The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published the results of a case study on August 24, 2020, documenting the improvement under chiropractic care of a patient suffering with fibromyalgia and depression. Fibromyalgia affects about 2% of the adult population in the US, which comes out to be about 4 million people.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion , Division of Population Health, “Fibromyalgia (fi·bro·my·al·gi·a) is a condition that causes pain all over the body (also referred to as widespread pain), sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress. People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than people without fibromyalgia.”
The study lists other issues that commonly are associated with cases of fibromyalgia. These other problems include stiffness, fatigue, numbness, migraine, tension headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, TMJ syndrome, swollen lymphatic tissue, carpal tunnel syndrome, intolerance to cold weather, anxiety, depression, mental fogginess, and sleep disorders. Women have this problem 9 times more frequently than do men.
In this case, a 48-year-old woman who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia went to the chiropractor. She had been given the diagnosis of fibromyalgia 13 year prior to her chiropractic visit. She also reported suffering with headaches, dizziness, neck, shoulder, and upper mid-back pain, as well as lower back pain that occasionally radiated down her legs. The woman had trouble sleeping and reported a 50% loss of sleep for the past 10 years. She reported that she was on three different medications for her problems, one of which was for depression.
At the time of her visit to the chiropractor, the woman reported that her pain was very severe as she could not sit in a chair longer than an hour or stand more than 30 minutes without her pain increasing. She was unable to walk without severe pain and was unable to carry out normal daily activities without severe pain.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included a posture analysis, motion and static palpation, and spinal x-rays. The x-rays showed a loss of the normal forward neck curvature, disc degeneration, and malpositioned vertebrae. It was determined that subluxations were present, and a plan was set forth for the woman to receive chiropractic adjustments at the rate of 3 adjustments per week for 12 weeks.
The study reports that the woman started noticing relief after the first adjustment. As care continued, her pain reduced dramatically and her range of motion increased. After 6 months of chiropractic care, the woman had experienced over 75% relief in her symptoms. This improvement caused her medical doctor to change her diagnosis to remission of fibromyalgia.
In the study discussion and conclusion, the authors wrote, “There are a few models and theories in which the mechanism of subluxation correction can help to manage fibromyalgia symptomatology. With the removal of vertebral subluxations the interference in the transmission of mental impulse between brain and body are restored and therefore proper physiology is returned. “They continued, “The findings in this case study suggest chiropractic adjustments to reduce vertebral subluxation may benefit patients who suffer from fibromyalgia.