Chiropractic care for fibromyalgia

Yesterday, I had my first chiropractic adjustment.  I'm kicking myself for waiting 10 years to try chiropractic treatment.  It is like a miracle happened.  In just a few short minutes, my pain was eased to the point of being almost non-existent.  I cannot even remember being pain-free, that's how long I have been in daily pain.  While this will not work for everyone, it sure worked for me.

Let me backtrack a bit:  after ten years of dealing with the totally frustrating standard medical treatments, non-diagnoses, dismissive doctors, medications that were simply far too powerful for my sensitive body to handle, I decided to try to find a naturopathic doctor.  They exist here in Massachusetts, all right, but they are not licensed in Massachusetts (translation: insurance doesn't cover naturopathic treatment.  Naturopaths are fully accredited physicians, but they can't get licenses in Massachusetts.  Other states do license them, and they are working hard to get recognition in Massachusetts.  Until that happens, however, one must pay out of pocket for their services in the Bay State.  Check out naturopaths in your area for more information.)  The naturopath I found had a three-hour appointment with me, and found out everything she needed to know about me.  We started out with baby steps for treatment, including herbal and vitamin supplements, chiropractic treatment, and slight meal changes, mainly breakfast because my worst time of the day is morning. She warned me about taking Excedrin daily for pain (I stopped Motrin months ago because it was making me ill), and I've tried to curtail my use of Excedrin as much as possible.  (Someone told me there was a recall -- I guess there was nearly two years ago.

I was skeptical about going to a chiropractor again.  My one, and only, previous experience was creepy, to say the least. The guy didn't hurt me or anything like that, he was just a fruitcake!  He asked me to moan when I was exhaling "to get the full effect" of the spinal manipulation.  Seriously!  He put a TENS unit on my lower back and left me lying on my stomach with this thing burning my skin for 30 minutes -- this accomplished nothing.  His assistant sat on the floor of the exam room and showed me exercises to do to at home to loosen up my body -- it was hilarious.  But the piece de resistance was when he (supposedly) tested me for allergens... he took out small vials with items inside, had me lie down on my back (a female assistant was in the room, taking notes!) and would roll the vial down my front torso and declare that I was allergic to whatever item was in the vial.  The vials contained a kernel of corn, a peanut, a stalk of wheat (!!), milk, and more.  As he rolled each vial across my torso, he'd declare, "She is ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS!"; "SHE IS ALLERGIC TO CORN!" and the assistant would scribble something on the notepad.  If I hadn't been so freaked out I would have laughed my fool head off.  I think one of the vials contained a pea.

Following the naturopath's orders, I made an appointment at the chiropractor she suggested.  The man is very impressive.  Just as the naturopath herself, he had a lengthy consultation appointment with me where he listened to all my symptoms and stories.  It was probably 90 minutes.  At the end, he carefully checked my spine, shoulders, hips, knees (all the areas I marked as painful on the little drawing he provides for each appointment).  He did not do an adjustment, but pressed on areas he thought needed treatment.  After that appointment, just from him touching me, I was sore for days -- it felt like bruises all over, especially on the fibro tender points.  I cancelled and re-scheduled my first adjustment appointment.

The first adjustment occurred yesterday.  I almost cancelled again, out of fear that I would be in pain, and because it's kind of a long drive to his office.  I awoke at 5 am in excruciating pain all over, and a massive headache -- sort of the normal 5 am occurrence for me.  I had no choice but to take the dreaded Excedrin, otherwise I would still be lying there in bed in pain!  The Excedrin went to work doing its thing, and I was able to drive the 45 minutes to the appointment, remaining skeptical the whole time, and dealing with inconsiderate people at the gas station on the way there! Am I ever glad I kept the appointment.  It was incredible how he zeroed in on the areas that needed work; how fast the appointment was (I was "outta there" in just a few minutes) and, number one, how fantastic I felt afterwards.  It is now 24 hours later as I write this post, and I still feel fantastic.  I am in hardly any pain this morning as compared to most mornings.

My next appointment is next week.  If this continues, maybe I'll actually be able to walk my dog again!

Here are some helpful links on chiropractic and fibromyalgia: