Living with fibromyalgia comes with plenty of challenges. One day, you feel entirely okay, able to work on a long list of chores and other to-dos. Then, the day after, you feel so lethargic that even getting up in the morning becomes a challenge.
Millions of people can relate to this scenario. In fact, CDC reports that fibromyalgia affects more than 2 percent of US adults or roughly about 4 million individuals. It comes with various symptoms, muscle pain and stiffness, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, impaired cognitive function, and migraines. There are also several fibromyalgia triggers.
Often, the management of such a condition depends on the symptoms. As a result, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Some manage their pain temporarily through medications. On one hand, others seek natural methods like upper cervical chiropractic care that often result in long-term pain relief. To help you manage your condition effectively and naturally, let’s take a closer look at fibromyalgia.
Explaining the Abnormal Fibromyalgia Pain Sensation
Pain perception is one of the most amazing things about the human body. It gives the ability to react quickly to prevent injuries. Without it, you might end up scalding your fingers after touching a baking pan or suffering a deep cut because you didn’t feel the sharp kitchen knife slicing through your finger.
Unfortunately, for people who have fibromyalgia, this fascinating physiological function becomes a source of torment. Doctors refer to this as central sensitization. Essentially, this means that you have hyper-reactive pain receptors. Hence, your brain perceives even the slightest bump or tap as pain. This happens because of the rewiring of your brain’s nerve connections and the central nervous system’s over-sensitization.
It can be quite frustrating, especially when people around you think that you’re overreacting. However, the pain is very much real. It can affect you for a long time without proper medical intervention.
Various pain stimuli could aggravate your condition, including:
- Mechanical stimuli – Pinching, pressure, and other kinds of activities that cause tissue deformity
- Chemical stimuli – Exposure to irritants (substances that cause temporary inflammation or irritation) or acid (hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, etc.)
- Heat stimuli – Excessive cold or hot temperature, temperature fluctuations
When exposed to such central sensitization and fibromyalgia triggers, you might experience some accompanying symptoms such as:
- Sensory overload
- Panic and confusion
- Weakness or lethargy
Central Sensitization: The Origin of Fibromyalgia
Central sensitization, the critical process that drives fibromyalgia, often arises from injuries to the spine and stroke. However, some cases occur as a result of upper cervical bone misalignment. If you got into an accident, your neck most likely got overextended, potentially messing up the position of the topmost cervical bones, C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis). These two bones protect the spinal cord and brainstem. But, if their alignment skews even by the smallest degree, they can put immense pressure on the brainstem.
Consequently, this affects your brain’s ability to send instructions to different parts of your body. If your brain ends up sending wrong signals such as sensitivity to pain, when there is zero or minimal amount of pain stimuli present, you may develop fibromyalgia. You become sensitive to the fibromyalgia triggers discussed above.
Through careful adjustments by an upper cervical chiropractor, your neck bones realign properly, relieving the stress placed on the brainstem and the rest of the spine. Ultimately, this provides you with long-term pain relief as it ensures that your brainstem functions properly again.
How to Avoid Fibromyalgia Flare-up Naturally
Besides addressing your problem through chiropractic care and avoiding fibromyalgia triggers, it’s also helpful to note some self-care practices. By integrating these techniques into your daily routine, you can minimize the effects of central sensitization.
Keep yourself hydrated at all times
This helps you flush out toxins in your body and ensure proper lubrication of your joints.
Aim to improve your posture
Bad posture can worsen fibromyalgia because it puts additional stress on the neck and spine. Be extra mindful of your posture, both when standing and sitting down.
Lessen or totally avoid artificial sweeteners
Studies explain that aspartame, a key ingredient in artificial sweeteners, can induce fibromyalgia and other related health conditions.
Make sure to eat healthy
Eating a good and healthy diet is probably the most overused tip in managing all kinds of health mishaps. That’s because it’s proven effective. We suggest having the right balance of food items rich in carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Stay physically active
Pain can sometimes hinder you from engaging in various physical activities. However, it would help if you still aimed to exercise every once in a while. With an excellent aerobic exercise routine, you can promote the release of endorphins, your body’s natural defense against pain. It also helps improve the flexibility of your muscles.
Get enough rest at night
Often, lack of quality sleep is a symptom of fibromyalgia. However, you should still aim to get enough rest at night. Try sleeping in a dark and quiet room. You can also relax your muscles before sleeping for a few minutes in the tub. It’s also good practice to adjust your sleeping routine so you can stick to a consistent schedule. Music can also help you relax and calm down.
Try complementary therapy
Acupuncture and massage therapy can also help manage pain. They can provide you with temporary pain relief if done correctly.
Upper Cervical Care for Fibromyalgia Pain Relief
Several studies prove the crucial role of upper cervical chiropractic professionals in addressing fibromyalgia triggers and symptoms. If you would like to enjoy long-term relief from your pain, you can contact one of the local chiropractors in your area. You can also drop by their clinic for a consultation session.
Your chosen chiropractor will look at the symptoms you experience and assess your upper cervical bone structure. This will help them determine the right approach to use in realigning your bones. The methods used by upper cervical chiropractic professionals are all gentle and precise. They take the necessary measurements to find the key areas that need improvement. Start enjoying fibromyalgia relief today!