A Brief Guide to Fibromyalgia Syndrome | Spring 2004 Newsletter

A Brief Guide to Fibromyalgia Syndrome | Spring 2004 Newsletter

Chiropractic Milwaukie OR Fibromyalgia

Spring Time Greetings,

This letter is about a condition called FibroMyalgia Syndrome (FMS). This condition can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can mimic many other illnesses. At present there is no known cause or cure but the good news is that FMS symptoms can be managed with non-invasive approaches. As always we are here to enrich the lives of our patients and students by relieving pain and enhancing innate vitality.

What is FMS?

Fibromyalgia means pain in the fibrous tissues of the body ie. muscles, ligaments and tendons. FMS is a chronic widespread pain throughout these tissues. FMS patients often describe their condition as if they’ve have a flu that isn’t going away. It is more common in women, though men can develop it as well.

What Causes FMS?

At this time there are no known causes of FMS. Many sources have been considered including viral, traumatic, hormonal and nutritional deficiencies. None of these have turned out to be the underlying cause of FMS, though they may be associated with it.

How Is FMS Diagnosed?

Because there is no laboratory test or any diagnostic imaging that will definitively reveal FMS, the diagnosis is made after a thorough history and physical examination. To meet the diagnostic criteria patients have:

A) Widespread pain on both sides of the body and above and below the waist for a minimum of 3 months.

B) Severe pain to light pressure on at least 11 of 18 specific tender points (see diagram).

C) Several of the many commonly associated symptoms with FMS including, fatigue, recurring diarrhea or constipation, sleep disorder, chronic headaches, jaw pain, memory impairment, menstrual cramping, numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes, morning stiffness, skin or chemical sensitivities, marked sensitivity in the fingers & toes to cold, dizziness or lightheadedness.

Treatments for FMS

There currently are no curative treatments for FMS. Lifestyle modifications may help conserve energy and minimize pain. FMS patients learn what factors aggravate their symptoms and avoid them. In addition various treatments can also help manage the symptoms of FMS. These include:

  1. Chiropractic Adjustments:, helps by reducing tension in the joints of the spine and restoring vitality through the nervous and vascular systems.
  2. Therapeutic Massage: also helps to relieve symptoms of FMS by decreasing muscle tension and helping to manage stress.
  3. Restorative Yoga: has been shown to help manage FMS symptoms and prevent worsening. The poses are a wonderful way to personalize an exercise program to help stretch and strengthen the body and simultaneously quiet the mind.
  4. Improving the Quality of Sleep: Because poor quality of sleep may contribute to the disorder, improving it may reduce the symptoms. Traditional medical treatments and medications are intended to help with this. Other solutions include good sleeping postures, avoiding eating or drinking before bed.
  5. Other alternative therapies: Acupuncture, biofeedback, acupressure have all been shown to also help diminish FMS symptoms.


9:00am - 12:00pm
2:30pm - 6:00pm


9:00am - 12:00pm
2:30pm - 6:00pm


9:00am - 12:00pm
2:30pm - 6:00pm

Saturday & Sunday

Milwaukie Wellness Center
5111 SE Lake Road Suite 1
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 659-5900