Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes:
· General fatigue
· Pain in the bones and muscles (musculoskeletal pain)
· Cognitive disturbances and sleep disorders
· Tenderness in some parts of the body
The issue with fibromyalgia is that it can be challenging to understand. Its symptoms are similar to those of other conditions, and it doesn’t have any significant diagnostic tests.
There was a time when healthcare professionals wondered whether fibromyalgia was natural. Today, there is a much better understanding of this condition. The stigma around it has eased.
The symptoms of this condition usually start after an injury, surgery, physical trauma, or psychological trauma. But then, it is not entirely clear what causes the onset of fibromyalgia. However, studies suggest that it might be due to a disorder in how pain signals are processed by the brain, thus resulting in the amplification of these signals.
Fibromyalgia is the leading cause of the so-called “regions of pain.” Some of these regions overlap so-called “tender points” or “trigger points.”
The pain in these regions is like a dull headache. Your doctor will diagnose fibromyalgia if you have experienced musculoskeletal pain in at least 4 of the areas listed in the 2016 revisions to the fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria.
This diagnostic protocol is known as “multisite pain.”
To diagnose fibromyalgia, your healthcare provider will focus on those areas where you’re experiencing the pain. Focus is also placed on the intensity of the pain rather than the duration of the pain.
Other significant symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
· Trouble sleeping
· Sleeping for extended periods but still feeling unrested.
· Dry eyes
· Trouble paying attention or focusing
· Dull ache or pain in the lower abdomen
In fibromyalgia patients, the nerves and the brain may wrongly interpret or overreact to pain impulses. This may be associated with an abnormality in the dorsal root ganglion or a chemical imbalance in the brain affecting the sensitization of central pain.
Fibromyalgia also harms your energy level and emotions.
Common trigger points include:
· Back of the head
· Shoulder tops
· Outer elbows
The leading cause of fibromyalgia remains unclear. However, researchers have observed a strong correlation between positive diagnoses with prior trauma or whiplash upon the back or neck region. This explains the high incidence of neck pain and back pain among many fibromyalgia patients.
In addition, studies have shown abnormalities in brain chemistry that were consistent with disrupted cytokine levels. Cytokines are proteins on which the central nervous system depends to regulate immune responses.
Suppose fibromyalgia is linked to disrupted functions in the central nervous system in the upper cervical spine (the top of the neck). In that case, it could explain the unending complaints about prior back and neck injuries in people with fibromyalgia. So, chiropractors that focus on correcting the upper cervical spine may be an effective form of care for individuals who suffer from fibromyalgia.
To care for people with fibromyalgia, a Foundational Chiropractor will first identify whether or not there is a Foundational Shift. Then, a multitude of objective tests are performed to determine if there is any shift present. If the Foundational Chiropractor detects a misalignment, they will then take Digital Foundational Radiographs to determine the precise angle and the direction of the shifted segment of the spine.
Foundational Correction is a unique form of chiropractic that does not involve pulling, cracking, or twisting of the neck. Once every misalignment has been corrected, the spinal musculature will adapt and rebalance. This will ease the pressure on the brainstem and the entire central nervous system, thus eliminating fibromyalgia symptoms.
Panton LB, Figueroa A, Kingsley JD, Hornbuckle L, Wilson J, St John N, Abood D, Mathis R, VanTassel J, McMillan V. Effects of resistance training and chiropractic treatment in women with fibromyalgia. J Altern Complement Med. 2009; 15(3):321–328.
Blunt KL, Rajwani MH, Guerriero RC. The effectiveness of chiropractic management of fibromyalgia patients: a pilot study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1997; 20(6):389–399.
Watson NF, Buchwald D, Goldberg J, Noonan C, Ellenbogen RG. Neurological signs and symptoms in fibromyalgia. Arthritis Rheum. 2009; 60(9):2839–2844.
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