Fibromyalgia can be a difficult condition to live with. People who suffer from fibromyalgia experience widespread pain throughout the body, poor sleep quality, and mental and physical fatigue.
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Doctors often suggest lifestyle changes and prescribe medication to treat the symptoms. Many fibromyalgia sufferers have been told that there is no cure for their condition. However, there is a natural form of care that has seen success in relieving patients of their fibromyalgia symptoms. Continue reading to find out more about fibromyalgia and how to find natural relief.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a somewhat mysterious condition because it can be difficult to diagnose. Doctors often have to rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms. There is no laboratory test that can provide a fibromyalgia diagnosis. The causes of fibromyalgia are equally as mysterious, but some common trends have been seen among sufferers. The following factors have been observed to occur before the symptoms of fibromyalgia develop:
- Extreme stress (physical or emotional)
- Injury or serious viral infection
- Prolonged exposure to cold or damp conditions
- Repetitive strains
- Other underlying health conditions such as lupus, Lyme disease or rheumatoid arthritis
Any one of these factors could trigger the onset of fibromyalgia. The condition is known as a pain-processing disorder. In a person with fibromyalgia, the brain recognizes normal, non-painful stimuli as being painful. This situation is called central sensitization.
Central Sensitization and Fibromyalgia
Central sensitization happens when the body’s nervous system has an increased awareness of sensations and becomes overly sensitive to stimuli. The nervous system can get stuck in this extremely sensitive state, resulting in heightened sensitivity to pain and any kind of touch. The nerves themselves are overly sensitive and the brain interprets the signals sent from the nerves as being signals of pain.
Finding Relief Naturally
Doctors usually prescribe medication to treat the individual symptoms, like inability to sleep or joint pain. But long-term use of medication can create its own problems and unwanted side effects. Listed below are some natural ways to find relief from fibromyalgia, including one form of care that has been successful for many fibromyalgia sufferers.
- Diet: Inflammation in the body can cause pain. Changing your diet to reduce the number of foods that cause inflammation and increase the foods that boost your immune system can help you feel better overall. Inflammatory foods are processed foods, fried foods, alcohol, and caffeine. Anti-inflammatory foods are often plant-based and full of anti-oxidants. Eating fermented foods with good bacteria, such as kimchi and yogurt, can help improve your intestinal health and as a result, your immune system.
- Exercise: Gentle, low-impact exercise like walking, swimming, yoga, and tai-chi have been shown to help fibromyalgia sufferers sleep better. You might not feel like exercising when you’re in pain, but the endorphins that are released during exercise can be a natural pain reliever.
- Sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep is important for anyone, and it’s especially important for those who are dealing with the exhaustion of chronic pain. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps you fall asleep and stay asleep consistently every night. Not viewing screens an hour or two before bedtime also improves sleep quality.
- Supplements: Magnesium (low levels may be linked to fibromyalgia), 5-HTP (may help to ease anxiety, insomnia, and pain), and melatonin (often used to improve sleep) seem to help some fibromyalgia patients.
- Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: This form of care works to improve the function of the central nervous system. If the central nervous system can heal from its overly sensitive state, fibromyalgia can be a thing of the past.
How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Relieves Fibromyalgia
Upper cervical chiropractors focus on healing the body, including the central nervous system, by making sure the upper cervical vertebrae (the top two vertebrae of the neck) are properly aligned. Why are these vertebrae, known as the atlas (C1) and axis (C2), so critical? These vertebrae house the brainstem, which connects the brain to the spinal cord. If the brainstem isn’t functioning well, the central nervous system and the brain can’t coordinate well.
Here’s how the atlas and axis vertebrae could play a role in the development of fibromyalgia:
- Many fibromyalgia cases have their onset following some type of physical injury or trauma. If the atlas and axis became misaligned as a result of the injury or trauma, they could be putting pressure on the delicate brainstem.
- Pain signals are relayed via nerves in the body, and the pain signals are sent to the spinal cord, relayed through the brainstem, and arrive at the brain where they are interpreted. If misaligned vertebrae are interrupting or distorting the signals being received by the brain, central sensitization and fibromyalgia symptoms can develop.
At Balanced Living Chiropractic, we approach every fibromyalgia case as a unique situation. We do a detailed patient history and use advanced imaging to determine what factors could be influencing your condition. The adjustment technique we use is gentle and precise. Patients are often surprised at how little force is required to shift the atlas and axis back into their proper position. Once the vertebrae are in their correct positions, the brainstem can function optimally, relaying messages to and from the brain about the body’s condition. This often improves the body’s ability to heal itself. Fibromyalgia symptoms start to disappear as the body restores the areas that were affected by the dysfunction of the central nervous system. If you are looking for lasting, natural relief from fibromyalgia, upper cervical chiropractic care could be the answer that you’re looking for.
To schedule a complimentary NUCCA consultation, call 248-831-0729 or just click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.