Fibromyalgia Part 1: When everything just hurts and no one knows why.
Learn about the underlying cause of fibromyalgia and how Advanced Biostructural Correction™ can help
Fibromyalgia is a debilitating collection of symptoms which severely limits patients’ quality of life. The word is a combination of the Greek terms fibros (fibrous tissue), myos (muscle), and algos (pain). Essentially, it means the fibrous tissue, muscles, and joints are affected by pain. Or, in more simple terms, sufferers experience pain all over their body. Fibromyalgia often goes hand in hand with problems with memory / concentration (brain fog or “fibro fog”), chronic exhaustion and tiredness, sleep disturbance, dizziness, headaches, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, and often other symptoms such as IBS.
In this blog post we will look at fibromyalgia in detail. What is it according to the medical profession? How are they diagnosing and addressing it? What is the real underlying origin? How can Advanced Biostructural Correction™ help address the cause? And what does a typical ABC™ journey look like for a fibromyalgia sufferer?
What is fibromyalgia – the medical approach
The NHS states that the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, claiming a variety of suspected contributing factors. These range from genetics to “abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain”, to “changes in the way the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) processes pain messages”. The NHS claims that emotionally or psychologically stressful events or trauma such as the death of a loved one, the breakdown of a relationship, generalised stress or depression can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms. Furthermore, people recovering from an “injury or infection” or from surgery are more at risk of developing fibromyalgia. . Fibromyalgia pain can be described as “burning”, “aching”, or “stabbing”.
Women are more typically affected than men, and symptoms often start in their 30s to 50s. However, the condition can occur in children or the elderly as well. There are no exact statistics, and some claim that 1 in 20 people are affected by fibromyalgia to some extent.
The medical profession knows no cure for fibromyalgia. Treatment options are limited to symptom relief and include pain medication, counselling or therapy (talk therapy, psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), physio, exercises, and lifestyle changes (to include relaxation techniques).
Re-read the above paragraphs carefully. According to the medical profession,
- There is no known cause of the condition
- Anybody can be affected (women, men, children, the elderly)
- Physical or emotional trauma or recovering from illness / infection, or simply genetic makeup puts one at a higher risk (again, doesn’t that cover just about everybody?)
- There is no known cure for it, and it’s essentially a life sentence
Doesn’t this all just sound very vague, like there is some truth in it but the picture is awfully incomplete and doesn’t provide any real answers?
Fibromyalgia is an exclusion diagnosis. Doctors usually run a battery of tests and find “nothing abnormal” (i.e. no signs of infection, cancer, diabetes, or any other serious illness). Yet the patient has a collection of severe symptoms which are clearly limiting their quality of life. The doctors can’t ignore this obvious fact. They need to give this collection of symptoms a name, or a label. The term “fibromyalgia” covers the issues affecting muscles, fibrous tissue, and the generalised pain. Patients are handed this diagnosis, yet are mostly left uninformed about what causes the condition, or given blanket statements such as the ones mentioned above. They are handed medication – often very strong and highly addictive painkillers such as Tramadol and Gabapentin — and are sent on their way. They are labelled as having an incurable disease, which is highly painful, but cannot be treated effectively.
It doesn’t have to be this way
Fibromyalgia explained from the perspective of faulty body structure and body mechanics
Most of the time, faulty body mechanics are at the heart of conditions such as fibromyalgia. To be quite blunt: to get a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, a person’s body has to be really, really screwed up in terms of structural integrity. “Screwed up” is a technical term here, meaning “twisted up like a giant spring”. Very often one can see this in a person’s posture, and they report it as decreased range of motion or joint stiffness. This can show up as difficulty bending over to put their shoes on, or turning their head. Posture is simply dictated by how the bones in a person’s spine and legs are aligned. Misalign them, and the result is “bad posture”. Posture is not something we do, it is something we have (in other words, posture has nothing to do with laziness and everything with correctly or incorrectly aligned bones).
When we take patients’ history, we always ask about falls or accidents or other physical trauma – going all the way back to childhood. In most cases, we get a long laundry list of falls, car accidents, sporting injuries, or even serious physical attack or abuse. In other words, trauma on the body. Trauma that affects the alignment of the spine in particular, but also of joints in the arms or legs or even the alignment of the bones in the head. If added to everyday lifestyle habits related to bad seats, soft mattresses (anything “foam” is not good for a “screwed-up” body!), or unsupportive shoes, a person can get into a highly messed-up state in terms of how the skeletal structure supports the body.
Structure, however, determines function. Alter the structural alignment of a person’s body, and you immediately affect function. Think of your car or your bike: a bent frame affects how the entire machine is working. The car or bike may veer off to the side, or some of the mechanical parts may be grinding against each other and causing wear and tear. The human body is no different. Mechanical twisting of the body leads to stuck joints, tight muscles, and “wear and tear” patterns which are then given further labels by the medical profession. These include osteoarthritis, degeneration of the spine, disc problems, etc.
We have written extensively about how bones move out of place, why posture is important, and how structural misalignments of the spine cause nerve tissue to get irritated. We have also written about how daily lifestyle habits related to sitting, standing, and sleeping can increase spinal twisting.
