The effectiveness of chiropractic management of fibromyalgia (FM) patients: a pilot study

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OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the effectiveness of chiropractic

management for fibromyalgia patients using reported pain

levels, cervical and lumbar ranges of motion, strength,

flexibility, tender points, myalgic score and perceived

functional ability as outcome measures.

DESIGN: A. Preliminary

randomized control crossover trial. B. Before and after

design.

PATIENTS: Twenty-one rheumatology patients (25-70 yr).

CHIROPRACTIC INTERVENTIONS: Treatment consisted of 4 wk of

spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy and passive

stretching at the chiropractors’ discretion. CONTROL

INTERVENTION: Chiropractic management withheld for 4 wk with

continuation of prescribed medication.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Changes in scores on the Oswestry Pain Disability Index, Neck

Disability Index, Visual Analogue Scale, straight leg raise

and lumbar and cervical ranges of motion were observed.

RESULTS: Chiropractic management improved patients’ cervical

and lumbar ranges of motion, straight leg raise and reported

pain levels. These changes were judged to be clinically

important within the confines of our sample only. CONCLUSIONS:

Further study with a sample size of 81 (for 80% power at alpha

< or = .05) is recommended to determine if these findings are

generalizable to the target population of fibromyalgia

suffers.

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