Fibromyalgia is a condition that is characterized by widespread pain. However, unlike many other pain conditions, inflammation is not the primary cause. Fibromyalgia pain has to do with the way that that the body processes pain, thereby making it more of a neurological condition than a musculoskeletal one. And that also explains why the fibromyalgia symptoms checklist is so long and varied. Here are some of the things that you need to know if you or a loved one is dealing with fibromyalgia.
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Most people think of the widespread pain caused by fibromyalgia. After all, in order for the condition to be categorized as fibromyalgia, the pain must be experienced on both sides of the body as well as both above and below the waist. However, what many people do not know is that one of the main criteria for diagnosis is pain in at least 11 of 18 tender points on the body. Interestingly, 14 of the 18 points are found near the spine, and 4 are in the neck. We will discuss the connection between the spine (and the neck in particular) and fibromyalgia later on in our article.
First of all, patients run into a surprising number of doctors who simply won’t diagnose fibromyalgia. Whether this is because they don’t believe it is a real condition or because they are searching for something treatable depends on the doctor. You may need to try several doctors before you find one who will even consider a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Also, pain levels can vary and if you don’t have pain at 11 or more of the trigger points on the day of your visit, getting a diagnosis will be tough. Additionally, most doctors will want to rule out other pain conditions that are easier to test for. This can make the entire process take months or even years.
Fibromyalgia is often confused for chronic fatigue syndrome (and vice versa) because both conditions can result in widespread pain as well as fatigue that doesn’t go away with proper rest. In addition, fibromyalgia patients often find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. This leads to even more problems with both fatigue and pain since the body cannot process pain properly without sufficient sleep. Therefore, having a good sleep schedule and creating the right environment for sleep are both important for anyone suffering from fibromyalgia.
In fact, it is so long that we are not even going to cover the entire fibromyalgia symptoms checklist today. Just know that in addition to everything we have already discussed in this article, some other common symptoms and associated conditions include:
What it comes down to is that fibromyalgia manifests itself a little differently for everyone. You need to know what triggers a flare-up for you and how best to provide self-care through lifestyle adjustments.
From person to person, the results of medication for fibromyalgia will vary wildly. Very often, medications will be used to fight symptoms rather than underlying issues. A couple of common medications are pain medicines and sleep aids. In addition, a person may receive an anti-depressant or antianxiety drug to deal with these associated conditions.
We’ve already highlighted the fact that 4 of the 18 fibromyalgia tender points are in the neck and many more are along the spine. What is the connection? While the underlying cause of fibromyalgia is considered to be unknown, a small misalignment of the C1 vertebra (atlas) may play a role in creating the circumstances in the body that lead to the onset of fibromyalgia symptoms. For example, a misaligned atlas can cause the following issues in the body:
Since misalignments of the upper neck can clearly be related to the onset of fibromyalgia symptoms, it is a good idea to see an upper cervical chiropractor if you suffer from this condition. This specific form of chiropractic care focuses on providing precision adjustments of the atlas. Gentle corrections are long-lasting and give the body time to heal from longstanding injuries. As a result, some patients in case studies have found genuine relief from fibromyalgia.
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.