While it has been well known for years that fibromyalgia is a real disease, there hasn’t really been a specific way to diagnose it. Doctors have to observe patients of their symptoms and rule 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 the difference between brain scans of fibromyalgia patients and those without the condition:
- Blood flow increased to the part of the brain that handles pain intensity levels.
- Blood flow 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 often goes hand in hand with depression and anxiety.
Finding Help for This Chronic Disorder
While medications for fibromyalgia are few and far between, 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. The upper cervical spine facilitates blood flow to the brain. It makes sense that a misalignment in this part of the body can affect the amount of blood reaching 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.