What Are the Differences Between Fibromyalgia and Lupus?

Difference between Fibromyalgia and Lupus

Fibromyalgia and lupus have many similar symptoms and are both chronic health conditions. However, though many symptoms are similar, these are two different conditions with different prognosis. With that in mind, we’ll take a close look at fibromyalgia and lupus 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 and lupus.

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 can stem from 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 due to 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 sometimes flare-up, becoming more severe.
  • Fatigue – Similar 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. It also causes 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
  • Swelling
  • Body rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • 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 be tough to see how someone can confuse the two. However, both fibromyalgia and lupus are associated with chronic pain, which is the biggest factor in the conditions being mistaken for one another. Also, both fibromyalgia and lupus can arise at any age and are more likely to affect women.

That having been said, let’s switch our focus from seeing how fibromyalgia and lupus differ to trying to find a way to feel better. Is there a way to obtain natural relief from fibromyalgia and lupus?

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 upper cervical doctors take a detailed patient history when a person 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.

Fibromyalgia and Upper Cervical Chiropractic

Upper cervical chiropractic care has been shown to be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia Research

Here are the key case studies and research regarding upper cervical chiropractic care and fibromyalgia:

Case Studies

  1. A case study published in 2016 followed a 45-year-old fibromyalgia patient who also had migraines, neck/back pain, and numbness. After receiving upper cervical chiropractic care, the patient reported significant improvements in her fibromyalgia symptoms.
  2. Another case study from 2011 described the resolution of fibromyalgia symptoms in a patient following upper cervical chiropractic care.
  3. A case report published in 2012 documented the improvement in a patient's fibromyalgia symptoms after receiving upper cervical specific chiropractic care.

In summary, the research indicates that upper cervical chiropractic care can be a highly effective and natural solution for managing the chronic pain, fatigue, and other debilitating symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Lupus

Research suggests potential benefits of upper cervical chiropractic care for those suffering with autoimmune conditions like lupus including these five results:

The first study is a study on the effects of upper cervical chiropractic adjustments on secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA), which is a biomarker for immune system activation. The study found a significant increase in SIgA levels 30 minutes after an upper cervical adjustment, suggesting a potential immune-boosting effect. While this study did not specifically look at lupus, it indicates that upper cervical chiropractic care may have an impact on the immune system.

The second and third studies discuss how chiropractic care, including upper cervical techniques, may be beneficial for those with autoimmune diseases like lupus. The articles suggest that chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate joint pain, improve mobility, and potentially support immune system function in those with autoimmune conditions.

The fourth result is a case series on the use of upper cervical chiropractic care for neck pain and disability, but does not specifically mention lupus.

The fifth result discusses alternative treatments for lupus, including upper cervical chiropractic care.

To learn more about upper cervical chiropractic and the benefits it may be able to bring you regardless of whether or not you been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or lupus, 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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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.