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  • Writer's pictureStefan Cvijetan

Understanding Fibromyalgia: Precursors, Symptoms, and Treatment Introduction via Mechanical Transduction!

Good Morning Everyone!

Today I would love to share more about one of the very common cases we address at Level Osteopathy, Fibromyalgia!

When I first started my practice in Osteopathic Care this was one of the first cases that walked into my clinic after having read the benefits behind the rhythmic and calm approach many Osteopathic Therapists share. Since then our practice can treat up to a dozen patients a week regarding this one unique condition.

Did you know?

Some famous actors such as Morgan Freeman and Janeane Garofalo are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia!

Also many with Fibromyalgia may be diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome!

Let us discuss the facts:

Fibromyalgia is a complex and chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. As an osteopathic clinic dedicated to holistic healthcare, we aim to provide our patients with comprehensive information about fibromyalgia. In this blog post, we will explore the precursors, common symptoms, and methods of treatment for fibromyalgia.

By understanding this condition better, we hope to empower our patients to take control of their health and improve their overall well-being.

I. Precursors of Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a multifactorial condition, and while the exact cause is unknown, there are several precursors that may increase the risk of developing the condition. These precursors include:

1. Genetic Predisposition: Research suggests that fibromyalgia may have a genetic component, making individuals with a family history more susceptible to developing the condition.

2. Physical and Emotional Trauma: Traumatic events, such as car accidents, surgeries, or emotional stressors, have been linked to the onset of fibromyalgia symptoms in some individuals.

3. Sleep Disorders: Chronic sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, have been associated with an increased risk of developing fibromyalgia.

II. Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, but it presents with a range of other symptoms as well. Common symptoms include:

1. Chronic Pain: The primary symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread pain that persists for at least three months. This pain may be accompanied by stiffness, tenderness, and sensitivity to touch.

2. Fatigue: Fibromyalgia often leads to unexplained and persistent fatigue, which can significantly impact daily functioning and quality of life.

3. Sleep Disturbances: Many individuals with fibromyalgia experience sleep disorders, such as insomnia or restless legs syndrome, which further exacerbate fatigue and pain.

4. Cognitive Difficulties: Known as "fibro fog," cognitive symptoms include difficulties with concentration, memory, and mental clarity.

5. Mood Disorders: Depression and anxiety are commonly associated with fibromyalgia, possibly due to the chronic pain and its impact on daily life.

III. Methods of Treatment for Fibromyalgia: While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a multidisciplinary approach can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Some common treatment methods include:

1. Medications: Certain medications, such as pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs, may be prescribed to alleviate pain, improve sleep, and manage associated conditions.

2. Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can help strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and reduce pain through exercises, stretches, and other therapeutic techniques.

3. Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT): OMT, a hands-on approach used by osteopathic physicians, can help relieve pain and improve function by manipulating muscles, joints, and tissues.

4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT can be beneficial in managing the emotional and cognitive aspects of fibromyalgia by helping individuals cope with pain, stress, and mood disorders.

5. Lifestyle Modifications: Incorporating regular exercise, stress management techniques, and healthy sleep habits into daily routines can have a positive impact on fibromyalgia symptoms.

Fibromyalgia is a complex condition that requires a comprehensive approach to treatment. By understanding the precursors, common symptoms, and available treatment methods, patients at our osteopathic clinic can work towards managing their fibromyalgia symptoms effectively and improving their overall well-being. If you suspect you may be experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our clinic to receive a proper and personalized treatment!

Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and we are here to support you every step of the way.

So how can an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner help you?

One means is Mechanical Transduction!

Mechanical transduction refers to the process by which mechanical forces are converted into electrical signals in the body. In the context of muscle and nerves, mechanical transduction plays a role in how manual therapy techniques, such as massage or manipulation, can affect these tissues. During manual therapy, mechanical forces are applied to the muscles and nerves through various techniques, such as pressure, stretching, or manipulation. These mechanical forces can stimulate mechanoreceptors present in the muscles and nerves.

Mechanoreceptors are specialized sensory receptors that respond to mechanical stimuli, such as pressure, stretch, or vibration. When these mechanoreceptors are stimulated by the mechanical forces applied during manual therapy, they generate electrical signals that are transmitted to the central nervous system. In the case of muscles, the mechanical forces applied during manual therapy can stimulate mechanoreceptors called muscle spindles. Muscle spindles are stretch-sensitive receptors located within the muscle fibers. When these spindles are stimulated, they send signals to the spinal cord and brain, which can result in various responses, such as muscle relaxation or activation of the stretch reflex.

In the case of nerves, manual therapy techniques can also influence the transmission of nerve signals. The mechanical forces applied during manual therapy can affect the conduction of nerve impulses by either inhibiting or facilitating the transmission of signals along the nerve fibres.

For example, gentle pressure or stretching applied to a nerve can help reduce nerve compression or adhesions, leading to improved nerve function and reduced pain. On the other hand, excessive or inappropriate mechanical forces can potentially damage the nerves and exacerbate symptoms.

Overall, manual therapy techniques can modulate the mechanical transduction and inhibition of muscle and nerves by directly affecting mechanoreceptors and the transmission of nerve signals. These effects can result in various therapeutic benefits, such as pain relief, improved muscle function, and enhanced nerve conduction. However, it is important for manual therapists to have a thorough understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems to ensure safe and effective treatment.

Curious to see how you and your body stand against chronic pain & fatigue?

Click here to listen to our old podcast discussing mindfulness & chronic pain here:

Stefan Cvijetan

B.HSc (Hons.), MOMS.c, Cert.OOA, CNC, CSCS

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