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.
Do you know someone who has Fibromyalgia?
- Fibromyalgia: Debilitating But Treatable With Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care in particular has grown sharply in popularity among the millions of Fibromyalgia sufferers for dramatically reducing chronic, widespread pain and restoring patients to healthier lives.
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
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
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.
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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.
- Fibromyalgia - Dominie\'s Story
Fibromyalgia (FMS) symptoms and ideas for things that help - one woman's story.
© 2011 Deidre Shelden