What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue, and sleep disturbances. The most common sites of pain include the neck, back,shoulders, pelvic girdle, and hands, but any body part can be affected. Fibromyalgia patients experience a range of symptoms of varying intensities that wax and wane over time. Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. While it is most prevalent in women, it also occurs in men and children of all ethnic groups. Because of its debilitating nature, fibromyalgia has a serious impact on patients' families, friends, and employers, as well as society at large.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Chronic muscle pain, muscle spasms or tightness, and leg cramps
- Moderate or severe fatigue and decreased energy
- Insomnia or waking up feeling just as tired as when you went to sleep
- Stiffness upon waking or after staying in one position for too long
- Difficulty remembering, concentrating, and performing simple mental tasks
- Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and constipation alternating with diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Tension or migraine headaches
- Jaw and facial tenderness
- Sensitivity to one or more of the following: odors, noise, bright lights, medications, certain foods, and cold
- Feeling anxious or depressed
- Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Increase in urinary urgency or frequency (irritable bladder)
- Reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain after exercise
- A feeling of swelling (without actual swelling) in the hands and feet
- Painful menstrual periods
Symptoms may intensify depending on the time of day -- morning, late afternoon, and evening tend to be the worst times, while 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. tends to be the best time. They may also get worse with fatigue, tension, inactivity, changes in the weather, cold or drafty conditions, overexertion, hormonal fluctuations (such as just before your period or during menopause), stress, depression, or other emotional factors.
If the condition is not diagnosed and treated early, symptoms can go on indefinitely, or they may disappear for months and then recur.
Clinical studies have shown that FSM is particularly effective in treating fibromyalgia associated with neck injury origin, enabling many people to recover from this formerly incurable condition.
A clinical study performed by C.R. McMakin, W.M. Gregory, and T.M. Phillips was undertaken to discover the effectiveness of Frequency Specific Microcurrent for patients with fibromyalgia caused by trauma to the neck. This trauma was most often caused by motor vehicle accidents, but can also result from falls, surgery and other trauma. Microamperage current provides physiologic current flow and has been shown to increase ATP production. The researchers hypothesized that microcurrent might be able to restore normal conductivity in the spinal cord, thus relieving central pain and making it possible for patients to recover from fibromyalgia.
Fifty-four patients meeting the criteria for fibromyalgia caused by cervical trauma were treated with Frequency Specific Microcurrent. Patients whose fibromyalgia is associated with cervical trauma describe their pain as aching and burning in the neck, arms, hands, midscapular and paraspinal area, gluteals, legs and feet. Finger-stick blood samples on 6 patients were analyzed to identify objective changes accompanying subjective pain reductions. Forty-nine patients experienced reduction in pain from an average of 7.3/10 down to 1.3/10 with the first treatment. Thirty-one patients recovered from fibromyalgia following an average of 8 treatments. The median time to recovery was 2 months. Interleukin-1 and substance P levels were both reduced and beta-endorphins increased, by statistically significant levels, in the first treatment period. Five patients did not tolerate treatment. The results of this research demonstrate that fibromyalgia following cervical trauma may be treated successfully using microamperage current.
A 63-year old female presenting with fibromyalgia of greater than 20 years duration was seen at RiverHill Wellness Center for physical therapy. Medical history included a motor vehicle accident as a teenager, surgery, and a bad flu prior to the worsening of pain seven years before coming to our clinic. Pain was 6/10 in the neck, spine and legs, and was accompanied by headache pain. Greater than 11 of 18 points were painful, a diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia. The patient had interrupted sleep, awaking every ninety minutes without medication.
The patient was treated weekly for 60-minute sessions with Frequency Specific Microcurrent. After the first treatment, the patient had no headaches, and was sleeping for 3 hours at a time. Pain had decreased for several days after the treatment, even with increased activity. After the second treatment, the patient was sleeping for a 6-hour period without interruption, and had increased hip range of motion. The patient continued to increase her activity. After two months of weekly and sometimes bi-monthly treatments, the patient was able to take a strenuous family vacation without having to take strong medication. She had some setbacks when catching colds or the flu, but overall her activity increased, her energy improved, and she began regular exercise. Overall, the patient was seen for seventeen visits over a 6-month period. At the end of this time, she had regained full energy, had returned to all prior activities, had no headaches, and was sleeping for at least 6-hour periods without interruption.