Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on a woman with fibromyalgia reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing these patients.  The literature included supports the role of chiropractic in those suffering from the health challenges related to fibromyalgia and calls for more research in this area.

“Research indicates that minor shifts in the structure of the spine may impact function, suggesting that these structural shifts may be a factor in a number of disorders. Structural shifts may lead to nerve obstruction and could possibly result in a host of health problems such as fibromyalgia” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. Other chiropractic researchers have reported on similar results and reviews of the scientific research reveal numerous other studies that have shown a similar connection.

“It makes a lot of sense when you think about it” stated McCoy. “It’s reasonable to suggest that if you obstruct or damage the nerves exiting the spine, the result of the obstruction(s) and/or damage can have far reaching implications on the functioning of the body. Through research reports like this we are finding that correcting these structural shifts reduces nerve obstruction, bringing about marked improvement in people who are experiencing a variety of maladies.”

According to researchers the nervous system controls and coordinates all functions of the body and structural shifts in the spine can occur that obstruct the nerves and interfere with their function. By removing the structural shifts, chiropractic improves nerve supply and function.

The 48-year-old female in this study had been previously diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  She also had neck pain, shoulder pain, upper mid back pain, headaches, and low back pain.  Her back pain was so severe that she could not sit for longer than an hour or stand longer than 30 minutes.  Walking was a painful task.  She could not function to complete any household duties without pain.  Her pain had severely altered her social life.  She had episodes of dizziness and Meniere’s disease, sleep loss and dysmenorrhea.  She was on medication for her fibromyalgia, hot flashes, depression, fluid retention, allergies, and sleep loss.  She had been on these medications for a long period but they did not help.

The chiropractor examined her and found structural shifts in her neck, upper back, mid back, low back, and pelvis.  She also had very tight muscles and trigger points in her mid back and lower back.  Range of motion, quality of life questionnaires, and x-rays confirmed the findings.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

Following chiropractic adjustments, she experienced marked improvement in her symptoms.   She reported going from having “severe pain” to “minor pain.”  Her Neck Pain Index and Back Pain Index scores improved dramatically and her medical doctor updated her diagnosis to remission of fibromyalgia.

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.


To learn more about this study and chiropractic research visit, Vertebral Subluxation Research.