Comparing How Men and Women Experience Fibromyalgia


Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that anyone can have. Men and women can suffer from it, but it predominantly affects women. A staggering 90% of diagnosed fibromyalgia cases are in women. Since men and women have genetic differences, they may go through different things when they have this disorder. Men generally experience fewer and milder fibromyalgia symptoms, but they are still in need of hope for relief just as women are. Continue reading to find out the differences between men and women with fibromyalgia and how one natural care method has been helping fibromyalgia sufferers. 

Factors Where Men and Women Differ 

We need to learn more about fibromyalgia, which is why researchers are conducting studies to determine with certainty why men and women experience fibromyalgia differently. Some of the factors they acknowledge are the differences in hormones, genes, and the immune system. Here are some of the theories that explain the differences. 


Researchers believe that the hormone testosterone can have a protective property against pain.  While women have more estrogen, men possess higher levels of testosterone. As a result, they are less susceptible to developing fibromyalgia.  


Endorphins are substances that are naturally in the brain. They serve as natural painkillers by initiating certain receptors. Compared to women, men are said to release endorphins more effectively. This suggests that women have a different pain response. 


Estrogens are hormones that protect women against pain. For example, they are at very high levels during pregnancy to help women endure childbirth pain. In general, estrogen levels of women fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. Many women living with fibromyalgia experience symptoms at their worst in the days before their menstruation when estrogen levels are at their lowest.  

Symptoms and Systems of the Body Affected by Fibromyalgia 

Fibromyalgia is more than musculoskeletal pain. This chronic condition involves other systems of the body, leading to many other symptoms. 

Endocrine system 

  • Fatigue – Many fibromyalgia patients suffer from chronic fatigue even during daytime. With extreme fatigue, sleep doesn’t help to bring relief. 
  • Sleep – Fibromyalgia sufferers have a difficult time with sleep. Nearly all do not achieve restorative sleep, so regardless of how much sleep they get, they don’t feel well-rested and refreshed in their waking hours. 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression

Respiratory system  

  • Sleep apnea – This is a disorder that causes shortness of breath or a temporary cease in breathing while you’re asleep. Fibromyalgia sufferers are more prone to sleep apnea and other sleep-disordered breathing. 

Digestive system 

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – Several symptoms of IBS include diarrhea and constipation. It can also bring abdominal pain, nausea, cramping, and bloating. 

Reproductive System

  • Stronger menstrual pain in women – Women with fibromyalgia experience more intense periods than women without the condition
  • Painful intercourse 

Urinary system 

  • Increased need to empty the bladder 
  • Painful urination 
  • Increased bladder pressure 
  • Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome) - a severe bladder problem due to irritation or inflammation of the bladder wall

Nervous system 

  • Central sensitization – Whether male or femail, people with fibromyalgia, in general, feel pain differently than those without the condition. Central sensitization makes fibromyalgia patients hypersensitive to pain stimuli. The central nervous system interprets sensations that are not normally painful as extremely painful. 

Addressing Issues of the Nervous System to Resolve Fibromyalgia 

Very few people know the function of the spine and the central nervous system (CNS). But for fibromyalgia patients, these two parts are very important as they play roles in the processing of pain, the very issue of fibromyalgia. Addressing issues in these areas can be a source of natural relief. 

The CNS has the brain, spinal cord, and brainstem. This system serves as a communication superhighway, transmitting signals to and from each tissue and organ of your body to synchronize its function. The spinal column provides strong protection for the delicate nerve tissues of the CNS. The heightening of pain signals in fibromyalgia patients stems from a central nervous system that is sending faulty signals. 

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Help with Fibromyalgia

Explaining the Processing of Pain Signals

Upper cervical chiropractic care gives attention to the upper cervical spine that has a far-reaching impact on the central nervous system. The atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae are responsible for protecting the brainstem as it leaves the base of the skull and moves into the spinal cord. The brainstem can be compared to a switchboard that facilitates and transmits messages between the brain and the body. It does the critical job of processing pain signals.

The Role of the C1 and C2 Vertebrae

The C1 and C2 vertebrae are unique as they can move more freely than the other vertebrae of the spine. In fact, they are the bones responsible for providing freedom of movement to the head. However, they are also the most prone to misaligning due to injuries. This makes sense as many fibromyalgia patients can remember having an accident or injury in the months or years leading up to their fibromyalgia development.

What Makes Upper Cervical Chiropractic Effective

Upper cervical chiropractors have been certified to detect even the tiniest misalignments that can compromise your body’s pain processing system. They have in-depth knowledge of chronic pain and recognize the sensitivity to pain that comes with fibromyalgia. Upper cervical chiropractic care is perfect for fibromyalgia sufferers because it is incredibly gentle and only uses low pressure. They use little to no force to adjust misalignments of the C1 and C2 vertebrae. Their precise corrections can restore the normal alignment of the spine, thereby eliminating the irritation and inflammation of the CNS. Once these are attained, the body will have the opportunity to heal naturally, restoring your health and the quality of life you wish for. 


Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Areato schedule a consultation today.

Find an Upper Cervical Specialist In Your Area

to schedule a consultation today.

Featured Articles


Montel Williams
Montel Williams

TV show host Montel Williams describes how specific chiropractic care has helped his body.

NBC's The Doctors

The TV show "The Doctors" showcased Upper Cervical Care.

CBS News/Migraine Relief

CBS News highlighted the alleviation of Migraines and Headaches.

The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.