Fibromyalgia and lupus have many similar symptoms and are both chronic health conditions. However, though many symptoms are similar, these are definitely two different conditions with different prognosis and treatment options. With that in mind, we’ll take a close look at both conditions so you can see how they differ. Then we will introduce you to a natural way to find relief from many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic health condition that causes widespread pain, particularly at 18 tender points around the body. There are many accompanying conditions that may be present along with fibromyalgia such as depression, anxiety, migraines, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
While fibromyalgia patients may sometimes feel like their pain is related to swelling (i.e., feet and hands may feel swollen in the morning), inflammation is not part of fibromyalgia pain. The pain is neurological in nature, so while the feeling is just as intense, the visible signs of swelling won’t be present.
What Is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks itself. The body produces antibodies to fight off intruders, but when an autoimmune condition occurs, those antibodies attack tissue that belongs there. So the rashes, joint pain, inflammation, and other telltale signs of lupus are caused by the body’s own defense system. This is the major difference between lupus and fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia pain is real, but there is no damage. Lupus pain is caused by actual damage occurring in the soft tissue of the body and that damage is caused by misguided antibodies.
What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
The most common fibromyalgia symptoms include:
- Pain at fibromyalgia trigger points – There are 18 particular points on the body where fibromyalgia pain is most likely to be felt. As a part of the diagnostic process, a doctor will check these 18 points and expect pain to be present in at least 11 of them.
- Dull, aching pains that are long-lasting – Fibromyalgia pains are not usually sharp or sudden but are rather dull and aching pains that are always present but sometimes flare-up, becoming more severe.
- Fatigue – As is the case with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia patients often suffer from fatigue that can’t be corrected with sleep.
- Sleep disturbances – Insomnia is common among fibromyalgia patients. This is an important symptom to correct because lack of sleep can increase the other symptoms of pain, fatigue, anxiety, and cognitive issues.
- Anxiety – General anxiety disorders often accompany fibromyalgia. Other patients experience anxiety due to never knowing when symptoms may flare-up and cause them to miss work or important family occasions.
- Cognitive problems – Often referred to as brain fog, patients have problems with focus, concentration, recollection, short-term memory, and more.
Traumatic injuries are a common precursor to the onset of fibromyalgia pain which is leading researchers to look into injuries as a possible underlying factor.
Common Lupus Symptoms
In contrast, the common symptoms of lupus include, but are not limited to:
- Joint pain
- Body rashes
- Skin lesions
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
As the condition progressions, it can begin to do damage to some of the body’s organs. Once this occurs, complications can arise. For example, lung damage can lead to frequent cases of pneumonia. Heart damage can lead to a heart attack. Kidneys may fail, or seizures and memory loss may occur as damage takes place in the nervous system.
Similarities Between Fibromyalgia and Lupus
Now that we have looked at both conditions individually, it may tough to see how someone can confuse the two. However, both cause chronic pain, which is the biggest factor in the conditions being mistaken for one another. Also, both conditions can arise at any age and are more likely to afflict women.
That having been said, let’s switch our focus from seeing how the two conditions differ to trying to find a way to feel better. Is there a way to obtain natural relief from fibromyalgia?
Where to Find Natural Help for Fibromyalgia Sufferers
Upper cervical chiropractors have long appreciated what researchers are now considering – that most cases arise following traumatic injuries. How can this help identify a natural way to get relief? It is interesting to note that case studies involving fibromyalgia patients who also suffer from an upper cervical subluxation have show that complete reversal of the condition can be obtained by correcting the misalignment.
The C1 and C2 vertebrae, located at the base of the skull, can easily become misaligned during an accident or injury involving the head or the neck. Car accidents and sports injuries are common issues that can lead to such a misalignment. This is why a detailed patient history is taken the first time a patient visits an upper cervical practice.
This specific type of chiropractic involves very precise measurements of the C1 and C2 using diagnostic imaging techniques. Then, gentle adjustments are specifically tailored to meet the patient’s needs. These long-lasting corrections give the body the time it needs to heal from the effects of the subluxation. As a result, some have seen significant health benefits.
To learn more about upper cervical chiropractic and the benefits it may be able to bring you, contact a practitioner in your local area to schedule a consultation. This may be your first step toward regaining control over a chronic health ailment that is affecting your overall quality of life.
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