Spring has officially come to Chicago, in the sense that we are
now past March 20th. The weather may still seem very winter-like,
but the giant gray colored piles of snow are consistently melting
away day-by-day. And with the spring thaw, we have seen a
significant increase in patients returning to the clinic. All
businesses, whether a restaurant, retailor, or healthcare, were
significantly affected by the unrelenting winter weather this year.
But now, as winter washes away and spring sets in, people are
returning to a more normal routine.
As the patient volume has increased at clinic, several of the
tenth trimester Chicago clinic interns have now finished with their
numbers for graduation. The remaining tenth trimester interns
should be finished with the rest of their numbers within the next
two weeks. I can't believe that the end is so very near!
I began treating a patient this week with a chief complaint of
chronic fatigue, pain, and weakness. The patient had been to
several other physicians, none of which were able to help her with
her symptoms. The patient did not know what else to try when a
friend referred her to the NUHS Whole Health Center -- Chicago.
After the initial history and physical exam, we came to the
conclusion that the patient was suffering from fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic widespread pain and allodynia (heightened
response to pain or pressure) syndrome. It is believed to be caused
by a combination of physical, psychological, neurobiological, and
environmental factors. Fibromyalgia symptoms can also begin after a
traumatic or stressful event also known as post-traumatic stress
disorder. Other symptoms patients might exhibit are insomnia,
depression, anxiety, bowel and bladder abnormalities, and
numbness/tingling sensation. Diagnosis is based on history of
widespread pain for more than three months and tender points
elicited on physical exam.
I have been treating the patient for about a week now, and her
symptoms have decreased about 50% since the initial visit. I have
been using a combination of chiropractic manipulative therapy,
acupuncture, trigger point work, and supplementation to address her
pain and fatigue. As the patient continues to progress, I will
slowly add in light exercise, which will be designed to boost the
patient's energy levels. One of the most interesting parts of this
patient's history is when asked what the previous physicians did
for treatment the response was a laundry list of pain medications,
none of which delivered any relief from symptoms. And now after
seeking out help from alternative medicine, she has seen a 50%
decrease in symptomatology in the first week alone.