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Fibromyalgia Treatment in Oxford
As many as 18 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, a little-understood disorder that causes chronic, widespread pain and hypersensitivity to pressure. Its effects also go far beyond pain, to symptoms including fatigue, sleeplessness, difficulty in concentration, bowel and bladder problems and many others. For many, fibromyalgia syndrome can be debilitating.
The name fibromyalgia comes from the Latin and Greek root words fibro- (fibrous tissues), myo- (muscle) and algos- (pain) - meaning muscle and connective tissue pain. . The name is in fact a misnomer. Originally it described what was thought to be fibrous deposits in the muscles that caused pain. While it's true that some patients have muscle spasms so severe that they become fibrous, this has nothing to do with the cause of fibromyalgia.
In the past, fibromyalgia patients were often called hypochondriacs. Many times they were referred to psychiatrists, and it was not uncommon for sufferers to be institutionalized.
Only recently has fibromyalgia disorder gained recognition as a condition that deserves attention. In general, patients are receiving more respect today and are believed when they say they have a problem. But they may still be looked upon as drug addicts, or presumed to have a self-serving motive, when all they really need is someone to believe them and get them help.
Researchers estimate that fibromyalgia affects up to 6 percent of the population, with nine out of ten sufferers being women.
Medical practitioners don't know the cause of fibromyalgia, and while there has been an increasing amount of research over the past 30 years, there is little agreement on what fibromyalgia is and what to do about it. Aside from pressure tests - which themselves are disputed, there are no generally accepted, objective tests for fibromyalgia. In the end, most patients are diagnosed based on differentials - that is, a doctor reviews the history of symptoms and rules out better-known possibilities before determining that "fibromyalgia" is the best description.
Since the cause is unknown, there is no generally accepted treatment for fibromyalgia itself. Instead, doctors focus on relieving the symptoms, through a variety of medications, therapies and lifestyle changes.
Many doctors, in fact, question the existence of fibromyalgia as a distinct clinical entity. The failure of the medical profession to agree on the cause, treatment, or even existence of fibromyalgia has made it difficult for those suffering from the painful and debilitating symptoms to find answers.
The Neurologic Relief Centers takes a broader view of fibromyalgia; it believes fibromyalgia and other conditions are actually caused by compression of the meninges - the three-layered membranes that protect the central nervous system. Our team has created the Neurologic Relief Centers Technique ™ a treatment procedure for neurological disorders, including fibromyalgia symptoms. An initial Neurologic Relief Centers test can bring temporary relief and quickly determine if the long-term treatment will benefit the patient.
Symptoms of Neurological Conditions
These symptoms include:
- Chronic, widespread pain
- Painful hypersensitivity to pressure
- Tingling of skin
- Muscle spasms
- Weakness in the limbs
- Nerve pain
- Bowel problems
- Insomnia or sleep problems
- Cognitive disorders (called "fibrofog" or "brain fog")
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Memory problems
- Decreased attention and ability to multi-task
- Chronic localized pain, including shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, and hip pain
Other conditions that are common among sufferers include:
- Chronic pain of facial muscles
- Tingling, or "pins and needles" of the skin
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Bladder and urination problems
- Skin disorders
- Muscle spasms
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Post-stroke symptoms
Meninges Form Vital Protective Sheath for Our Central Nervous System
The meninges are a three-part sheath of membranes that, along with the cerebrospinal fluid, cover and protect the central nervous system. The Neurological Relief Centers have developed a system of therapy based on the idea that compression of the meninges - Meningeal Compression - explains fibromyalgia and a myriad of neurologic diseases and conditions.
The outermost part, closest to the skull, is a thick, durable membrane called the dura mater. Its two layers form the outermost meningeal sac that covers the inner membranes and supports the larger blood vessels that carry blood from the brain back to the heart. The dura mater is attached to the skull and the bones that form the vertebral canal.
The middle membrane is called the arachnoid because of its spider-web structure. It serves to cushion the central nervous system.
The innermost membrane is the pia mater, a very thin, delicate envelope that is firmly attached to the surface of the brain and spinal cord. The space between the arachnoid and pia mater is filled with cerebrospinal fluid.
Meningeal Compression and Fibromyalgia Pain
Meningeal Compression could be caused by an encroachment or twisting on the three-membrane protective covering of the spinal cord and brain, called the meninges.
This intrusion might be from a tumor or other malformation, but we find that it is most often caused by a change in the cervical spine, which can reduce or distort the space through which the spinal cord and meninges must pass.
Any tugging on the meninges can have devastating effects on this critical and sensitive nerve action, which in turn can produce a galaxy of undesirable symptoms.
We believe this compression creates myriad symptoms, one of which is fibromyalgia. Others are reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), brachia neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome, unexplained diffuse pain, depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety and many more.
