When it comes to a chronic health condition like fibromyalgia, the symptoms themselves are difficult enough to deal with. For example, besides the pain, you may be dealing with sleepless nights, cognitive difficulties, numbness and tingling, and sensory sensitivities. Unfortunately, fibromyalgia also comes along with an increased risk of developing various associated conditions. We’re going to look at four of the more common ones, and then consider a natural way to find some relief.
General Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety is an ongoing problem for many fibromyalgia patients. There are plenty of things about the syndrome that can lead to anxiety. For example, if fibromyalgia costs a person his or her job, economic stress can lead to anxiety. Even if you are able to maintain your work, you may constantly live in anticipation of whether you will be able to wake up and make it to the office tomorrow.
Social anxiety is also common with fibromyalgia. Many fear they will be judged for their illness. Some worry about not being able to keep plans. Even planning vacations can be stressful because you don’t want to lose out on nonrefundable plane tickets or hotel rooms. Thus, what was once fun now seems like a giant to slay.
Depression is also very common with fibromyalgia. There are numerous reasons that a person may become depressed when dealing with a chronic health condition. Not being able to do what you used to is enough to become depressed for some. For others, it is the strain on personal relationships or the loss of a career that causes gloom to set in. Finally, the combination of daily pain and difficulty sleeping can lead to a mood disorder. Health practitioners are encouraged to watch for signs of depression when treating fibromyalgia patients due to how common it is for the two conditions to exist side by side.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome often comes along with pain, bloating, and bowel issues like constipation or diarrhea. Since the condition is exacerbated by stress and having a chronic illness is extremely stressful, it is no wonder that these two conditions frequently go hand in hand. In fact, some estimates are that up to 30% of fibromyalgia patients are also dealing with IBS.
Tension Headaches or Migraines
Stress and tension are commonly stored in the neck, shoulders, and upper back, leading to tension headaches. However, depending on the underlying issues leading up to fibromyalgia, some patients have migraines rather than headaches. What is the difference?
Tension headaches involve mild to moderate pain that feels like a band wrapped around the head. Migraines, on the other hand, are usually more moderate to severe and have a throbbing or pulsing feeling. Migraines are also often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells.
Besides just the stress of a chronic illness, pain medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) can lead to headaches. These are call rebound headaches or medication overuse headaches. Sometimes a person must cease pain medication for a period of time and let it clear out of the body in order to learn just how many of the headaches were medication related.
Getting to the Bottom of Fibromyalgia
You may be interested to know that there is a natural means of relief that has been beneficial for a number of fibromyalgia patients. For example, one 32-year-old woman reported being fibromyalgia free after just 6 months of upper cervical chiropractic care. What is involved in upper cervical chiropractic and why does it help some fibromyalgia patients?
Upper cervical chiropractic is a niche within the chiropractic field. It is set apart from general chiropractic in a number of ways:
- Focus – General chiropractors cast a wide net and try to adjust all parts of the spine. Upper cervical chiropractors focus on the top two bones, thus taking a top-down approach to spinal health. When the C1 and C2 are in place, the rest of the spine can follow suit naturally, the brainstem can function optimally, and blood flow to the brain is facilitated via the vertebral arteries.
- Precision – Diagnostic imaging is used to precisely measure misalignments. This allows for precision adjustments that are tailored to meet your specific needs.
- Gentleness – Depending on the method used by a practitioner, you may feel very little during the actual adjustment. In fact, the only way you may be able to tell the practitioner did anything is by the astounding results.
- Frequency – Upper cervical chiropractors work on an as-needed basis. At each visit, you will be examined to see if your adjustment held from the last visit. If it did, there’s no reason to adjust you again. If you are out of alignment, a gentle correction is once again performed. Over time, visits should be spread further apart, making this a cost-effective form of care.
Fibromyalgia is often related to changes in blood flow to certain parts of the brain as well as the function of the brainstem. As a result, upper cervical chiropractic care is in a unique position to help with the specific parts of the nervous and vascular systems that need adjustment. By relieving pressure from the brainstem and facilitating blood flow to the brain, a healthy upper cervical spine may be able to help with chronic pain, migraines, vertigo, and more.
To learn more, find a practice in your local area. You may find that a no-obligation consultation is your first step down a path to regaining a better quality of life.