Fibromyalgia

It's All About Muscles

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DrTimMaggs.com

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Testing

Although testing can be rather subjective, there are several tests that can help point to an accurate diagnosis. The most important test consists of the 18 designated points along the upper and lower back and gluteal regions that will be more tender upon palpation. For a conclusive diagnosis, 11 of the 18 points have to be rendered as "painful". The amount of pressure needed at each of these points is approximately 10kg of pressure. This is the amount of pressure needed to change color of the thumbnail when pressing the thumb down on a hard surface. Many people suffer with pain in some of these points, but for a conclusive diagnosis of fibromyalgia, 11 of the 18 established points must be painful with at least 10kgs of pressure.

Testing can extend beyond the criteria needed to establish a diagnosis. A biomechanical exam is important, as balance and normal muscle function can only help those involved. Testing medial arches of the feet for pronation, supination and unequal arches (right vs. left foot) is important. Leg length measurements are important. Normal range of motion in the joints of the pelvis and spine are also important. Any other tests that locate imbalances and restricted motion should be done in an effort to increase balance and mobility.

Standing x-rays should be done of the low back and neck to determine disc heights, pelvic symmetry, gravity line, lordotic curves and the pelvic angle. Any abnormalities will produce an abnormal stress on one or more muscle groups, increasing the demand, potential tightening and pain of that group.

Treatment

Contrary to popular belief, all massage may not be beneficial to fibromyalgia patients. Recent research has shown that light massage is more beneficial than heavy massage. "Less dosage and high frequency has proven to be far more beneficial in my self-treatment of my condition", states Dr. Belcher.

Structural corrections, including the use of orthotics, rehabilitative exercises, corrective structural treatment and an improvement of life's habits, will help provide long-term benefits. Objective x-ray and examination findings should be the criteria used when designing a rehabilitative program. Since every person has a structure that is unique (your Structural Fingerprint), a rehabilitative program should also be unique based on the specific needs of the involved patient.

Nutritionally, some minerals have been shown to produce beneficial results. The list includes CO-Q-10, Magnesium and Malic Acid.

Although no universal treatment protocol has yet been established, the athlete with fibromyalgia has to approach the condition as they would the marathon. It's a long journey with unknown results, but a strong positive attitude, a good physical program and quality nutritional support will make the journey easier. The key, once again, is to never give up.


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Dr. Tim Maggs
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