Fibromyalgia is known for causing chronic pain, but this syndrome that seems to target women between the ages of 20 and 50 can present with dozens of symptoms. Since it can be a long process to get a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, the true prevalence of this condition is not really known. However, it is estimated that about 5 million people are suffering from fibromyalgia in the US alone.
We’re going to take a close look at some of the many and varied symptoms that can make fibromyalgia so debilitating, but we also want to provide you with hope that there is a natural way to find relief, so be sure to read through to the end of the article.
Fibromyalgia Symptoms Related to Pain
Fibromyalgia is known for pain in general, but specific pain symptoms can help to identify fibromyalgia. Here are a few of the common pain symptoms:
- 18 Fibromyalgia Tender Points – A key element in getting a fibromyalgia diagnosis is experiencing pain in at least 11 of the 18 common fibromyalgia trigger points. These points range from the knees to the top of the neck. Many of them are found along the spine near the hips, shoulders, and neck.
- Widespread Aches and Pains – These are the more generalized pains that people associate with fibromyalgia. Pain may come and go depending on stress and exertion levels. Inactivity can also increase pain as joints stiffen up and weight gain occurs.
- Headaches or Migraines – Many fibromyalgia patients experience either headaches or migraines. Migraines come with an array of symptoms and can be debilitating in themselves without having to be a symptom of an overall larger syndrome.
Fibromyalgia Symptoms Related to the GI Tract
Gastrointestinal issues also abound for fibromyalgia patients. A commonly associated condition is IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). While IBS is not a symptom of fibromyalgia, patients with fibromyalgia often also have IBS. Whether or not this is the case for you, your symptoms can include:
- Severe abdominal pain
Sensory Fibromyalgia Symptoms
The senses are affected by fibromyalgia. One hypothesis is that the body gets stuck in a state of central sensitization which is what causes much of the pain. As a result, the patient experiences an increased sensitivity to pain. A gentle touch may be unbearable. But this is not the only way the senses are affected. Other symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to temperatures
- Food sensitivities
- Light sensitivity
- Sound sensitivity
- Sensitivity to strong smells
Another anomaly that seems to be related to the senses is the pins and needles feeling that many fibromyalgia patients experience, particularly in the hands and feet. They can almost feel swollen at times even though this is not the case. Patients often report the feelings of inflammation or arthritis although medical testing reveals that neither condition is present.
The Cognitive Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
One of the most common symptoms has been given the nickname fibro fog. This includes a number of cognitive symptoms that include:
- Memory Problems – One study revealed that fibromyalgia patients experience the recall of a person that is 20 years older than they are.
- Inability to Concentrate – Focus is difficult and attention span suffers.
- Lack of Motivation
- Balance or Coordination Issues
- Mental Fatigue
Related Sleep and Mood Disorders
Fibromyalgia patients are also more likely to suffer from various sleep or mood disorders including:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Interrupted sleep
- Non-restful sleep
- Depression – Watch out for persistent feelings of sadness, decreased energy levels, and a loss of interest in once-loved activities.
- Anxiety – Panic attacks and generalized anxiety are common. Sometimes this is due to fear of when the next attack of pain and other symptoms will occur.
- Nervous energy – Feeling good for once can almost send you into a frenzy of nervous energy which may result in overexertion and a flare-up of the condition.
- Emotional Sensitivity – Emotional reactions are stronger and more difficult to control.
- Inability to cope with stress – Since stress can trigger a flare-up, this can lead to a cycle of worsening symptoms.
Hope for Fibromyalgia Sufferers
If you saw yourself throughout this description, don’t give into despair. There is a natural form of care that has been bringing hope to many and has even resulted in the complete resolution of symptoms for some patients. What is this natural way to get relief? We’d like to introduce you to upper cervical chiropractic care, a little-known subspecialty in the field of chiropractic.
Upper cervical chiropractic involves precise measurements and gentle adjustments of the C1 and C2 vertebrae, the top two bones of the spine. Positioned at the base of the skull, these bones are responsible for everything from protecting the brainstem to facilitating blood flow to the brain. Even the slightest misalignment can result in an array of symptoms including many of those associated with fibromyalgia.
Spinal health is vital to everything from proper functioning of the central nervous system to how well the gastrointestinal tract functions. Thus, this is a great way to find relief if your symptoms are related to a misalignment. In order to find out if you are experiencing an upper cervical misalignment, you will want to get an examination from an upper cervical chiropractor. But if your shoulders or hips are uneven, and especially if your legs are slightly different lengths, such a misalignment is likely.
Contact a practitioner in your area to learn more. You can find one by using the search feature on this website.