Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain. However, it is not a musculoskeletal condition. As a result of there being no evidence of inflammation in the joints to cause the pain of fibromyalgia it is sometimes classified as a neurological condition, but don’t let that confuse you. The pain is not all in your head. In fact, the biggest issue may be in your neck.
We will discuss that further in our list of the 10 things you need to know about fibromyalgia.
While fibromyalgia pain is widespread, there are 18 points on the body that can be used for diagnostic purposes. Two are in the lower cervical region in the front of the neck. Other two in the upper cervical region at the base of the skull. A set in the chest at the second rib. Two are in the shoulder blades, and two more are in the upper back near the shoulders. A pair in the elbow region. Two in the upper buttocks. Another pair in the rear hip area. And two are in the knees.
No doubt you notice how many of these points are along the spine and are either in the neck or very near it.
Some doctors still don’t consider it a real disease, or they don’t know enough about it to make an accurate diagnosis. Patients are often shifted from doctor to doctor and may receive a diagnosis of a number of other conditions first. Many practitioners will try to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms first. This can be frustrating and tiring for patients.
One of the conditions that doctors confuse with fibromyalgia is chronic fatigue syndrome since fibromyalgia often presents with fatigue as well. This may be because chronic pain can make it difficult to sleep. Other symptoms, such as fibro fog, may be worsened (or maybe even caused) by the lack of sleep.
Basically, if you have fibromyalgia, you run a higher risk of a number of other conditions as well. These include things like irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, depression, anxiety disorder, and TMJ dysfunction.
This is another factor that makes getting a diagnosis difficult. What if your pain levels just aren’t that bad on the day the doctor examines you and checks your tender points? Not everyone experiences the same amount of pain with the same frequency. Other symptoms that accompany the pain may also vary from patient to patient with about two dozen possible symptoms in all.
There is no x-ray or blood test that can be run at a hospital to determine if you have fibromyalgia – or at least that is what you will be told. That having been said, there is a blood test that was reported on in Fibromyalgia News Today that is supposed to be 94% accurate. It just hasn't caught on yet apparently, so you may have to bring it to the attention of your physician if you want the test performed.
The jury is still out on what causes fibromyalgia, so there’s no medicine that can cure it. However, doctors usually still prescribe things to fight symptoms. You may be given a pain reliever, but keep in mind that the pain of fibromyalgia is not a problem in the muscles, so pain medicine may not be effective. Sleeping pills are often prescribed. You may also need something to combat any depression or anxiety that crops up as an associated condition.
Why? It is probably because women are willing to go to the doctor and through the diagnostic process. Since there is a stigma attached to getting a fibromyalgia diagnosis, some men may be too ‘macho’ to want to get a proper diagnosis.
Researchers haven’t found an underlying cause for fibromyalgia but think about what they do know. The pain comes from the central nervous system and how the body is processing the pain. Many tender points are near the spine and particularly the neck. Cervical problems can affect blood flow to the brain, brainstem function, and lead to migraines, sleep problems, difficulty dealing with stress, and many other health problems.
Some patients have seen fibromyalgia go into complete remission after getting a tiny misalignment in the top bone of the neck corrected. This further emphasizes the connection between the neck and fibromyalgia. What makes upper cervical chiropractic unique?
Upper cervical chiropractic is also a cost-effective form of care because adjustments are long lasting, and you only need one when the atlas (C1) is out of alignment.
To learn more, schedule a consultation with a practitioner near you. If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, the natural relief you have been searching for may be within reach.
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.