Advertisements about Fibromyalgia and the various drug treatments that pharmaceutical companies offer patients with the condition seem to be all over television and radio these days.

But taking medications is not always the ideal method to ease painful symptoms. Drugs may temporarily ease the pain of fibromyalgia, but they don’t help prevent root causes of pain.

At Lakeside Sports Chiropractic Center & Motorsports Rehab in Cornelius on the shores of Lake Norman, Dr. Jen Lidstrom and her staff offer chiropractic treatments that will ease your pain and prevent symptoms from returning. To learn more or to schedule a visit, contact Lakeside Sports today.

The group ChiroTrust reports that fibromyalgia, or FM, is one of the nation’s most common long-term pain conditions. There are an estimated five million sufferers in the U.S. But FM can be tough to diagnose.

It can be difficult for patients to describe their symptoms. When asked what is bothering them, many people offer vague descriptions of symptoms.

Some common descriptions from sufferers include:

  • I‘m a little achy, but the pain can sometimes be gripping.
  • The pain forces me to stop activities, but just for a few seconds.
  • My pain is so severe I have to sit down until it goes away.
  • Some parts of my body feel especially tender.
  • Many parts of my body ache deeply.

These wide-ranging descriptions makes diagnosing FM a challenge for medical professionals. Sometimes patients are not properly diagnosed until years after symptoms appear.

A recent study reported of the 92 percent of FM sufferers who had spoken about their symptoms with doctors, only 24 percent were initially diagnosed with the condition.

FM can be difficult to diagnose because no symptoms are visible to the naked eye. Also, no definitive blood tests can diagnose FM, nor can x-rays.

In addition, many FM patients have other conditions that overshadow FM symptoms. That can lead doctors to key in on those other conditions and discount the possibility of FM.

More than two decades ago, the American College of Rheumatology wrote about a method to diagnose FM patients. This approach called for physicals, during which pressure was applied. A minimum of 11 of 18 tender spots had to be present for FM to be diagnosed.

It later became apparent that interpreting a patient’s response to tender spots was not completely reliable.

For a proper FM diagnosis today, three things are considered:

  • Muscle pain spread across all four quadrants
  • Pain lasting at least three months
  • Eleven of the 18 tender points are located. Not as much importance is placed on this today

Patient-submitted surveys also can help diagnose FM.

Other conditions often associated with FM include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue that keeps patients in bed
  • Temporomandibular disorder
  • Headaches
  • More than eight months of pain in the bladder and urinary problems
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Numb hands or feet
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depression
  • Problems with memory

At Lakeside Sports, our chiropractors can treat FM and offer pain management techniques that include massages, spinal manipulation, exercise, and nutritional counseling.

So if you believe FM is preventing you from living your life to the fullest because of painful symptoms, contact Lakeside Sports Chiropractic today.