel and activation. Fuel comes in the form of OXYGEN AND GLUCOSE. By using oxygen, we will help you heal faster. By using exercise with oxygen therapy (EWOT), we can increase firing to brain. By increasing firing of brain, we help MANY chronic conditions. (Oxygen therapy is ordered by our M.D.)
- Brain-Based Therapy (BBT): We use specific brain-based therapy such as:
- Interactive Metronome: Computer-based program that uses visual, auditory and motor stimulation to increase firing of the brain. (www.interactivemetronome.com)
- Vibration Therapy: Vibration fires the back part of the brain called the cerebellum. One of the functions of the cerebellum is control of the spinal muscle. We may also use auditory, visual, olfactory, and caloric stimulation to increase firing of brain.
- Light Therapy: We use one of the most advanced systems available today to aid in healing.
- Non-surgical Spinal Decompression: NSSD creates a negative disc pressure and helps to remove pressure off of the nerve. It also provides a slow stretch of the muscles which fires up the spinal cord to increase firing of brain.
We can also provide tailored metabolic treatments based on the following blood tests: thyroid panel, complete metabolic panel (CMP), lipid panel, and CBC (complete blood chemistry with auto differential).
We can assess your thyroid, adrenal, blood, and gut function. All can be affected with chronic health conditions. By addressing any problems with your thyroid, adrenal glands, blood chemistry, or gut function, we can help you to heal faster. The CMP allows us to check your blood glucose levels since glucose and oxygen are needed by the brain to function properly.
We can also perform the following tests for a more precise diagnosis:
Adrenal Stress Index (ASI): We can further test your adrenal glands with a test called an Adrenal Stress Index. Your adrenal glands are your “stress” organs meaning that they react to stress. If you have been or are currently under stress, this test is a must!
IF YOU SUFFER FROM INSOMNIA, THIS TEST WILL MEASURE YOUR CORTISOL LEVELS. When your body’s cortisol levels are abnormal, you will suffer from insomnia. Cortisol levels can be corrected via specific nutritional protocols thereby curing your insomnia.
We may test to see if you have an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is where your immune system attacks a particular area of the body so we test for specific antibodies to determine if you suffer from an autoimmune condition.
TISSUE ANTIBODIES: We can check for gluten antibodies, tissue antibodies such as myelin (fatty sheath around the nerves) antibodies, cerebellar (back part of the brain controlling balance, coordinated movement, and spinal muscles) antibodies.
H.Pylori: We can run a test for H. Pylori bacteria to determine any problems related to the gut function.
NEUROTRANSMITTERS: We test for decreased brain neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are vital for proper brain function. Decreased neurotransmitters can cause increased pain.
HORMONE PANELS: We can check hormone panels to determine if the patient suffers from low testosterone in males or low estrogen/progesterone levels in females. Symptoms related to decreased hormone levels may include depression, fatigue, mental fogginess, mood swings, hot flashes, sweating attacks, weight gain, and decreased physical stamina.
INFLAMMATION: Finally, we may need to test for inflammation in your system by testing homocysteine levels and C-Reactive Protein (C-RP). Many patients suffering from chronic health conditions suffer from inflammatory processes. Just about every fibromyalgia patient that we have treated suffers from some form of chronic inflammatory process.
Once we have run the necessary tests to determine your specific condition, we can successfully treat you via proper neurological, physical, and all natural nutritional protocols.
Along with alternative therapies, it’s important to allow time each day to rest and relax. Relaxation therapies — such as deep muscle relaxation or deep breathing exercises — may help reduce the added stress that can trigger Fibromyalgia symptoms. Having a regularly scheduled bedtime is also important. Sleep is essential to let the body repair itself.
If you are suffering from Fibromyalgia and want to explore your treatment options, we can help. Schedule your free consultation today by calling Cherry Creek Spine & Pain center at (303) 223-0287.