What do doctors themselves really think about Fibromyalgia?
Well, that’s a loaded question, isn’t it? You are implying that not believing in a condition’s existence is in some way incorrect.
An honest answer effectively requires admission of fault, which is incorrect and inappropriate. Nonetheless in the hope of providing some balance, please read on. Be warned that if you have fibromyalgia as a diagnosis yourself, you may not like what follows, and may even feel insulted.
This is of necessity a short article for social media, not a scholarly paper or proper piece of persuasive writing. Even so, it is a fair and honest appraisal of the condition, and given that using this approach I have been successful in ridding many, many people of this unhelpful diagnosis over the years, it is probably reasonably well-founded.
As a diagnosis Fibromyalgia is a bit of a non-entity. There is neither plausible cause nor effective treatment (as of August 2018) In the absence of both, it is perfectly reasonable to say that it is not a disease.
In fact, there is much to be said for Fibromyalgia as a diagnosis causing a huge amount of harm.
Firstly, the condition has multiple symptoms, often unrelated, and all subjective. Subjective symptoms may be induced in patients quite easily, so simply reading information leaflets about a condition with such symptoms can actually worsen the impact on patients.
Fibromyalgia is somewhat akin to Irritable Bowel Syndrome which we now know not to be a condition at all, but instead, a symptom constellation indicating no serious underlying bowel pathology. In fact, there are several conditions that cause the symptoms of IBS and they are mostly treatable – less than 10% remain undiagnosed and treated these days.
That is not to say that the suffering is not real, but it would be more honest of the doctor to say “you are sore and I don’t know why” than to label your pain with an unhelpful and potentially harmful name.
As with IBS most fibromyalgia does have a cause and is easily treated. It is then, however, not called fibromyalgia.
Common causes include:
- Bad posture – forward head posture accounts for almost every diagnosis of fibromyalgia and it completely explains all the upper back and neck symptoms typical of the condition, including the trigger points. It sticks in my craw to say this but see a chiropracter – you’ll get fixed in no time.
- Bad posture – much of the rest of fibromyalgia is due to other postural issues, especially apparently minor mispositioning of the body during rest.
- Depression – the pain of the condition leads to low income, poor work and thus to a defeated posture – see answers above.
- Injury – injuries can lead to gait and posture changes which cause persistent pain.
- A diagnosis of fibromyalgia in a friend or relative. It is quite infectious, though as far as we know there is no agent that transmits the disease.
Fundamentally, fibromyalgia is not a disease, it is a name given when the doctor is fed up with you and simply does not care enough to come up with the real diagnosis, or where you yourself are resistant to the possibility of treatment.
Almost all patients I see (and cure) who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and have had it for some time, share one of two sets of characteristics – they are determined to fight the disease or they have given in to it. Both are wrong.
Firstly it is not a disease, so you can’t fight it – you can just find the cause in your case, which is likely not exactly the same cause as the next person, and fix that. It can take a few months and often the cure starts off being worse than the disease. Trying to fight it and push on through it simply results in exhaustion and more pain which are, funnily enough, the key features of fibromyalgia. Oh…
Secondly, you can’t use it as an excuse. You will never get better if you consider yourself to be a victim. Painkillers don’t help the condition and only actually make this aspect of the illness worse. Cannabis helps you not to care but actually ends up making the condition worse. Whoops.
So how to fix it.
Find out why you are sore and stop doing it. It’s your posture. It’s so often your posture it’s probable that ALL fibromyalgia is a postural issue. That’s not to say that the correction will fix it at once – it can take months and may hurt more in the beginning, but with patience and a little support you can overcome one of the most harmful misdiagnoses in medical history.
Stop using painkillers – they don’t help. You will of course get worse when you do, but only briefly. Use them occasionally when you have really bad days.
Do not use cannabis. Total rubbish and will simply end up with you being stoned all the time. Also it tends to make the condition worse over time because not only do you fail to correct issues, you will often adopt postures that make it worse. Sure it helps you sleep and makes the pain feel better yadda yadda yadda – read the previous paragraph until you understand.
Placebos, meditation, and gentle exercise are very helpful.
A healthy diet is essential. Lots of whole foods, lots of vegetables. Limit fat, dairy, meat, sugar, and processed foods. (no specific evidence in fibro but it will really help you in so many ways)
So you ask how often I put my opinion onto patients, well, all the time, but then I don’t have patients with fibromyalgia any more. They haven’t left my practice either. They have got better. They have had their pain diagnosed and treated correctly and effectively.
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