Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a very common condition, with over 3 million reported cases in the US each year. Individuals with fibromyalgia often experience pain throughout the entire body (sometimes called widespread pain), fatigue and sleep disturbances which can often lead to mental and emotional distress. Researchers believe that people with fibromyalgia experience amplified sensations due to how the brain and spinal column process painful and nonpainful signals.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Widespread pain throughout the body
- Stiffness all over the body
- Headaches, including migraines
- Mental and emotional issues including depression and anxiety
- Problems in thinking, memory, and concentration
Additional symptoms include:
- Pain in the face or jaw, including TMJ
- Digestive distress, such as bloating, abdominal pain, IBS, or constipation
- Neuropathy (tingling or numbness in hands and feet)
- Internal cystitis or painful bladder syndrome
- Postural tachycardia syndrome
Some people begin experiencing symptoms after an event such as surgery, infection, or physical or emotional trauma. For others, the symptoms accumulate over time without a catalyst event. While the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, there are certain known risk factors, including:
- Age – Most people with fibromyalgia are diagnosed during middle age, although it can affect people of all ages
- Certain Autoimmune diseases – Individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and lupus are more likely to develop fibromyalgia
- Certain factors have a correlation with fibromyalgia risk, and additional research is being conducted.
- Sex – Women are twice as likely to develop fibromyalgia as men
- Repetitive Injuries – Injuries caused from repetitive stress on a joint such as frequent knee bending
- Illness – Individuals with certain viral infections
- Stressful or traumatic events including car accidents and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Family History
Do I have Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Symptoms often mimic other conditions, and some healthcare professionals even questioned whether it was a real condition. It is becoming better understood, and the stigma surrounding fibromyalgia is starting to go away. Doctors often perform a physical exam, review family history, and examine bloodwork and X-rays when considering a fibromyalgia diagnosis.
Fibromyalgia can be a debilitating disease that affects the overall quality of life. Certain complications that come with fibromyalgia include:
- Increased rate of depression
- Higher death rates from suicide and injuries
- Higher rate of additional rheumatic conditions such as arthritis (osteo and Rheumatoid), ankylosis spondylitis, and systemic lupus erythematosus
- Increased risk of major depression
Acupuncture and Fibromyalgia
At Affinity Acupuncture, we have been treating clients with fibromyalgia since 2012. Acupuncture is highly effective in treating many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, including pain management, neuropathy (tingling in hands and feet), sleep issues, depression, stress, and digestion. In addition to acupuncture, we offer ATP Resonance Biotherapy, which uses a microcurrent to encourage natural healing of the body and reduce pain.
Healthcare professionals can offer a number of additional treatments that can effectively treat and manage fibromyalgia. Due to the complexity of the condition, a combination of treatments often include:
- Stress management
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening exercise
- Stress management techniques
Directed by William Alexander, L.Ac., C.SMA, a specialist in seemingly hopeless cases, Affinity Acupuncture | Integrative Medicine provides an environment dedicated to you and your better health.
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