Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) face many challenges both physically and mentally. When someone is diagnosed with CFS it means that regardless of the amount of rest the person receives, they continue to experience symptoms such as extreme exhaustion, muscle pain, cognitive difficulties, sleep irregularities, joint pain or headaches. A CFS diagnosis also indicates that while other potential causes have been ruled out, the symptoms have persisted for at least six months.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than one million people in the United States have CFS. It is more prevalent in the U.S. than lupus, multiple sclerosis, and many types of cancer. CFS is still a relatively new diagnosis and there are still many questions as to the cause of the symptoms. However, for many CFS patients, the symptoms began after a significant physical trauma to the head and/or neck. Specifics vary from auto accidents to falls to sports, but sprains to the neck muscles and subsequent misalignments of the vertebra in the neck are being linked to the symptoms associated with CFS. Many CFS patients are also being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which is also linked to head/neck trauma.
A gentle, natural approach to help the body heal after injury or trauma can be achieved through chiropractic care. A visit to a doctor of chiropractic begins with a full health history and physical exam in order to formulate a diagnosis. The health history is important to understand how genetics and previous injuries may related to current symptoms. An exam may include multiple neurological and orthopedic tests, as well as possible diagnostic imaging such as x-ray. This helps the doctor detect any variations in range of motion, muscle strength and alignment as well as how well the body is able to perform various functions and activities. The chiropractor will then develop a plan that is specific to the individual patient to address any issues found during the exam. The treatment plan may include spinal manipulative therapy, therapeutic modalities, exercises/stretches to target specific muscle groups to restore flexibility and strength and/or nutritional recommendations.
Some chiropractic patients have experienced relief from their CFS and/or fibromyalgia symptoms as a result of techniques that target the upper cervical vertebra (upper neck) and surrounding soft tissue. Chiropractic care can restore alignment which then allows the brain to more effectively communicate with the body so that it may begin the natural healing process.
Another benefit of chiropractic care for CFS patients is that it treats the whole person, not just their symptoms. In addition to spinal manipulation and other therapeutic treatments, chiropractic physicians may also address other factors by recommending dietary changes, nutritional supplements and lifestyle changes to promote optimal health.
If you or a loved one is experiencing CFS or fibromyalgia symptoms, contact your local chiropractor to schedule an exam and evaluation. Relief may be closer than you think. If you have not previously seen a chiropractor, you can find a TCA member doctor at https://www.tnchiro.com/find-a-doctor/.
Reference: Elster, DC, Erin. Help for chronic fatigue syndrome. Lahaina News. March 9, 2018.