Many points concerning the Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) remain in dispute, including whether its causes are physical, physiological, or even social. In recent years, several theories have been developed concerning the cause of the syndrome, but this is still the subject of much conjecture and controversy.

Despite these questions, specific diagnostic criteria have been established, and most physicians in the practice of primary care encounter patients who clearly satisfy the criteria and who are in considerable distress.

Uncertainties also remain about the management of FMS. What appear to be most effective are various combinations of therapies that clinicians have arrived at pragmatically.

The symptoms of FMS typically include chronic, widespread aching muscles, stiffness, sleep disturbances, persisting fatigue, anxiety, and depression. On examination, patients are found to have discrete soft-tissue tenderness at multiple characteristic sites.

Unfortunately, this debilitating condition is seen quite often in our office. For some patients, we see relief and for others there is no relief. Finding a successful home program is a difficult but necessary challenge in coping with fibromyalgia. It is time-consuming to treat fibromyalgia, yet we do not want to live in pain. FMS causes the muscles to be tight, ropy, and in constant localized spasms. Our muscles do not use oxygen well and have decreased energy compounds (ATP), and this will cause fatigue.

We all know of friends or family members that suffer from this debilitating condition. With so few answers to the treatment of FMS, we wanted to educate you on the treatments that we suggest to our patients. Each person needs to develop a personal program and set of commitments in order to achieve positive results. Our recommendations are as follows:

1. Maintaining proper posture
2. Modalities (i.e., electric stimulation, heat)
3. Chiropractic maintenance adjustments
4. Routine massage (caution to be gentle)
5. Stretching
6. Relaxation exercises

With so much speculation it is very difficult to give one right answer. If you should suffer from this condition or know someone who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, we would advise you to call us and we can further help you understand FMS.