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 for 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 with 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 increased oxidative stress that may play a role in the course of the disease. The authors of the study note that supplementation with antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins C and E may be indicated for the fibromyalgia patient.
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 the effect of a combination of vitamin C and broccoli powder on twelve fibromyalgia patients. The results suggested that such supplementation resulted in a reduction in physical impairments and an increase in overall quality of life.
Vitamins such as C and E can act as antioxidants and protect your cells from damage. They are found in fruits (oranges, strawberries, kiwi) and vegetables (kale, broccoli, bell peppers). Because heat and processing can hinder their antioxidant properties, eating raw forms of these fruits and vegetables may be preferred. If you do not eat several servings (e.g. five to nine) of these foods every day, it is wise to consider supplementing your diet with natural source vitamins to boost the amount of antioxidants in your blood stream. 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.