Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition that is known for causing widespread pain throughout the body. It also can be accompanied by problems with sleep, extreme exhaustion, emotional problems, and mental distress. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by impacting the way your brain processes pain. The term used for this is abnormal pain perception processing. Fibromyalgia afflicts as many as 4 million adults living in the United States. The exact reason for fibromyalgia remains unknown.
The following are indicators that you may have fibromyalgia:
- Fatigue and tiredness: People with FM often wake up feeling as tired as they did when they went to bed. Sleep may be disturbed by pain. FM patients also have restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.
- Cognitive problems: This is often referred to as “fibro fog” and includes memory loss, issues with concentration, and inability to think clearly.
- Widespread pain: Often described as a constant dull ache that has been present for over three months. It must occur on both sides of the body and above and below your waist.
- Abnormal headaches, including migraines
- Stiff muscles all over your body
- Digestive issues: Stomach pain, IBS, bloating, and constipation are often present. Some people have internal cystitis or painful bladder syndrome.
- Anxiety and depression
- Pain in the face or jaw (TMD)
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
Who Is at Risk for Getting Fibromyalgia?
The following put you at a higher risk for developing fibromyalgia, although anyone can get it at any time.
- Age: FM is most often seen in middle-aged people.
- Sex: Women get FM twice as often as men.
- Health conditions: Those with lupus, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis are more prone to getting FM.
- Genetics: Certain genetic mutations may make you more susceptible to getting FM.
- Being overweight
- Illness: Viral infections and other illness may trigger or aggravate FM.
- Repetitive injuries: Trauma from overuse of joints, such as frequent knee bending
- Surgery: FM often comes on after surgery
- Significant psychological stress
- Physical trauma: A car accident or other trauma to the head or neck can bring on FM.
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and Fibromyalgia download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.
The Complications of Fibromyalgia
Those suffering from fibromyalgia may have to cope with some of the following issues:
- More hospitalizations: Those with fibromyalgia are twice as likely to be hospitalized.
- Lower life quality: This is mostly true for women, as they are known to have 40% less physical function and 67% less mental health.
- Depression: Adults with FM are 3 times more likely to have major depression than those without FM.
- Rheumatic conditions: Fibromyalgia often co-exists with other illnesses, such as osteoarthritis, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Injuries and suicide: Death rates from suicide are higher in patients with fibromyalgia.
What Can You Personally Do to Feel Better?
- Get up and move: Those who specialize in fibromyalgia recommend that you are physically active for 150 minutes every week, such as walking, biking, or swimming for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week. If this too long of a period, you can break the 30 minutes up into 10-minute increments throughout the day. Regular exercise also helps you fight heart disease and diabetes.
- Join a physical activity group: If you are not sure how to begin exercising safely with FM, there are groups available that have been proven to be effective for pain reduction and disability related to arthritis. This can improve your mood and help you safely move about.
- Engage in a self-management education class: This can help you become more confident about how to control your symptoms and how to live well. It can also be educational to learn how the condition can affect your life.
What Causes the Pain Associated with Fibromyalgia?
It is believed by researchers that repeated stimulation of the nerves can cause the brains of those with fibromyalgia to change. This includes an abnormal increase in the levels or certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain, called neurotransmitters. Also, the brain’s pain receptors seem to create a type of memory about the pain it experiences, and it becomes more sensitive to this over time, causing it to overreact to pain signals.
Finding Natural Relief for Fibromyalgia
While it is not entirely understood what causes fibromyalgia, what is known is that it appears to have to do with the central nervous system, including the brainstem. If a misalignment is located in one of the bones of the upper cervical spine, especially the C1 and C2 vertebrae, the impact on the brainstem can lead to the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Most family physicians and other medical doctors focus on alleviating symptoms rather than addressing FM at its root cause.
Upper cervical chiropractors have examined thousands of patients with fibromyalgia over the years and one thing has stood out. Most of these people have had some type of trauma occur to the head or neck before the onset of fibromyalgia. The C1 and C2 carry the weight of the head on them. If they become misaligned, it causes nerve irritation. Since the brainstem is located in this same area, it begins to malfunction.
Here at Upper Cervical Care Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Illinois, we work to correct this misalignment by using precise measurements and technological advances to find the exact location. Then, we use a very gentle, precise correction which does not require us to crack, twist, or pull the spine. We then monitor our patients over a period of time to make sure the adjustment is still in place. Adjustments are only given when absolutely needed. This allows the body to heal, and many patients see their symptoms of fibromyalgia improve or go away entirely.
To schedule a complimentary consultation call 618-307-9494 or just 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.