What is fibromyalgia syndrome? It is a complex combination of many symptoms that produce tender points throughout the body. Fibromyalgia symptoms can vary from patient to patient including how severe each symptom is. With that in mind, remember that the following list is not intended to help a person to self-diagnose the condition. Rather, by examining the symptoms of fibromyalgia, we can see a common thread that helps to identify a natural means of getting some relief. With this mindset, please consider the following 8 common symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome.
Symptom #1 – Pain
While whole body pain can occur with fibromyalgia, the condition is known for causing pain in 18 fibromyalgia trigger points. A doctor will often check for tenderness at these points to diagnose the condition. If at least 11 of the 18 tender points exist, a doctor can make a diagnosis. The tender points are located in pairs at the following 9 locations:
- Back of the neck at the base of the skull
- At the outside of the crease of the elbow
- On the front of the neck on either side of the larynx
- In each hip where the buttocks meet the thighs
- In the lower back just above the buttocks
- On the inside of each knee
- The upper back near the should blades
- Midway between the shoulders and the lower neck
- On either side of the breastbone just below the collarbone
Notice how many of the tender points are near the spine. In fact, 8 of the 18 points are on or near the neck in particular. We will discuss the connection between the neck and fibromyalgia at the end of our discussion.
Symptom #2 – Sleep Disturbances
Due to both physical pains as well as the depression and anxiety that often accompany fibromyalgia syndrome, a patient may experience difficulty sleeping. Researchers have determined that a fibromyalgia patient’s ability to sleep is often related to his or her attitude toward being able to sleep despite having a chronic condition. As a result, some have recommended cognitive behavioral therapy as a way to combat this particular symptom rather than relying on medicinal sleeping aids. Sleep is important for chronic fatigue sufferers because lack of sleep can increase pain levels in the body.
Symptom #3 – Fatigue
This is more than simply being tired after a long day. This is persistent exhaustion that limits the overall energy of a patient much the way having the flu would do so. As a result, some doctors confuse fibromyalgia with chronic fatigue syndrome. The good news is that the form of natural care we will discuss at the end of the article has found success in case studies with both conditions, so you may benefit even if you have been misdiagnosed.
Symptom #4 – Cognitive Problems
Sometimes this is referred to as fibro fog when in connection with fibromyalgia syndrome. Patients often experience issues with memory and concentration. Feelings of confusion and a lack of mental clarity may also occur. This is a symptom that is associated with many health conditions. However, the majority of them begin following head or neck trauma. Again, this connects fibromyalgia symptoms with neck injuries.
Symptom #5 – Digestive Problems
It is not uncommon for fibromyalgia patients to experience symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome as well as acid reflux.
Symptom #6 – Chronic Headaches or Migraines
Along with pain throughout the body, recurring headaches or migraines may represent an accompanying condition. Both headaches and migraines are often related to head and neck injuries that affect blood flow to the brain, cerebrospinal fluid drainage, and brainstem functionality.
Symptom #7 – Numbness or Tingling
Particularly in the hands and feet, a patient may feel numbness and tingling or a pins and needles feeling. Some patients describe the sensation as feeling like the extremities are swollen even though no physical swelling is visible.
Symptom #8 – Temperature Sensitivity
Patients seem to have difficulty regulating temperature and react poorly to sudden extremes or changes in temperature. This can affect both the patient’s productivity and ability to rest comfortably. Again, since rest is vital to experiencing less pain, this symptom can increase the presence of some of the more debilitating fibromyalgia symptoms.
Combating Fibromyalgia the Natural Way
Did you notice how many fibromyalgia symptoms are related to the proper function of the neck and the central nervous system? As a result, we would like to recommend upper cervical chiropractic care for anyone who is dealing with this condition, especially if you can remember a specific head or neck injury that may have caused a misalignment.
First of all, it is important to understand the differences between upper cervical chiropractic and general chiropractic.
- Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the C1 and C2, the top two bones in the spine which are located at the base of the skull where the brainstem meets the spinal cord. As a result, a misalignment can affect everything from blood flow to the brain to brainstem function.
- Upper cervical chiropractic is precise and gentle. Diagnostic imaging techniques are used to measure misalignments down to fractions of a millimeter. Then, gentle adjustments are used that target the top two bones in the neck and provide long-lasting relief that gives the body time to heal.
If you are suffering from a chronic condition like fibromyalgia, contact an upper cervical practice in your local area. You may find results like those in case studies who have seen complete resolution of various health problems. Schedule a consultation to learn more.