Fibromyalgia (FM) is a disorder that causes chronic pain throughout the body. According to researchers, fibromyalgia intensifies painful sensations by altering the way the brain processes pain. It is described as abnormal pain perception processing. Besides widespread pain, fibromyalgia also causes sleep trouble, fatigue, emotional problems, and mental distress. Around 4 million American adults are living with fibromyalgia. Though a common disorder, the exact reason for fibromyalgia remains unidentified.
Who Is at a Higher Risk for Developing Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia can afflict anyone at any time, but some people are at a higher risk for developing the condition.
- Women are diagnosed more often than men
- Middle-aged people
- Those with health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or osteoarthritis
- Overweight people
- Those affected by viral infections and other diseases
- Those who have trauma from the overuse of joints
- Those who have had surgery
- People under significant psychological stress
- Those who have had a car accident or other injuries to the head or neck
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and fibromyalgia download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.
What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
You may have fibromyalgia if you experience some of these common symptoms and signs:
- Widespread pain
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Cognitive problems
- Digestive issues
- Abnormal headaches or migraines
- Stiff muscles all over the body
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
- Pain in the face or jaw (TMD)
- Anxiety and depression
The pain of fibromyalgia can be described as a constant dull ache. It must occur on both sides of the body, above the waist and below the waist. To be diagnosed, you must have had the pain for at least three months. People living with FM often complain of feeling tired even after waking up. This results from their problems falling asleep and staying asleep due to the pain. FM patients also often have sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
Another distinct symptom of fibromyalgia is “fibro fog,” cognitive issues such as difficulty or inability to remember, concentrate, and think clearly. FM sufferers may also experience digestive problems such as stomach pain, bloating, and constipation.
What Are Some Realities of Living with Fibromyalgia?
Living with fibromyalgia comes with challenges. FM patients may have to deal with these alarming issues:
- Depression: Adults with fibromyalgia are three times more likely to suffer from major depression than those without the condition.
- More hospitalizations: Those with fibromyalgia are twice more likely to be hospitalized.
- Lower life quality: Women with fibromyalgia have 40% less physical activity and a significant decrease in mental health.
- Rheumatic conditions: Fibromyalgia frequently co-exists with other ailments including lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Injuries and suicide: Death rates from suicide are staggeringly high in people with fibromyalgia.
Are There Ways to Get Relief from Fibromyalgia?
Yes, there are. Here are some suggestions for managing your life with fibromyalgia:
- Be active: Health professionals specializing in fibromyalgia suggest that you become physically active for 150 minutes every week. Consider exercises such as walking, swimming, or biking for 30 minutes each day, five times a week. If you find it too long, you can break the 30 minutes up into 10-minute periods throughout the day.
- Join a physical activity group: If you are uncertain how to begin exercising safely, there are groups out there that have been confirmed to be useful for pain reduction. This can enhance your mood and encourage you to become active. Even though it might be hard to imagine exercising when you’re in pain, research has shown it can help decrease fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Participate in a self-management education class: To improve your confidence about how to manage your symptoms and live well, you can attend a self-management class. When your life feels out of control due to your illness, self-management skills can help you deal with your challenges in a healthy way.
What Causes the Pain Associated with Fibromyalgia?
A leading theory considered by researchers is that repeated nerve stimulation makes changes in the brain. This includes the irregular increase in the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain, also known as neurotransmitters. The brain’s pain receptors appear to create a type of memory about the pain it goes through, and it becomes more sensitive to this over time, resulting in its overreaction to pain signals.
What’s the Best Natural Relief for Fibromyalgia?
Upper cervical chiropractic care works as a natural relief for fibromyalgia. How does it help? Researchers have linked fibromyalgia to a problem in the central nervous system, including the brainstem. If a misalignment happens in one of the bones of the upper cervical spine – the C1 and C2 vertebrae – it can cause pressure on the brainstem that may result in symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Upper cervical chiropractors have assessed thousands of patients with fibromyalgia over the years, and one thing appears to be shared among them. Most of these people have had some sort of trauma in the head or neck before the onset of fibromyalgia. The C1 and C2 vertebrae carry the weight of the head. If they become misaligned, it leads to nerve irritation. Since the brainstem is in the same vicinity, it begins to malfunction.
Here at our upper cervical chiropractic clinic in St. Charles, Illinois, we correct detect any vertebral misalignments by utilizing diagnostic measurements and advanced technology to find the exact location and angle of the misalignment. Then, we perform a gentle yet accurate correction which is devoid of cracking or twisting of the spine. We monitor our patients to make sure their adjustment is still in place and maximum healing can take place. Our approach allows the body to recover, and many patients experience improvement or even complete elimination of their fibromyalgia symptoms.
To schedule a complimentary consultation call our St. Charles office at 630-584-5200 You can also click the button below.
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.