Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition that can affect your ability to enjoy daily life or even accomplish your necessary tasks. For over 4 million adults in the United States suffering from fibromyalgia, this can prevent them from working their scheduled hours, limit the time spent with friends and family, and lower their quality of life.
Well-known Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- All-over pain – fibromyalgia is associated with widespread, constant dull achiness throughout the body.
- Fatigue – fibromyalgia sufferers have a very difficult time sleeping. This interruption may be due to the pain or other disorders, like restless leg syndrome, that are also related to the condition.
- Cognitive problems – the cognitive problems that come with fibromyalgia, which are sometimes called “fibro fog”, include poor concentration and difficulty paying attention.
Fibromyalgia and Problems Processing Pain
The current consensus about fibromyalgia is that those suffering from it process pain differently than those who do not. The nervous system is in charge of sending and receiving pain signals between the brain and the rest of the body. The central nervous system (CNS) is made up of your brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system is composed of the nerves that branch off of the CNS that give function (movement, sensation, etc.) to every other part of your body. These functions include what we consciously do, like lifting our arms to pick something up, and the things we do without thinking, such as digesting food or the way our brain discerns certain sensations such as pain, heat, or cold.
The nervous system is in charge of all of our life-giving functions, and its delicate tissues and nerves are protected within one of our body’s toughest materials – bone. The skull and the vertebrae of your spine surrounds the central nervous system as a protection to ensure that signals are sent and received without interference. If a misalignment occurs in your vertebrae, specifically in the top two bones of the neck, it can lead to a number of issues.
This part of your upper neck, or upper cervical spine, houses your brainstem, a particularly critical part of the CNS. The brainstem controls numerous unconscious functions of the body (the ones you don’t have to think about) and is also like an operator station for many of the messages being sent between the brain and body. To keep pain processing working normally and efficiently, the pain signals must arrive and be interpreted by the brain appropriately. This is why issues in the upper cervical spine could be the cause of the abnormal pain processing.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Offers a Solution
Upper cervical chiropractors are well acquainted with central nervous system function. We understand the high value of a properly functioning nervous system. We also realize that if signals are being interpreted incorrectly, it could be the beginning of a number of health conditions, including fibromyalgia. We focus on the atlas (C1) and axis (C2), which compose a particularly unique area of the spine. These bones sustain the weight of the head and are also uniquely shaped to allow the wide range of movement our head requires. Unfortunately, the way these bones are designed makes them vulnerable to misaligning. This can have serious implications when a misalignment irritates the brainstem and disrupts the normal blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow between the head and neck. This type of brainstem irritation can lead to abnormal pain processing and abnormal hormone production.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Fibromyalgia Studies
There have been some very hopeful research results emerging surrounding upper cervical chiropractic care:
- A 32-year-old woman who was suffering from fibromyalgia symptoms, having spent two-years in constant pain, including periods of being bedridden and having severe depression, had a complete remission of her all her symptoms after receiving an atlas alignment correction from an upper cervical chiropractor.
- A 31-year-old woman suffered from chronic back pain, shooting pain down her legs, 3 to 4 headaches per week, fatigue, GI troubles and depression. With the help of upper cervical specific care, she could discontinue using all her pain medications and began to improve her quality of life by exercising regularly at the gym and running.
- A 45-year-old woman who had an 11-year history of fibromyalgia got her atlas misalignment corrected with a course of upper cervical chiropractic care. Among her symptoms were migraines, chronic neck and back pain, sciatica, depression, and ulcers. In just her first 6 months of care, she didn’t need her wheelchair anymore. She was able to return to doing all her basic daily activities unassisted. She was able to get a full night’s sleep. She also experienced increased energy levels, eliminated her medication use, and her headaches went away entirely. At the conclusion of her care, she could swim, walk longer distances, and care for her house and yard-work pain free.
Knowing that fibromyalgia sufferers can experience so much improvement from a simple, effective, and natural relief is a big deal for anyone coping with debilitating symptoms for any length of time. At Balanced Living Chiropractic, we take you through a detailed analysis to determine whether our approach can support a recovery of the underlying cause of your specific condition. If an atlas misalignment is what is causing or worsening your fibromyalgia symptoms, then we can correct this with a gentle adjustment here at our office, so you can begin your recovery towards a better quality of life.
Tedder N, Tedder A, Gorshack S. Resolution of Chronic Fibromyalgia and Improved Spinal Curves Following Correction of an Atlas Subluxation: A Case Report & Selective Review of the Literature. J Upper Cervical Chiropr Res 2015; Jul 13:24-29.
Soriano W, Apatiga A. Resolution of Fibromyalgia & Polypharmacy Concomitant with Increased Cervical Curve & Improved Quality of Life Following Reduction of Upper Cervical Subluxation: A Case Study. J Upper Cervical Chiropr Res 2014; Oct 21:61-67.
Alibhoy N, Resolution of Fibromyalgia Following Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: A Case Study. J Upper Cervical Chiropr Res 2011; Jun 20:39-44.
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