Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Your spinal canal, which houses a large part of your Central Nervous System (brain, brainstem and spinal cord) is similar to a tunnel running the length of the human spine. It sits within the bony blocks called vertebrae which protect and surround the nerves (spinal cord and nerve roots) that run from the brain throughout the entire body. Cervical (C1 through C7 vertebra) spinal stenosis (nerve compression) occurs when something causes a narrowing of the canal, which results in the nerves becoming irritated or squeezed.
Stenosis can lead to a variety of symptoms including tingling, numbness, and weakness to severe pain and paralysis. Congenital conditions, injuries to the spine, cervical disc disease and age-related degeneration can be instigators of cervical spinal canal narrowing.
The National Fibromyalgia Research Association reports that 42 out of 45 Fibromyalgia sufferers displayed cervicomedullary [brainstem] or spinal cord compression and that a quantifiable neurologic deficit could be measured.1 They also state that, “The majority of the signs and symptoms can be reversed in these patients with cranio-cervical [brainstem] decompression.”2
Then throw in the fact that the brainstem also has some control over digestive function and awareness and energy levels and the sypmtomatic story for a Fibromyalgia sufferer begins to come into focus. Some people have Fibromyalgia symptoms caused by brainstem and spinal cord compression!
In all fairness, their version of “cranio-cervical decompression” is a surgical option. However, there is a much more comfortable and still logical option we will share with you.
We find that this cervical compression can come from problems with the postural structure and restriction of motion of the upper cervical spine. We find that the correction of these structural and functional problems improves Fibromyalgia symptoms for many patients.
1 Presented at the National Fibromyalgia Research Association’s Subgroups in Fibromyalgia Symposium, September 26-27, 1999, in Portland, Oregon.
2 New Dimensions in Fibromyalgia Symposium, Portland, Oregon, September 1997