The meninges are the three membranes that form a strong bag-like envelope around the brain and spinal cord, holds the cerebrospinal fluid, which brings nutrition and healing to the brain and spinal cord. It is attached to all of the nerves that pass through it.
Nerve roots are extensions of the spinal cord that turn and exit between each vertebra, sending and receiving impulses that control virtually the entire body, even the smallest parts. Since these nerves pass through the meninges, naturally it follows that every bodily system can be affected by the pulling of the meninges. These nerve roots also extend fibers to the brain, which transmit impulses that are then received as pain, burning, itching, hot, cold, tingling, or numbness, as well as other parasthesias (that is, odd feelings).
The pulling and irritation of these nerve roots cause nerve fibers to fire maverick impulses to the brain. The brain interprets these fired impulses as pain, itching, burning, coldness, numbness, or other odd feelings. The body, in response to stimuli from irritation, will often twitch or spasm, thus prompting the restless leg syndrome, muscle tightness, and spasms often experienced by fibromyalgia patients.
Typically irritation of the nerve roots, when it hits levels that are diagnosed as fibromyalgia, bombards the sufferer's brain, overwhelming the autonomic and sensory pathways, keeping them in pain, awake at night, fatigued, and depressed.
The symptoms of possible Meningeal Compression may vary from person to person. They may be debilitating - as in a severe case of RSD or Fibromyalgia - or be less severe in a milder case of fibromyalgia, mild facial pain or trigeminal neuralgia. Including the whole galaxy of symptoms would be impractical, because the nervous system controls the entire body and can affect all the systems. Here, then, is a partial list:
- Insomnia: Insomnia is particularly troubling in almost all fibromyalgia patients. It could become worse in relation to the degree of pressure on the menenges. The anxiety, the pain, the overactive central nervous system, and adrenaline overproduction make sleep almost impossible.
- Fatigue: Fatigue naturally goes along with insomnia, but it is a level of fatigue that goes well beyond what would be expected with ordinary insomnia, and it has a much deeper impact.
- Emotional instability, depression, irritability, and nervousness: These symptoms are often the most difficult to deal with, since they affect the very core of the being and destroy joy and enthusiasm. Life becomes miserable for the sufferer as well as for those around him.
- Mild to severe body pain: This can vary from headaches; pressure at the base of the skull; neck pain; arm pains or numbness; torso pain; hip, thigh, and leg pain; or numbness and facial pains. Often this will be worse in the morning and evening.
- Headaches: Usually there is pressure at the base of the skull, and there is sometimes associated pain in the occipital (back side of the skull) and upper cervical spine (neck). Many patients have severe, migraine-type headaches. FMS headaches may vary in location and intensity. We have seen almost every possible combination-unilateral, bilateral, facial, occipital, mild, severe, -sometimes accompanied with nausea and vomiting.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome: This is present in most sufferers, and may be caused by the sympathetic nervous system firing constantly, preventing the parasympathetic nervous system from controlling digestion. Its constant firing may increase adrenaline production and bring with it a feeling of forthcoming destruction. The parasympathetic system works well when we are relaxed, and controls things like food digestion and normal, relaxed bodily functions.
- Rashes: Some people will develop rashes on their legs, arms, face, back, or other areas. Such rashes are common and almost always go away with the treatment.
- Trigeminal neuralgia: Observations suggest that the tugging on the trigeminal nerve as it exits through the menenges can trigger this symptom. Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by facial pain, often lancing-usually severe, though it can be mild. The patients we have seen with this condition usually respond well to treatment.
- Calcium deposits under the skin: These are common, usually under pea size, but we have seen them much larger. They can be very painful and even cause bleeding with movement in rare cases.
- Communication problems: These are common. Symptoms of this sort generally suggest a severe case. Patients we see who are this ill are unable to answer questions or keep on the subject. This lack of focus usually abates in the first two weeks of treatment.
- Anxiety: Anxiety is often one of the most severe problems. Many patients don't even realize they have anxiety until it is pointed out. It can be brought on by the sympathetic nervous system firing continuously. It will push one, even though they may be totally exhausted, and keep them going somewhat; but it is this anxiety that also prevents sleep and rest. Panic attacks - feelings of a need to protect oneself or to run away - are common. When anxiety disappears, our patients become very tired and restorative sleep follows. This is when we see leaps in their improvement.
- All of the glands of the body can be affected, i.e.: the pituitary, the thyroid, the adrenals, the reproductive glands, the pancreas, etc. These glands malfunctioning can create a host of physical problems as well as mental and emotional problems. This is why balancing hormones give a person a boost.
- RSD or CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome): This is a complex and, until-now, misunderstood problem associated with an accident or a surgery. After the event the body part involved will continue to display pain and often circulatory problems. The pain can be excruciating.
