Fibromyalgia is a complex disease that requires a comprehensive approach. Often, the spine is neglected and chiropractic care is, therefore, underutilized. This seems surprising since so many patients have spinal pain and chiropractic care is one of the most proven treatments for this condition. Chiropractic care of the fibromyalgia patient may also incorporate a structured exercise program utilizing strength training and aerobic components, as well as nutritional adjuncts.
Sound nutrition is one of the keys to vitality. One scientific study (Altindag O, Celik H. Total antioxidant capacity and the severity of the pain in patients with fibromyalgia. Redox Rep 2006;11(3):131-5.) looked at antioxidant (such as vitamin C and E) markers in the blood of patients who had fibromyalgia symptoms. The researchers wanted to see if patients with low levels of these vitamin markers experienced more pain. The results indicated that patients with fibromyalgia are exposed to oxidative stress and this increased oxidative stress may play a role in the cause of the disease. Supplementation of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins C and E may be indicated based on the results of the study.
A preliminary study (Bramwell B, Ferguson S, Scarlett N,Macintosh A. The use of ascorbigen in the treatment of fibromyalgia patients: a preliminary trial. Altern Med Rev 2000;5(5):455-62.) looked at 12 fibromyalgia patients and gave them a blend of vitamin C and broccoli powder. The results suggested that physical impairments were reduced and quality of life was increased.
Vitamins such as C and E can act as antioxidants protecting your cells from damage. They are found in fruits (oranges, strawberries, kiwi) and vegetables (kale, broccoli, bell peppers). Heat and processing can destroy their actions so eating raw forms may be preferred. If you do not eat lots of servings (e.g. five to nine) of these foods every day, it is wise to consider supplementing with natural source vitamins to boost your blood stream antioxidant levels. There is some scientific debate about the benefits of natural versus synthetic vitamins and whether it’s best to consume them through primary food sources. The important thing is to take a step in the direction with whatever path you choose. It may make an important difference in how much pain you experience as the above cited studies suggest. With less pain, this may help you to move and exercise more.