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Fibromyalgia is an unpleasant condition of generalised and often heightened pain in the muscles and tendons of the body. Diagnostic criteria list up to 18 symmetrical tender points on the body (see diagram) but in fact the condition often includes a wide range of associated signs and symptoms, such that it is often referred to as a fibromyalgia syndrome.

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One uniting feature of the symptoms of fibromyalgia is that they can be associated with poor regulation in the autonomic nervous system of the body. Onset of fibromyalgia is associated with prolonged stress and poor sleep. These conditions prevent the body from repairing and self-healing in the normal way and thereby can trigger a ‘cascade’ of the above symptoms as the body’s normal regulatory mechanisms go gradually more awry.

Osteopaths may be able to help with both the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia. A thorough osteopathic case history will allow the osteopath to understand the range of symptoms, and through assessment of movement and gentle touch the osteopath will be able to gauge the state of the tissues and how to treat appropriately for relief of symptoms. Osteopaths are highly aware of the role of the autonomic nervous system in health and illness and have many gentle and effective ways of interacting with it to rebalance neurological tone and stimulate the healing process.

Signs and symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Temperature dysregulation eg Raynauds
  • IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Irritable bladder
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Poor memory/attention span
  • Headache, dizziness, occipital pain
  • Mechanical low back pain
  • Sciatic pain
  • Chest wall pain

Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to arrange a treatment.

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