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One of the most frustrating experiences for people struggling with fibromyalgia is explaining the symptoms they experience on a daily basis to medical practitioners and health providers and feeling like they have been heard in the process. Western medicine is only just beginning to understand the seriousness and debilitating effects of this complex disease and patients are ready for answers. To date, there continues to be no real answer regarding the root cause of fibromyalgia other than researchers' understanding that it may have to do with problems with the central nervous system. While some treatments have greatly reduced the symptoms of fibromyalgia, unfortunately there has been no "end-all be-all" treatment that has cured the masses.
Hi I'm Dr. Paul Bekkum from All Seasons Full Body Chiropractic Center in Fargo North Dakota. I have many patients who suffer from fibromyalgia and some of them are just resigned to believe they have to deal with it for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, many of them have been to traditional medical clinics and have been prescribed different drugs. These drugs are just covering up their symptoms. They're not really dealing with what's causing the problems.
In our office, we screen people's injuries by looking at the nerves, myofascial and joint tissues as well as performing necessary lab testing for nutritional deficiencies, hormone metabolism, food allergies, and heavy metal toxins that may be causing some of the symptoms.
Individuals who suffer from fibromyalgia likely have some kind of food sensitivity that's causing at least some, if not all of their symptoms. Lab testing can identify which foods are causing inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes, headaches, generalized body aches and chronic pain, gastrointestinal issues, fatigue, irritability, anxiety and depression. When these foods are eliminated, much of these symptoms can be eliminated. Our office uses ALCAT Testing. For more information about how to schedule this testing and to take a generalized questionnaire to see if you may be struggling with food allergy symptoms, go to: http://drpaulbekkum.com/nutritional-lab-testing/
Fibromyalgia and Foot Mechanics
A lot of my patients with fibromyalgia have bio-mechanical issues that are exacerbating their problems. For this reason, we always do a biomechanical foot scan when they come in for their second visit. Why are the biomechanics of your feet so important? Think of your car when it needs its tires balanced. When your tires aren't aligned or if there is air missing in one of your tires, you may not feel it immediately, especially because it comes on gradually, but people outside may notice your tire shaking. Your body is the same way. Many times the symptoms come on gradually. You may notice generalized pain but have trouble determining the cause when your uneven gait may be obvious to others.
Anytime there is imbalance from a shortened leg or deformities in your feet, you're not matching up flat with your walking surface. Your feet should naturally turn out about 4 to 6 degrees giving them a nice natural foot pronation. If your pronation is off, you have what is called a forefoot varus deformity creating excessive motion to your kinetic chain putting stress on your muscles. A lot of people who are having fibromyalgia symptoms in their legs, hips, back and neck are suffering from an imbalanced kinetic chain which starts at the feet and causes neurological symptoms. http://drpaulbekkum.com/foot-pain/
Chiropractic Care for Fibromyalgia
It's important, especially with fibromyalgia patients, that we are treating the full body. Patients with this syndrome have been turning to chiropractic care in increasing numbers over the years to treat neck pain, back pain and leg cramps that often accompany fibromyalgia. Our bodies' systems are connected. If your bones, ligaments, muscles, joints and tendons aren’t functioning properly then they can lead to an improperly functioning system. Your skeletal structure is the foundation for it all. When your skeletal structure is strong, your body can support it's other functions. Chiropractors help restore the balance in your skeletal structure through adjustments, manipulations and stretches to eliminate the pain associated with fibromyalgia. At All Seasons Full Body Chiropractic Center, we believe in adjusting the entire body, from your feet to your arms, wrists, hands and hips. For more information on chiropractic care for fibromyalgia, go to: http://drpaulbekkum.com/pain-relief/
Seeing The Positive Results of Fibromyalgia Treatment
There are several screening tests that we utilize in our office to narrow down exactly where you have problems. For example, the surface EMG test is something that we provide all of our fibromyalgia patients. The surface EMG allows our patients to see for themselves exactly where the pain and inflammation is stemming from. It's a helpful visual aid for our office and allows us to gauge your progress over time as you receive the necessary healing therapies in our office. This is also a great tool to help our patients explain exactly where they require pain relief and the severity of the symptoms. It takes away some of the frustration that fibromyalgia patients have experienced in the past.
