Fibromyalgia Vs. Myalgia: What Is the Difference?


If you have heard of both fibromyalgia and myalgia, you may wonder what the two terms mean. We are going to look at both the differences between these two words as well as the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Then, we will conclude by considering a natural way to get help for fibromyalgia. Let us begin by defining both terms.


What Is Myalgia? 

The number one difference is that myalgia is not a condition. It is a symptom. Myalgia fundamentally just means muscle pain. It doesn’t really matter what is causing the pain because this is a general term. From the tiniest muscle ache to chronic pain, all muscle pain is myalgia. 

To breakdown this symptom into small categories, myalgia is usually referred to as being either short-term or long-term. Short-term myalgia often isn’t severe. Frequently it is caused by overexertion. You may be experiencing a muscle cramp or pull. Long-term myalgia is a much bigger deal.

When myalgia occurs long-term, that indicates an underlying condition rather than an acute cause. There could be a problem with the connective tissue of the body that requires medical intervention. It may even relate to the organs of the body.


What Is Fibromyalgia? 

On the other hand, fibromyalgia is a medical condition. It is a syndrome with a wide array of symptoms. Myalgia is a part of the name because the most prominent symptom of this condition is pain. However, that is where the similarities between myalgia and fibromyalgia end. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of this chronic disorder.


What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia? 

Here are some of the more common symptoms of fibromyalgia. 

  • Pain and tender points – this is where the “myalgia” comes from in the condition name
  • Fatigue 
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Fibro fog – a series of cognitive symptoms such as confusion, poor memory, and limited concentration
  • Anxiety and depression 
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the hands and feet (sometimes extending to the arms and legs)
  • Sore or stiff muscles and joints in the morning 

Clearly, there is much more to fibromyalgia than just the myalgia. But what is the point of knowing the difference?


Why Does the Distinction Matter?

It may seem like a little matter to pick about words that are similar but mean different things. However, the point of this article isn’t to be pedantic. The fact is that myalgia will often resolve on its own. An over the counter pain medicine can hold a person over while a pulled muscle heals. Even for more severe causes of myalgia, pain medicine may be the best way to manage symptoms while correcting the underlying problem. However, this is not the case with fibromyalgia. 

Because of the nature of fibromyalgia pain, pain killers rarely help. And they certainly won’t do anything for the myriad of symptoms that accompany the pain. So if you or a loved one has fibromyalgia, then you need to find the right kind of help. Here is one natural therapy that has benefited some patients in case studies

Natural Help for Fibromyalgia 

Consider the following case study that reveals a possible connection between fibromyalgia and upper cervical subluxation.

A 45-year-old woman went to an upper cervical chiropractor after 11 years of living with fibromyalgia. The onset of fibromyalgia occurred following several car accidents, including two major traumatic injuries. When examined by x-ray, the practitioner discovered that the top bones in her neck were out of proper alignment. This is common following car accidents and other forms of head and neck trauma.

The upper cervical specific chiropractic corrected the misalignments. To accomplish this, a series of adjustments took place over the course of 17 months. During this time period, the patient received a total of 79 examinations. She also received adjustments during the 47 visits where the misalignment was found present. For the first nine months of care, this involved adjustments to both the C1 and C2 vertebrae. After nine months, adjustments of C2 held, and subsequent corrections involved only the C1. 

The results were astounding. The patient had previously required a wheelchair much of the time. After just six months of care, she stopped using the wheelchair. After her first reevaluation, she stated that she no longer was experiencing symptoms of fibromyalgia. Other symptoms, such as sciatica, also grew better with subsequent evaluations. 

What is upper cervical chiropractic, and why may these precise and focused adjustments help some fibromyalgia patients?


Fibromyalgia and the Central Nervous System (CNS) 

The pain associated with fibromyalgia is not musculoskeletal in nature, as is the case with most other chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis. Fibromyalgia involves the transmission of pain signals in the body. Researchers currently believe that the pain of fibromyalgia is the result of pain sensations being amplified, as is the case with central sensitization. As a result, you want your central nervous system functioning optimally if you are living with fibromyalgia.

Since the C1 and C2 vertebrae can affect blood flow to the head, cerebrospinal fluid drainage, brainstem function, and other critical functions that impact the CNS, proper alignment of the upper cervical spine is a necessity. Upper cervical specific chiropractors receive training to precisely detect and correct misalignments in these two bones. To learn more, contact an upper cervical chiropractor in your area. It may be your first step on the path to better health and well-being.

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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.