Our Technique for Relief of Neurological Symptoms
The Neurologic Relief Centers do not claim to treat fibromyalgia pain and other neurological symptoms. We are moving on the premise that it is a condition of the cervical spine causing an uncontrolled firing of the nervous system.
The aim of our technique is simply to reduce the CSF pressure and/or meningeal compression that causes the symptoms of neurologic disorders.
The uncontrolled firing of the nervous system does not always come about from the same misalignment in every person. This results in different manifestations in different individuals, who understandably must be treated accordingly.
Our procedure involves relieving the meningeal compression. It is a series of techniques that are applied at the appropriate times. Some of these are modifications of standard techniques and some we have developed.
Our objective is to free up the neurological structures that are being encroached upon, thus allowing the brain and spinal cord to return to normal function. In most cases, there is little or no pain associated with this procedure. Where there has been severe trauma and many years in which to develop arthritis in the neck, the treatments may take days or weeks to bring relief.
The length of treatment for most people is generally two or three times a day over a period of eight to ten weeks (eight weeks usually works the best and is the standard for most patients), the treatment schedule often needs personal customization to meet individual conditions. The longer time period we used at first has been refined and shortened by using a more intensive treatment schedule of two or three treatments a day.
This is simply because it is in the nature of fibromyalgia and its causative mechanisms for the vertebrae to quickly return to the abnormal state where it has been for so long. And so it becomes of the utmost importance to hold the correction completely in place while the affected ligaments adjust and the body attempts to maintain this new position.
We have found that the longer the condition is present and the more severe the condition, the more intense the treatment needs to be.
Dos and Don'ts During and After Treatment
- Do not extend the head for more than a second or two.
- Do sleep with the head in about the same position as when you are standing.
- Do not sleep on your stomach.
- Do use a small pillow to support the head while lying on your back, but do not allow it to push against your neck. The pillow should go from your upper back to your head.
- Do, while lying on your side, put a pillow under your head, letting it support your neck, so your head is straight with your spine.
- Do not participate in activities that cause bouncing or jarring of the head for at least six months after treatment. We are trying to get the neck to stay in place. This condition is not like other neck problems and does not respond the same. It has been out of place for quite some time in most cases and will need all of the help it can get to stay there.
- Do not exercise other than walking during the first two months of treatment. Walk often but do not push yourself during this time. After the first month consult with your treating doctor concerning exercise. When you go home, the first six months are critical to help stabilization. Therefore the same rules apply. An exercise bike is good, or a bike that allows you to sit upright, or something that does not cause you to have to look up.
Make sure you keep twice-monthly Stabilization Care treatments and tell your Doctor if you have any returning symptoms.
If you are out of the area you will be assigned a Doctor in your area for Stabilization Care.
New Therapy May be the Answer to Sleep, Mood Disorders, and Chronic Fatigue
From 30 to 50 percent of adults experience insomnia or sleep disorders at some point, and an estimated 10 percent have chronic insomnia. The sleepless "epidemic" is reflected in the wide range of prescription and non-prescription sleep medicines and TV advertisements for cures.
A lack of sleep can be serious, leading to a lack of concentration, a higher rate of accidents, chronic fatigue and anxiety and mood disorders. Many of those suffering from fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders also suffer from lack of sleep or interrupted sleep.
While many things can cause insomnia - especially temporary bouts - one major cause is fibromyalgia and other chronic painful and debilitating conditions. The discomfort caused by the general pain, soft-tissue burning and tingling, and tender pressure points can interrupt or prevent restful sleep.
The Neurologic Relief Centers has developed a new approach to the understanding of the central nervous system that offers hope for a range of debilitating conditions.
The NRC says many such conditions are linked to Meningeal Compression, the encroachment or twisting of the three-membrane protective sheath of the spinal cord and brain, called the meninges. Most often, this is caused by an accident, trauma or stress.
"Any tugging on the meninges can have devastating effects on this critical and sensitive nerve action, which in turn can produce a galaxy of undesirable symptoms," says the NRC. Symptoms may include those diagnosed as fibromyalgia, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), irritable bowel syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, dystonia, restless leg syndrome, depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety and many more.
The pulling and irritation of these nerve roots cause nerve fibers to fire irregular impulses to the brain, the NRC says. These fired impulses are interpreted as pain, itching, burning, coldness, numbness, or other odd feelings. The body, in response to stimuli from irritation, will often twitch or spasm, sparking restless leg syndrome, muscle tightness, and spasms often experienced by fibromyalgia patients.
The Wade & Associates Neurological Relief Center has created a treatment procedure to address these issues. A free relief test often brings immediate relief to patients, and indicates whether long-term therapy will be of benefit to them.
Wade & Associates
Physicians Care Bldg620 Quintard Dr, Suite 201
Oxford, AL, 36203