Countdown to Graduation - 25 Days

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.