Back Pain Above The Waist

Fibromyalgia Syndrome

FIBROMYALGIA SYNDROME (FS) is an extremely complicated condition affecting over 6 million people, the majority of over 4 million being female. "Fibromyalgia" means pain in the tendons, ligaments (the fibrous tissue) and the muscles. The cause of fibromyalgia is not known, and is not considered a disease. Being such a complex condition, no two people will present with the same symptoms. It generally affects Caucasian women between the ages of 20 to 55, but can affect both men and women of other races.

The symptoms can be many and varied. There can be sleep difficulties, extreme morning stiffness, generalized areas of pain and tenderness to the touch of many areas of the body. Patients will also complain of headaches, anxiety, bowel problems, joint pains, and muscular aches and pains. In some cases the symptoms can be so severe as to cause the patient to be disabled. In 1990 the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) developed a specific scenario for the diagnosis of Fibromyology Syndrome.

These are:

1. Wide areas of pain, both on the right and left side of the body, and below and above The waist. Pain in the skeletal structures of the cervical spine (neck), dorsal spine (Upper back), front of the chest, and lumbar spine (low back).

2. There are usually 18 points of tenderness that can affect the patient with fibromyalgia, and there has to be at least 11 points of tender areas for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia of that patient. These tender areas are found at the following points: A. Right/left sub occipital area (base of skull). B. Cervical spine at C5-C7 (base of neck). (Right/left). C. Trapezius muscles (large muscles back of shoulders). (Right/left). D. Supraspinatus (shoulder muscles, under the trapezius muscles). (Right/left). E. Greater Trochanter (Hip). (right/left) F. Second rib. (Right/left). G. Lateral Epicondyle. (Elbow). (Right/left). H. Gluteals. (Buttocks). (Right/left). I. Knee. (Right/left).

The patient must have generalized pain for at least 3 months and be located above and below the waist, at the right and left side as well as the axial region (armpit area). There also has to be excessive tenderness to touch of at least 11 of the 18 tender sites. Eight points are behind the neck and upper back, four are arranged in symmetry, two are at each side of the buttocks, two of them, one at each elbow, two, one each at the inside of each knee, and two at the Sternum (breast bone), below the chin. As you can see, we are faced here with a very complex condition with no known cause, that is not life threatening, but is extremely painful, debilitating and stressful to the person afflicted with fibromyalgia.

There are many areas of change that needs to be examined in order to help these patients. Do they live a sedentary life? That must be addressed and they have to be on an exercise program. Exercise can be one the most important things to help alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia. "Doctor's Senior Exercise" is a program that will help the individual beyond their greatest expectations. In fact it is recommended that the program be done twice daily, morning and evening. Our second most important area of change should be nutrition. Serious attention should be paid to the foods we eat. If necessary, it may advisable to keep a daily diary of foods eaten, so that should there be an increase of symptoms or a severe flare-up, you can check back to see if a particular food could be at fault. You must also eliminate all alcohol; caffeine drinks of all kinds, such as coffee and sodas and of course if you smoke you must stop immediately.

Dietary supplements can be of enormous value. The third most important area of change to be considered is posture. Stresses of poor posture will set up muscle imbalances that cause joints and ligaments to be taxed beyond their normal ranges. The extra stress placed on these muscles, ligaments and joints becomes a vicious cycle and continues to feed on these stresses and become worse as time goes on. Spinal manipulation to correct these imbalances will be the most effective way to treat the condition, and can be very effective in alleviating symptoms of fibromyalgia. As you can see there are many ways to help those with fibromyalgia, but it is the individual who must take the responsibility to help them.

They must try to control any stressful situations, both emotional and physical. Such stresses can exacerbate symptoms. Lack of sleep is one of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia. Therefore it is necessary to examine the sleeping habits and make corrections where necessary. Do not sleep on the stomach. Sleep on your back, using a proper pillow that will give the necessary support to your head and neck. Do not keep your shoulders on the pillow. Also place a pillow under both knees to keep the legs flexed and prevent strain on the leg muscles. Using a proper leg cushion will support the legs helping in the relaxation of the entire body. Go to bed at an early hour around ten o' clock, and shut the TV off.

Before going to bed do your exercises, and then take a tepid bath for about 15 minutes. Get into this routine and your symptoms will be alleviated. Your health will improve. You will have more vitality and become more vigorous, and your whole lifestyle will improve.

Dr. Emanuel M. Cane, D.C.
http://www.doctorsexercise.com
doc1@gate.net

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