Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder affecting three to six million Americans, according to the American College of Rheumatology. It is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tender points throughout the body. These tender points are characterized by sensitivity in precise, localized areas such as the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. Also called trigger points, they are painful when pressed. There are nine pairs of tender points in the body, each pair having one point on either side of the body for a total of 18 points.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia may also include sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, and anxiety. Patients suffering from fibromyalgia often complain of hurting all over. The condition primarily occurs in women of childbearing age, but men, children, and the elderly may also be affected. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, as many of the symptoms mimic those of other diseases, so it can be difficult to diagnose.
A recent study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics stated that more than 60% of the participants who underwent thirty chiropractic treatments showed significant reductions in pain intensity and improvement in their overall fatigue. Chiropractic care, as well as changes to nutrition (such as enacting a vegan diet) and exercise, has been reported to help relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia.