Stimulate the Fibromyalgia Brain’s Weak Side to Improve Function

My Fibromyalgia pain got worse earlier this week. This time, it was triggered when the chiropractor who had been treating me moved away. In the last several weeks, this chiropractor had settled on a treatment approach that succeeded in dramatically reducing my pain. However, another chiropractor had to take over my treatments.

The successful treatment approach got a bit 'lost in the shuffle' when this other chiropractor took over the very large patient load and so another approach was applied to my spine. I am relieved that this has now been rectified and, though not cured of Fibromyalgia, I am feeling dramatically improved once again.

Here is my report on what was working and is working again, and also what did not work.

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The weak side of my brain

In another article I explain there is new research that shows why the chiropractor neurologist can help the nervous system of (some) Fibromyalgia patients. The electrical balance between the two sides of the brain have been thrown off balance. This is what causes the nervous system to become more sensitized and results in the production of more pain than is normal—the pain of Fibromyalgia.

Simply put, in this electrical balance one side of the brain has become weaker than the other. The weak side of my brain is the left side and when I experience a distinct electrical imbalance, I feel in the right side of my head (or brain) a stabbing burning pain. This last week the pain woke me at about 3 AM one night. That side of my brain is the stronger side and it was over stimulated when it should have been at its lowest level for sleeping.

Activator device used by chiropractors

by planetc1
by planetc1 | Source

Activator used on the vertebra

The approach that works for my Fibromyalgia pain

What the previous chiropractor had sorted out was that the approach to use is the one that stimulates that weaker side of my brain. This slows the over-firing of other, stronger side of my brain. This approach is applied in these two ways.

  • Adjust only one side. The weaker side of my brain—the left side—was stimulated by the chiropractor stimulating the side of my spine and neck that is its opposite. This is done by the chiropractor making adjustments to my spine and neck only on my right side. Adjustments to just the right side then stimulates my brain's weak left side. (One side of the body is controlled by the brain's opposite hemisphere.)
  • Adjust gently. Since my nervous system is more sensitized than is normal, these adjustments are done gently. This care avoids overstimulating my nervous system. The chiropractor uses an activator device, pictured here a photo and demonstrated in the videos. The vertebra when gently moved with the activator stimulates the nerves only on one side of the spine, which for me is to be done on my right side.

Adjustment by hand

by planetc1
by planetc1 | Source

The approach that made my Fibromyalgia pain worse

The approach used by the other chiropractor who took over my treatments was not these gentle one-side adjustments with the activator. This chiropractor had not realized yet that my nervous system was so sensitized by the electrical imbalance due to my Fibromyalgia. Not knowing this, my spine instead was adjusted similar to like what is pictured here, by use of the hands.

It was about 36-40 hours after my back was adjusted manually like this with the hands on both sides of my spine when the stabbing, burning pain on the right side of my head developed, waking me at 3 AM. I knew then that the approach of the previous chiropractor was required.

I waited another 36 hours to give my nervous system a chance to calm down some, and then returned to the chiropractor with determination to get just one side of my spine adjusted ... and gently.

My recovery by using the approach that works

When I explained my body's reaction to the adjustments by hand on both sides of my spine, this other chiropractor, now convinced of my need, willingly changed the treatment approach.

My spine was then adjusted as in this video on just one side (again for me it is the right side) and as I described above, in the approach that works. My comparative leg lengths were also checked as this chiropractor demonstrates.

For several hours afterwards my nerves, particularly down the left side of my body were quite sensitive and had the tense feeling of having been stimulated. A few hours later I then felt a mild throb, not a stabbing pain, in the left side of my head for maybe 20 minutes or so. During this time I had also iced my neck and then my lower back. Soon after, all these sensations began to subside and the general Fibromyalgia nerve pain (basically from head to toe) began to subside, as well. Though the next morning I woke a couple hours early, the stabbing pain in the right side of my head did not return, and after a short morning nap my nervous system was all calmed and out of pain.

Electrical nerve simulator

Also used by the chiropractor is the TENS electrical nerve simulator, which I am hooked up to with two leads there each office visit. I'm not clear yet as to how much it helps me.

However, electrotherapy is often recommended to treat the numerous fibromyalgia symptoms. Though more studies need to be done to conclusively prove the benefits of electrotherapy treatments, one study found that after 6 weeks it improved both the pain (by70%) and sleep problems (by 50%) that are caused by Fibromyalgia.

The chiropractor did provide a portable unit like this to use at home. It helps when a particular muscle cannot relax to treat it this way. It avoids the muscle progressing into a spasm. I do not need to use it all the time, while taking a daily high dose of magnesium malate.

© 2011 Deidre Shelden

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Comments 17 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Interesting treatment options. Thanks for sharing.

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Good to have your comment RTalloni--thanks! I am so grateful that it works for me :)

ar.colton profile image

ar.colton 5 years ago from Vancouver, B.C.

Definitely want to try TENS machine, but I'm having a hard time locating one.

After reading your other hub I searched for qualified chiropractors in my area (BC) but there were none.

I don't have a stabbing pain on one side of my brain, do you suppose that means that this imbalance isn't present? I've never had success with chiropractic work.

These hubs are so informative. I love learning about differenct approaches to treating FM.

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Hi ar! I've had FMS for longer than I've had a recognizable stabbing pain. I wonder if it is noticeable because my body is more deteriorated than yours, being older--LOL! There are many other indicators of electrical imbalance. Did you see the book I referred to in my previous hub on Fibromyalgia? That explains more.

Another thing I did was contact the Boydston Fibromyalgia Institute. I wonder if they would have any suggestions for BC--they really seem to want to help in any way they can. Their contact info link is at the bottom of this webpage:

They responded to my email and gave me a contact info for a chiropractor neurologist in my city.

Hope the book and this web address gets you more of the help you need. God bless and guide.

Alladream74 profile image

Alladream74 5 years ago from Oakland, California

Thanks for sharing,hope your condition improves

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Dee - Do you think that the causation of this affliction could be psychological? I'm curious.

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Alladream, thanks for your read and nice wishes :)

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Hello, Frog. I know for a fact that it is not psychological. That is unless an adrenaline rush is considered psychological. :)

Betty Johansen profile image

Betty Johansen 5 years ago

Glad to hear you got relief! Your story goes to show how important it is for each individual to persist until we get help. In this case, I'm sure that your already knowing what kind of help you needed expedited the process. Thanks for sharing your wisdom/experience with us.

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Dee - My understanding is that they don't know what causes this disease. Have things changed?

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Hi Betty! Yes, the neurological approach and information out about it is just recently a help for me. Though not fully curing (yet?) my condition, I'm experiencing dramatic improvement.

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Dear Frog, a ditto response for you -- recent headway from the neurological angle is uncovering a lot of the mystery behind FMS. I explain this in another hub of mine about an approach that works. They way I'd explain it is that my neurological system was injured, likely even more than once--each time making it worse. The electrical balance between the two sides of my brain became 'injured' or knocked out of balance. This explains soooo many things I've struggled with. Thanks for asking!

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Dee - Gotcha! Not prying just curious.

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA Author

No problem, Frog. I thought it was a good question.

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femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

I have sooooo many friends and relatives who will find this information useful. Great hub and put together so well!

Thanks so much for making the information available and from a having "been there done that" perspective. :)

Off to share it!

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA Author

femmefp, how wonderful to hear this information is helpful and valuable for those you know with FMS! Here's hoping they each can find the information that is helpful to their particular case.

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femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

Amen Dee. :)

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