Fibromyalgia and Chiropractic Care

The Chiro.Org Blog

SOURCE:   The Fibromyalgia and Chiropractic Page

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome that occurs predominantly in women and is marked by generalized pain, multiple defined tender points, fatigue, disturbed and nonrestorative sleep, and numerous other somatic complaints.

Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia

To meet the fibromyalgia criteria for medical diagnosis, patients must experience:

  • Widespread pain in all four quadrants of their body, for a minimum of three months, and,
  • At least 11 of the 18 specified tender points (see sketches below)

The 18 sites used for the fibromyalgia diagnosis cluster around the neck, shoulder, chest, hip, knee, and elbow regions. The finger pressure that must be applied to these areas during a “palpation” exam is roughly equivalent to the amount that causes the finger nail bed to blanch or start to become white. Over 75 other tender points have been found to exist, but are not used for diagnostic purposes.

Tender Points may occur at nine bilateral locations:
Thanks to About.Com for access to these pictures.

Front of the Body:

  • Low Cervical Region: (front neck area) at anterior aspect of the interspaces between the transverse processes of C5-C7.

  • Second Rib: (front chest area) at second costochondral junctions.

  • Lateral Epicondyle: (elbow area) 2 cm distal to the lateral epicondyle.

  • Knee: (knee area) at the medial fat pad proximal to the joint line.

Back of the Body:

  • Occiput: (back of the neck) at suboccipital muscle insertions.

  • Trapezius Muscle: (back shoulder area) at midpoint of the upper border.

  • Supraspinatus Muscle: (shoulder blade area) above the medial border of the scapular spine.

  • Gluteal: (rear end) at upper outer quadrant of the buttocks.

  • Greater Trochanter: (rear hip) posterior to the greater trochanteric prominence.

Chiropractic care has been found to help reduce pain symptons and to increase activity levels. You can learn more about that by reviewing the Fibromyalgia and Chiropractic Page