In very simple terms: the more twisted-up a person’s spine becomes, the more tension and stretching occurs in the spinal cord and its coverings (the meninges). The increased tension, in turn, can lead to even more twisting-up of the spine and even the bones in the skull. The resulting tension goes all the way up to the brain and brainstem. Important functions are regulated there to do with movement, balance, body temperature, heart rate, breathing, ability to concentrate, as well as vision, taste, smell, and hearing. If this part of the brain gets pulled at 24/7, it can manifest as problems with all of these functions. “Fibro fog” in most cases is caused by mechanical tension on the brain and brainstem. Nerves that get stretched function abnormally. This can show up as tingling, numbness, weakness, burning sensations, or nerve pain. Pulling on the brain can also cause the abnormal levels of brain chemicals cited by the medical profession. And, most of the time it is the underlying cause of the faulty way in which the body processes pain signals.
In other words, the medical profession is correct about these factors. They just haven’t put all the pieces together regarding how these results come about.
It takes a tremendous amount of mechanical twisting and nerve tension to get to the point where the symptoms approach the severity found in fibromyalgia patients. It takes a lifetime to get there.
Along the line, the body produces inflammation in most of the joints and soft tissues. This contributes to the generalised pain symptoms and often to the hypersensitivity where it hurts to even touch the skin. Inflammation itself is the body’s mechanism to protect and heal injured areas (by increasing blood flow and thus redness and heat). Severe inflammation gets out of control and the body can no longer handle it.
How can Advanced Biostructural Correction™ help?
ABC™ addresses the underlying cause of the symptoms. It literally unwinds the twisted-up frame like a giant spring; it unscrews it like a giant corkscrew. We have described the process at length here. At PPWC, we see a number of patients with fibromyalgia. Generally speaking, they respond well to care. However, there are a few important points fibromyalgia sufferers need to understand:
- It took a lifetime to get to where they currently are in terms of symptoms. Getting out of symptoms will take time too.
- Their body most likely underwent severe mechanical trauma (note: one “big” event such as a fall or accident can lead to the same drastic changes as many “small” events such as a lifetime of incorrect shoes, a lifetime of sleeping on soft foam mattresses, and a lifetime of sitting in unsupportive seats).
- We are talking about a ton of mechanical twisting to the point where there are twists upon twists upon twists on top of twists upon twists.
Can we help? The short answer is, in most cases, yes. We can unwind the body and correct the faulty mechanics. We can reduce the nerve tension and pulling on the brain. That’s usually the easy part. The hard part is the journey itself. Go back and read our explanation of the “Unwinding” journey here. You can see that some phases of the journey (the “forward unwinds”) are not fun. Each time the body is ready to unlock an old injury, it brings back old symptoms. These can be mild, or they can be severe. They can be painful, they can manifest as difficult emotions resurfacing (especially if there was emotional trauma involved), they can be flu-like. Each person is different, and each “forward unwind” is different for each person. Most of our patients and practitioners would agree that “going forward” isn’t exactly fun.
For fibromyalgia patients, the process is even less fun. Their bodies don’t just “go forward” – they tend to “slam forward”, i.e. their bodies tend to jump into the more symptomatic phases head first and then party there like it’s 1999. There are periods when the fibromyalgia symptoms will not just resurface but flare up badly. Then there are phases where the symptoms get much better (the “backward unwinds”). From our experience, the “backward unwinds” or comfortable phases tend to be shorter with fibromyalgia patients; the “forward unwinds” tend to take longer and be more uncomfortable than for the average patient. Throughout both phases, however, the body’s structure and function improves. So it is important not to get discouraged during the symptomatic phases.
We have also seen from experience that the typical healing journey of fibromyalgia patients tends to be slower and take more time. This is because we have to go at the person’s body’s speed, which often prevents us from doing all manoeuvres at maximum speed or force. We often have to go more slowly and more gently than with the average patient. We simply cannot force your body into what it isn’t ready for.
This also means that typical milestones take longer to reach. Milestones that the average patient reaches in a couple months of care may take twice that long for fibromyalgia patients. Going back to the analogy of a twisted-up spring, ABC™ can unwind all the twists in a person’s body. This can, on average, take about 2-3 years. For fibromyalgia sufferers, the journey usually is much longer precisely because of how screwed-up their bodies are (twists upon twists upon twists on top of twists upon twists). Symptom relief can occur months (sometimes weeks) into care. Complete correction can take anywhere from 5-10 years. Usually, the initial treatment schedule needs to be fairly intensive to get good results. We are talking several times a week on average.
Often, the accompanying inflammatory processes can get addressed via nutritional supplements and dietary changes. This, again, is a process that takes time and commitment to get the best possible results.
Again, it is important to understand the following:
- Fibromyalgia is the result of severely faulty mechanics of a person’s body structure and nerve function
- The underlying faulty mechanics can be addressed by ABC™
- The “Unwinding Journey” takes much longer for fibromyalgia sufferers and it is more uncomfortable than for the average person
- An intense treatment schedule of several times a week, at least initially, is needed to bring good results
- Strict adherence to lifestyle advice related to sitting, standing, and sleeping is crucial for all patients, but even more so for fibromyalgia sufferers
If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, come in for a free consultation.
 “Fibromyalgia”. NHS Choices. https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Fibromyalgia/Pages/Introduction.aspx
“Fibromyalgia”. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/fibromyalgia/
UK Fibromyalgia. https://ukfibromyalgia.com/index.php