Innovative Therapies for Fibromyalgia
Technology is providing us with some effective and painless solutions to pain reduction. Patients struggling with chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia and Lyme's Disease have noticed promising results from these therapies.
K-Laser Therapy can help reduce the tender points associated with fibromyalgia by relaxing the muscle fibers. This reduces pain and lessens the severity of symptoms over time and even help to minimize pain during daily activities. Laser therapy is the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to stimulate the body's natural ability to heal. The effects of laser energy include improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation and decreased swelling.
K-Laser Patient Education Video from K-Laser on Vimeo.
During K-Laser Therapy, infrared laser light interacts with tissues at the cellular level increasing metabolic activity within the cell. By improving the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane, the increased production of cellular energy (ATP) is stimulated. The cascade of beneficial effects that follows includes increased cellular function and tissue repair.
In layman's terms, a short treatment of roughly 8 minutes (depending on how many areas are being treated), can provide pain reduction and muscle relaxation from both acute and chronic pain. Most patients experience some pain reduction after the first treatment. Treatments are most effective when done in a series of treatments to a specific body area. For more information about K-Laser Therapy, go to: http://drpaulbekkum.com/k-laser-therapy/
Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy
PEMF is used to improve circulation and cell metabolism. PEMF works by improving cellular function and health at the molecular level. PEMF improves health by addressing impaired chemistry and the function of cells. Science has proven that our bodies produce their own magnetic fields. Everything works within the body by electromagnetic exchange. Disruption of electromagnetic energy in cells can cause impaired cell metabolism. PEMF delivers beneficial, health enhancing
frequencies to the cells and penetrates every cell, tissue, organ and even bones to stimulate electrical and chemical processes in the tissues. PEMF is designed to positively support cellular energy, which results in better cellular health and function.
This treatment is most effective with a number of treatments over time. The treatment lasts for 8 minutes and patients have reported a feeling of euphoria and greater relaxation following treatment. For more information on PEMF therapy and to hear our patient testimonials, please go to: PEMF Therapy Fargo
Fibromyalgia in the Upper Midwest
Midwest winters are difficult enough without having to experience exacerbating symptoms due to fibromyalgia pain. When the weather becomes cold, your body aches from muscle contraction. Some of these strategies may be helpful in reducing fibromyalgia pain associated with cold weather:
* Soak in a nice, warm or hot bath. The hot water not only comforts the muscles, but goes to the bones taking away the chill that contributes to fibromyalgia pain and symptoms.
*Wear loose, warm clothing. Tight-fitting clothing can be bothersome for those with fibromyalgia as the constriction of tight clothing can further add to the feeling of pain already in the muscles.
*Take a Vitamin D Supplement. With the lack of sunshine in the upper midwest region in the winter, Vitamin D depletion can affect mood levels and exacerbate chronic pain. A recent study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases discovered that vitamin D replacement therapy improved musculoskeletal symptoms, depression and quality of life among patients with chronic widespread pain. Vitamin D helps maintain muscle strength, while reducing inflammation. This combination led researchers to conduct a randomized controlled trial in which they discovered vitamin D supplementation significantly reduced musculoskeletal pain. Furthermore, several randomized controlled trials have concluded that vitamin D is an effective antidepressant. For more information, go to National Fibromyalgia Association.
If you are interested in learning more about our treatments for fibromyalgia and chronic pain, contact our office and set up an appointment with one of our providers. In the end, everyone's body is unique and that is why each patient's treatment regimine is tailored to their specific needs. We take the time to thoroughly examine each patient and provide an in depth treatment plan. Give us a call at (701) 356-0016 or go to www.drpaulbekkum.com