Fibromyalgia is a chronic and debilitating condition that is most prominently known for causing widespread pain in the body. However, there are many other symptoms that you should know about when it comes to this condition. We are going to discuss some of the most common fibromyalgia symptoms. Then we will address a natural therapy that has helped some patients in case studies to find genuine relief.
The Fibromyalgia Symptoms Checklist
While this list is not designed to make an official diagnosis (you’ll have to see a doctor in person for that), this fibromyalgia symptoms checklist can help you find the reason behind your symptoms and to know if you are a good candidate for natural symptom relief.
Fibromyalgia widespread pain
One of the key symptoms of fibromyalgia is pain that is located on both sides of the body as well as both above and below the waist. Because the pain of fibromyalgia can increase and decrease with flare-ups, it is difficult to receive a diagnosis based on this symptom alone, although once the pain has gone on for more than three months, a physician may be more willing to lean in this direction.
Fibromyalgia tender points
The more defining pain of this condition is to experience pain at least 11 of the 18 fibromyalgia tender points. Interestingly, 14 of the 18 points are in proximity to the spine and 4 are in the neck. We will discuss a potential reason for this in a few moments.
This is a term that was coined to describe the cognitive effects of fibromyalgia. From not being able to put your finger on the right word to experiencing issues with short-term recall, there are many symptoms related to fibro fog. For example, you may find that you have difficulty focusing your attention or remembering where you left your keys.
From difficulty falling asleep to trouble staying asleep, there are many sleep problems that affect fibromyalgia patients. This is a particularly sinister symptom because it perpetuates a cycle. Not getting sufficient sleep actually affects a person’s pain threshold. Therefore, getting proper sleep is vital for a fibromyalgia patient.
Headaches or migraines
The pain usually starts in the neck and shoulders and then gradually moves into the head. Sensory sensitivities and nausea can accompany migraines, compounding the problem.
Constipation or diarrhea
Fibromyalgia patients often experience irritable bowel syndrome systems. While for some patients this can manifest as diarrhea, other patients experience constipation. Either way, it means more pain along with bloating.
Fibromyalgia patients often have trouble regulating body temperature. Therefore, hot and cold temperatures may both be very uncomfortable.
Numbness or tingling
This can especially happen in the hands and feet and particularly when you first wake up in the morning.
Anxiety and/or depression
Continuing the theme of neurological symptoms, many fibromyalgia patients experience anxiety, depression, or both as an associated condition.
Dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be tiring. Then the condition causes extreme exhausting on top of that. For some, this has led to a diagnosis of chronic fatigue instead of fibromyalgia. While the two conditions have some overlapping symptoms, they are not the same.
Besides experience widespread pain, you may also experience pain due to external stimuli that should not be painful. For example, a gentle caress from a loved one may register as a burning sensation on the skin. You may also experience other sensory sensitivities, even if you don’t get migraines along with your pain.
So what does all of this mean? You probably noticed a few themes throughout this fibromyalgia symptoms checklist. Many of the symptoms are related to the central nervous system (CNS). Also, many are centered on the neck. There is a good explanation for this, and it may help you to find natural relief that can restore some quality of life for you.
The Role of the Neck and CNS in Fibromyalgia
When the top bone in the neck, the atlas or C1 vertebra, is misaligned, it can have far-reaching effects. Here are just a few things that can occur.
- Neck pain – This is the most obvious result of a misalignment of the top bone in the neck. Since the soft tissue around the bone needs to compensate in order to keep the head balanced, pain can result in the vicinity of the subluxation.
- Brainstem function – Since the atlas surrounds the brainstem, even the slightest of misalignments can apply pressure and affect the function of this key component of the CNS. Not only does the brainstem play a vital role in processing the signals from the body but it also controls many of the subconscious activities of the body including sleep.
- Blood flow – For the CNS to function optimally, you have to get enough oxygen to the head, and that means blood flow. A misalignment of the neck can reduce this vital flow of blood because the cervical vertebrae have loops in the bone that provide a passageway for the arteries that provide blood flow to the head.
Upper cervical chiropractors are specially trained to detect and gently correct upper cervical misalignments. This can help to ensure that your nervous system is functioning optimally. As a result, you may find that your fibromyalgia symptoms are reduced or relieved. So if you are suffering from fibromyalgia, we encourage you to seek out the assistance of an upper cervical chiropractor today. A safe and gentle adjustment of the atlas may be your first step on the path to a better tomorrow.