I’m a veteran Honolulu fibromyalgia chiropractor, and I’ve encountered numerous cases throughout my career. Fibromyalgia sufferers experience widespread pain and sensitivity to touch.
It’s a chronic illness that leaves the patient feeling fatigued most of the time. The problem, however, is that despite the exhaustion, they still have trouble getting restful sleep at night.
Fibromyalgia is more common among women, but men suffer from it, too. Those who have rheumatic diseases or other health issues of the joints, bones, and muscles are more likely to develop this condition.
This article aims to educate people about fibromyalgia and how it affects its sufferers. If you or a loved one has fibromyalgia, reading this should serve you well. Hopefully, you’ll be more informed about this illness and how to manage it.
What you may not know about fibromyalgia is that it’s neurological in nature. Contrary to common belief, it is not inflammation or an autoimmune illness. Instead, it is more of a nervous system issue because it is a pain processing disorder.
Here are other fibromyalgia facts you might not know:
- There is no definitive test for fibromyalgia. Doctors who are trying to determine a diagnosis might order lab tests or x-rays, but these tests are used only to rule out other conditions.
- There is no cure for fibromyalgia. However, patients find relief through proper self-care, which includes getting enough rest and mild exercise.
- Older methods to diagnose fibromyalgia involved finding the tender points in the body affected by the illness. These days, the overall symptoms are enough to make a diagnosis.
- Fibromyalgia affects around four percent of the United States’ population. It may occur at any age; once you get to middle age, you more susceptible to develop it.
- Other conditions linked to fibromyalgia include osteoarthritis, lupus, and ankylosing spondylosis. Some people also experience rheumatoid arthritis.
- Experts have yet to find a cure for fibromyalgia. However, there is one form of natural relief, which I will discuss toward the end of this article.
Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
I mentioned that the primary symptom of fibromyalgia is the widespread pain throughout the entire body and extreme fatigue. But other signs include cognitive problems, pelvic pain, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), and migraines.
As for sleep issues, people who experience fibromyalgia often wake up tired. They may also experience digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome or GERD. And if worse comes to worst, people may go through bouts with anxiety or depression.
Other physical problems include irritable or overactive bladder, as well as tenderness to touch. Once there is contact, people feel pressure on their joints, muscles, and skin.
The Cause of Fibromyalgia
Experts have yet to pinpoint the real cause of fibromyalgia. But as I’ve discussed in a previous section of this article, the root of the problem lies in the central nervous system, comprised of the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord.
Genetics also is a factor in fibromyalgia, which means that if one suffers from the illness, close kin may have it too.
Another trigger is stress, particularly the emotional kind. Several factors change upon the trigger of this illness, including brain chemicals and proteins. Pain levels in the brain also become amplified in what is referred to as Central Pain Amplification disorder.
Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition, but experts still classify it as a benign illness. It does not cause strokes, heart attacks, or loss of life. People who suffer from it don’t experience physical deformities or become predisposed to worse illnesses like cancer.
Living Life with Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a struggle to endure, but your quality of life doesn’t necessarily have to suffer. Here are some tips for living normally while dealing with this illness.
- Get enough sleep: Make sure to set a consistent sleep schedule to get an ample amount of rest. Sleep quality deteriorates for fibromyalgia suffers, but a steady sleep cycle helps a great deal.
- Educate yourself: Do extensive research on fibromyalgia, and familiarize yourself with it as much as possible. Learn to deal with its symptoms and the available relief options.
- Keep an active lifestyle: Create a comfortable exercise routine for yourself. Don’t overwork your body. Start at a slow pace and pick things up gradually.
- Relax: Stay away from stress. Take a generous amount of time out of your day to do some breathing exercises or other stress-relief activities.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care for Fibromyalgia Pain Relief
Experts have found a connection between the alignment of upper bones in the neck and the development of fibromyalgia. The C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) are the top two bones that protect the brainstem. They are also responsible for head movement. Their mobility makes them more susceptible to misalignment.
Once misalignment occurs, the brainstem endures unnecessary pressures, causing it to send incorrect signals to the brain. As a result, fibromyalgia may develop.
At Upper Cervical Hawaii, I use gentle and precise methods to bring the atlas and axis back to alignment.
After correcting the misalignment, the body begins to heal naturally. Patients find that lifestyle changes in addition to upper cervical chiropractic care help them experience fewer flare-ups and lower pain levels overall.
If you’re looking for a Honolulu fibromyalgia chiropractor, contact us to schedule an appointment.