Fibromyalgia (FM) is a very common condition that affects approximately ten million Americans (2-4% of the population)—with a ratio of about four women to each man with the disease. Part of the diagnosis and treatment challenge is that many of the complaints associated with FM occur in ALL of us at some point, such as fatigue, generalized whole body aches/pains, non-restorative sleep, depression, anxiety, etc. So what is the difference between the fibromyalgia Chicago sufferer and those without it? Let’s take a look!

The primary distinction between patients with FM and the “rest of us” has to do with the word “chronic.” This term means “…persisting for a long time or constantly recurring; long-standing, long-term.” In fact, the term “fibromyalgia” is described as a complex chronic pain disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness that may present body wide or migrate around the body. It is also known to “wax and wane over time,” meaning it flares up and down, off and on.

The diagnosis of FM is typically made by eliminating every other possible cause. Hence, after blood tests and x-ray or other imaging, the ABSENCE of other problems helps nail down the diagnosis of “primary fibromyalgia.” Then there is “secondary fibromyalgia,” which is DUE TO a known disorder or condition such as after trauma (like a car accident), rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headache, irritable bowel syndrome, “GERD” (which is heart burn due to reflux), pelvic pain, overactive bladder, tempromandibular joint dysfunction (jaw pain, with or without ringing in the ears), or stress. It’s also often accompanied by anxiety, depression, and/or some other mental health condition.

It should be clearly understood that there is no “cure” for FM. It has also been widely reported in many studies that the BEST management approach for FM is through a TEAM of healthcare providers. This team is frequently made up of primary care doctors, doctors of chiropractic, massage therapists, mental / behavioral specialists, physical therapists, and perhaps others (acupuncturist, nutritionist, stress management specialists, and more).

The “general” treatment approach is typically done with medications, cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT), gentle exercise, and manual therapies. Additionally, patients are encouraged to participate in the healing process via self-management strategies that focus on reducing stress and fatigue, optimizing diet, and developing a consistent sleep habit.

Think of the role of the chiropractor as a strong member of the team. A doctor of chiropractic can offer many of the known methods of managing FM described above, as their training includes diet and nutrition, stress management, exercise training, and ability to provide “whole person care.” Treatments delivered in the chiropractic setting like spinal manipulation, mobilization, and massage offer GREAT relief to FM patients! Again, coordinating care between various providers is the best approach, but you need someone willing and able to do that. A doctor of chiropractic is a great choice!

It is very difficult to manage FM on your own. Let a doctor of chiropractic tailor a treatment plan that is appealing to you and your specific interests. Managing FM is definitely NOT a “…one size fits all” approach like an inhaler is for asthma. Each individual’s situation is too highly unique!

Our Services

Active Release Techniques
Proud Partner IRONMAN
Graston Technique Provider
McKenzie Method
I had broken my tailbone a few years ago and recently was having more pain around it. I thought surgery may be my only option, but decided to try chiropractic care for the injury and I’m so glad I found this place! Dr. Pommerehn is amazing! He was very upfront and honest during our initial exam and thoroughly explained every part of the treatment plan. Given the extent of my I injury we weren’t sure treatment would help, but his patience and treatment paid off! After a few weeks of intense treatment (three times a week) I have been able to manage the pain of this injury. I no longer have r…
Kassandra
Let me first start by saying that I was totally against any type of chiropractic care until I hurt my back earlier this year.  After some nudging from a coworker, I decided it was time to get help.  I searched for a Chiropractor in my area and the Chicago Whole Health Center came up.  I called immediately and spoke with Dr. Graham Pommerehn aka “Dr. Feel Good”!  I was truly surprised and overjoyed that I felt so much better after my first visit!  “Dr. Feel Good” worked his magic on me and did it with the best bedside manner I have ever experienced.  He is patient, gentle, funny and kind. I…
Carolyn
Great service and great people.  I’ve had chronic back problems over the last 20 years and have been to a number of loop area places and Chicago Whole Health is definitely the standout.  On my first visit it was clear that their interests truly lie in resolving the issue rather than ensuring a larger number of visits (they showed me how to effectively self treat to the extent possible).  While I went there only for lower back issues, they offer a pretty expansive line of services.  I highly recommend this place to anyone.
Paul
The doctors here are wonderful. Dr Pommerehn helped me find ways to take care of my back after it had left me immobilized and unable to go to work.
Sean
I have had some medical issues that I have not been able to resolve for the past few years. Having tried Western medicine and holistic methods, I decided to try out acupuncture. I was not sure where to find a good acupuncturist (other than Chinatown). I really wanted someone I could communicate my problems to and who could communicate with me so that I could understand everything. Dr. Zhao was the answer to my problems. She speaks English and some Mandarin! I had told Dr. Zhao that it was my first time to acupuncture and told her my problems.  She explained everything thoroughly to me a…
Janet
This is a great place.  Dr. Pommerehn was so good. I had lots of problems with my shoulder, which we tried therapy on to fix.  He explained everything in detail, and finally when my shoulder did not get completely better, he sent me for an MRI, which showed a tear.  He said I would might need surgery. No one could believe that a Chiropractor was helping me so much – I really appreciated the work that he did with me, and the honesty with which he treated me. I will definitely use this place again.
Ellen