How Can Chiropractic Benefit Someone with Fibromyalgia?
A new study from Egypt reports that chiropractic care can be an effective treatment strategy for fibromyalgia treatment with chiropractic care.1 The study involved 120 people between the ages of 40 and 65 who had suffered with severe fibromyalgia for four years or more. Each person rated their pain as a 4 or higher on a pain scale and also had limited movement in their cervical (neck area) spine, specifically in their C1-C2 area. All of the individuals participating in this study engaged in 12 weeks of therapy which included:
• An education program (one two-hour session per week) designed to provide the participant with more information about fibromyalgia and care options;
• Cognitive behavioral therapy (one two-hour session per week) which involved discussion regarding pain management via relaxation exercises, challenging treatment-prohibitive beliefs about fibromyalgia, and positive reinforcement about what types of actions can be taken to ease fibromyalgia symptoms; and
• An exercise program (three one-hour sessions per week plus 20-minute session twice daily at home) which included relaxation techniques, as well as active and passive stretches.
One half of the individuals were randomly assigned to a chiropractic group, which meant that they also received chiropractic adjustments three times per week for the first month. This was then reduced to once a week sessions for the remaining eight weeks.
At the beginning of the study, the conclusion of the study, and at one year post-study, each participant was asked to complete various questionnaires to help the researchers determine what effect, if any, that chiropractic had on easing fibromyalgia symptoms and reducing its impact on their lifestyle. Specifically, questions were asked regarding physical function abilities, work days missed due to fibromyalgia symptoms, sleep disturbances, level of pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
What Were The Results of the Fibromyalgia Study?
The individuals who participated in the chiropractic care group showed more improvement and better results than the control group who had no chiropractic intervention. This was validated by questionnaire scores that improved by 15 or more percent.
1. Moustafa IM, Diab AA. The addition of upper cervical manipulative therapy in the treatment of patients with fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial. Rheumatology International 2015;35(7):1163-1174.