Fibromyalgia symptoms can range from person to person. Not only does this make the condition difficult to understand and to diagnose, but it can make it frustrating for the person living with fibromyalgia. We will begin our discussion by addressing the many potential fibromyalgia symptoms you might be coping with. Then we will take a closer look at how you can find natural relief.
The Most Common Fibromyalgia Symptoms
While there are too many symptoms to discuss them all in one article, we are going to go through some of the most common things you may be experiencing.
Chronic, Widespread Pain
This is the symptom that fibromyalgia is best known for. In fact, arguably the most famous person living with fibromyalgia – Lady Gaga – has commented on her chronic pain in documentaries and on social media. Muscles aches, joint pain, and stiffness can make it difficult to carry out just about any task.
Fibromyalgia Tender Points
Besides the overall body pains, there are 18 points in particular on the body that exist in people living with fibromyalgia. Doctors often make a diagnosis by discovering pain at 11 or more of these points when examining a patient. The 18 points are located in nine pairs around the body. However, it is important to note that seven of the nine pairs are in close proximity to the spine and two of the pairs are in the neck. We will mention the importance of the spine again later when discussing our suggestion for finding natural care.
Cognitive Symptoms: Fibro Fog
One of the most debilitating ways that fibromyalgia can manifest itself is with brain fog (or fibro fog to identify the condition causing the symptoms. This is a series of cognitive symptoms that can manifest in various ways. You may have problems with memory and recall, especially when it comes to finding the right word. Particular impact occurs in short-term memory. It can also affect concentration and attention span.
Rather than being a rheumatic condition where pain levels are dictated by inflammation in the body, swelling is not the source of fibromyalgia pain. Researchers are trying to determine why fibromyalgia patients feel the pain, and the sensory symptoms of fibromyalgia may help them narrow the search. After all, sensory symptoms are usually only found in neurological conditions like migraines. How does fibromyalgia affect the senses?
- Light sensitivity – Bright lights can be painful or even trigger other symptoms.
- Sound Sensitivity – You may find both loud or repetitive sounds to cause pain.
- Sensitivity to smell – Strong smells can be painful, even if they are natural.
- Sensitivity to touch – Even a gentle touch may make your skin feel like it is burning. This can be a particularly difficult symptom for couples to deal with.
- Sensitivity to temperature – Both hot and cold temperatures may be more difficult than usual to cope with. In fact, you may have a very narrow comfort zone as far as temperature is concerned.
- Numbness and tingling sensations – You may wake up in the morning with numbness and tingling in your hands and feet.
Mood Symptoms and Other Associated Conditions
Many other fibromyalgia symptoms are actually related to associated conditions. Since fibromyalgia is related to a hyperactive central nervous system, other conditions that have the same pathology seem to occur simultaneously for many patients. Here are a few examples of conditions that are more common among people living with fibromyalgia:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Autoimmune conditions
- Tension headaches or migraines
It is also important to note that because fibromyalgia pain is centralized, it does not respond to opioids the way peripheral pain does. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid these potentially addictive pain relievers and seek out nonpharmacological therapies. We promised to present you with a suggestion, so now it is time to introduce you to upper cervical chiropractic care.
How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Helps Fibromyalgia Symptoms
When the central nervous system is not functioning optimally, the upper cervical spine should be one of the first places in the body that gets checked. This is because the top two bones of the neck are located right at the base of the skull. Therefore, even slight misalignments can impact some of the following processes:
- Cerebrospinal fluid drainage – When an upper cervical misalignment exists, it can restrict the proper drainage of cerebrospinal fluid. This, in turn, can lead to pooling and an increase in intracranial pressure. For a fibromyalgia patient, this can be behind many of the symptoms, including brain fog and migraines or headaches.
- Blood flow to the head – The cervical spine facilitates blood flow to the head by means of the vertebral foramen. However, even a small misalignment can affect this free flow of blood. This can be at the root of fibromyalgia symptoms because a change in the blood supply of certain parts of the brain can lead to issues with pain processing, sensory sensitivities, and more.
- Brainstem function – The atlas (C1) surrounds and protects the brainstem. However, a misalignment can put pressure on the brainstem and cause malfunctions that can affect many body systems, including sleep.
Upper cervical chiropractors are specifically trained to detect and correct misalignments in this precise area gently. If you are living with fibromyalgia, we encourage you to find a practitioner in your area today. A no-obligation consultation may be your first step on the path to breaking free from the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia.