Chiropractic Care and Fibromyalgia

I must admit that before the first week of October of this year I didn't give chiropractic care much thought. I knew it existed and thought it was a great form of help for people that had suffered back injuries. It never occurred to me that chiropractic care could help someone with Fibromyalgia. In early October I had attended a local fair with my family. Most of the time I don't get to go into the building that houses local businesses because my children tend to find that building boring. They'd rather go on the rides or partake in a tractor pull race. But this year was different and I was able to go through the building with a friend who introduced me to her chiropractor at his booth. His thoughts on homeopathic care as opposed to traditional forms of medicine intrigued me because these views seemed right in line with mine. He believes that surgery on any joint should be a last resort and he also believes that medicine will only mask what's really going on. I listened to him further explain to my friend Karen that he would be introducing other forms of care into his practice, one being acupuncture, and that got me even more interested into talking with this man. I explained to Dr. Walter Henderson of Henderson Family Chiropractic Care that I had Fibromyalgia and I was very interested in seeing if acupuncture or any of his other forms of care would help me. I had recently been in a rather long and painful flare that was really starting to take over my life again. I wasn't at the point where I was in bed everyday, but since I had been down this road so many times before, I knew I would be headed in that direction if I didn't try something different. I scheduled an appointment to see him and at that first visit, he asked a series of questions that were quite similar to the questions I was asked at the Rheumatologist's office. He also took a series of x-rays and performed a trigger point test with me. I was told to return in a few days once he had the results of my x-rays. The second visit was an eye opener for me because this was the first time I was able to see my neck, spine, and hips in quite some time. The last time I had seen them was in late 2005. At that time I had noticed a slight misalignment in my spine but I had honestly thought it was due to standing improperly at the x-ray. Call me crazy, but the words of my mother saying, sit up straight still haunt me to this day so much so that I just assumed I hadn't been doing so in the x-ray pictures of 2005. And the Rheumatologist and General Practitioner of 2005 weren't overly alarmed at my misalignment either, in fact, they were quite happy to see that my joints had very little deterioration. Both thought I'd be fine with my condition with a little therapy and medication. They did, however caution me that surgery may be inevitable in my future. Dr. Henderson showed me the latest version of my bones and I was in shock. I couldn't believe that I was looking at what I believe to be a young body. My spine veered to the right at least 2 inches, and I'm probably being modest because I'm not good with numbers or measurement off the cuff. My left hip was also severally misaligned by at least 2 inches too. My neck is completely straight with no arc at all. I was speechless, and that's something that doesn't happen all too often for this writer. Despite this shock, I managed to be able to muster a few words like, So how do we fix this? What he said after that shocked me even more. He stated that if I continued on the traditional route, surgery would be unavoidable. I knew this to be true for my knees, but now it was clearly evident that I'd need surgery for one of my hips too. At 38, this doesn't sound like a viable option for me. He further explained that his solution would be different because he would readjust my hips and spine to help alleviate pain. Most people that I know are a little leery of Chiropractors. They seem to think that these people couldn't possibly help them because all they do is crack your back. They also think that these doctors don't get anywhere near the same type of schooling that conventional doctors do. Well, let me dispel the rumors and negative thinking for you and tell you that these statements simply aren't true. Chiropractic care, or spinal manipulation has been around since the times of ancient Greece and China. Some writings on the subject date back to 2700 B.C.! Hippocrates also wrote about the importance of spinal manipulation but the actual start of the occupation didn't come about until 1895. Spinal manipulation, or chiropractic care becomes important for Fibro sufferers because the muscle winds up with a build up of protein or ground substance. This theory, though never discussed in this blog prior too, is not a new one. Many doctors believe in the same theory, in fact, R. Paul St. Amand, M.D. also discussed ground substance deposits in the body in his book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia. Dr Amand's theory goes in a completely different direction, however. He is not a chiropractor. He is a conventional doctor and his theory will not be touched on in this entry. All of this history of medicine sounds great on paper, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, does it really work? Well, as a patient of Dr. Hendeson's , I can assure you that it does! I can actual feel my body's pain levels go back in time. I know that may sound a little weird so let me explain. A couple of years before diagnoses I used to have a lot of problems with my knees and very little problems with my upper and lower back. My knees got so bad that it became extremely difficult to walk due to tiredness and pain. I even had knee buckling. My back was really not a major issue at that time. It only hurt when I lifted something very heavy or when I'd do repetitive motion for a long period of time. My back, prior to diagnoses was never as bad as my knees because my knee injuries were older than my back injury. I had sprained both knees in my early teens as opposed to straining my back in a dance class, followed by a car accident. I honestly barely mentioned my back as a problem area when talking to my doctors because the pain was easier to deal with. As time went on, as all Fibro sufferers know, my pain increased. It was always most prominent when extra added stress entered my life. Stress is a part of life, however when it rules you, it's never good. I had to leave a career because the stress of work/life balance was too great. Lately, I'm experiencing a different kind of stress and that is one of a care giver to my Grandmother and my Mother, as well as being one for my two children. It's been a tough balancing act with everyone because I feel I should be everywhere ALL at once, hence, the stress creeps up and settles in. My father, brother, and my soon to be sister-in-law are caring for Mom on a full-time basis and my husband and I are caring for my Grandmother full-time. My Grandfather, whom my husband and I cared for, passed a day before my oldest daughter's birthday last year. My Mom and Grandfather were diagnosed with Alzheimer's and it's been a challenge. My Mom doesn't wander but my Grandpa did and I remember all too well being awoken in the middle of the night by my bedridden Grandma asking for me to come over just to see if Grandpa fell asleep the family room chair. I'm trying to deal with the stress and pain as best as I can at this moment in my life by handling things day by day and minute by minute. But Chiropractic Care a very good relief option for me because my pain-factor is far less than it once was. I've had some knee pain and fatigue, but it is no where near the levels of pre-diagnoses, nor is it anywhere near the levels of my recent flare. I honestly haven't felt this good in 15 years! I will continue this discussion of Chiropractic Care as my blog moves on. I'm even going to include an interview with my doctor so please stay tuned for upcoming entries. Stay fabulous! Love and friendship, Kimberley

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