Fibromyalgia is a common cause of widespread pain, characterized by physical findings of local tenderness in many specific but widely dispersed sites. Most patients with fibromyalgia remain symptomatic for several years, with no known cure yet identified.
To this end, the current study examined the possibility that chiropractic care could effectively manage this frustrating condition.
Study participants underwent 30 chiropractic treatments combining ischemic compression and spinal manipulation. The first phase of the treatment consisted of applying ischemic compression to a number of tender points previously identified by palpation; the second phase involved spinal manipulation delivered as a short-lever, low-amplitude, high-velocity thrust.
Results showed a statistically significant reduction in pain intensity, and corresponding improvement in quality of sleep and fatigue levels, in nine of the 15 patients. These improvements were maintained after one month without treatment. The six patients who did not respond as positively to treatment tended to be older and had more severe fibromyalgia than those who responded to care.
Conclusions: Chiropractic care combining ischemic compression and spinal manipulation may help fibromyalgia sufferers. The authors recommend a randomized clinical trial be performed to further test this hypothesis.
Hains G, Hains F. Combined ischemic compression and spinal manipulation in the treatment of fibromyalgia: a preliminary estimate of dose and efficacy. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, May 2000:23(4), pp225-30.
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