While it has been well known for years that fibromyalgia is a real disease, especially for those who suffer from its many symptoms, there hasn’t really been a specific way to identify a person who has it other than observing the symptoms over time and ruling out certain other conditions.
While the methods used in this recent study are unlikely to become a means of diagnosis, they do note differences in brain function that not only identify the existence of the condition but can even reveal the severity. This also suggests positive ways to help deal with the pain and other symptoms.
Changes in Brain Function Associated with Fibromyalgia
Here is a quick summary of some of the important changes noted in the study when brain scans of fibromyalgia patients were compared to those without the condition.
- Blood flow was increased to the part of the brain that handles pain intensity levels.
- Blood flow was decreased in regions of the brain that produces an emotional response to pain levels.
As a result, researchers believe that fibromyalgia is primarily a condition that involves how the brain perceives and responds to pain. This also helps to explain why the condition is so closely linked to depression and anxiety.
Finding Help for Fibromyalgia
While medications for fibromyalgia are few and far between (and offer limited benefits), observing the results of this study can provide some insight. It seems that fibromyalgia has much to do with blood flow to the brain. This blood must pass through the vertebral arteries. Thus, blood flow to the brain is facilitated by the upper cervical spine. It makes sense that a misalignment in this vital part of the body can affect the amount of blood reaching certain parts of the brain.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, especially if you have a history of concussion, whiplash, or other head and neck injuries, a misalignment may be contributing to symptoms. Scheduling a consultation with an upper cervical chiropractor near you may by the first step toward better overall health.