Fibromyalgia: Things You Need to Know


How well do you know your condition? Before heading straight to a doctor or an upper cervical chiropractor in White Plain, NY, we recommend that you do your research about your disorder by reading books or online resources such as this blog. 

In case you didn’t know, fibromyalgia (FM) causes widespread pain throughout the muscles and joints in the body.

The National Fibromyalgia Association reported that as many as 10 million Americans have fibromyalgia. Women account for 75 to 90 percent of the people with the disorder. 

Etymology of the Word “Fibromyalgia”

The term fibromyalgia is coined from the Latin word fibro meaning “fibrous tissue,” the Greek word myo meaning “muscle,” and the Greek word aigos meaning “pain.” In short, the literal meaning of fibromyalgia is a muscle and fibrous connective tissue pain. 

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

The medical community is still studying the exact cause of FM. Some believe it is due to an issue with how the body processes and translates pain signals. The brain, brainstem, and spinal cord are all responsible for it. They receive signals from the nerves. 

People who are at higher risk to develop fibromyalgia are the following:

  • Women
  • Adults between the ages of 20 and 55
  • People who rarely exercise
  • People with a sleep disorder
  • Those with family members who also have fibromyalgia
  • Those with anxiety, depression, or any mood disorder
  • People with a history of physical or emotional abuse
  • People with another pain disorder – infection, chronic fatigue, arthritis, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, and others

What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

One of the leading indications of fibromyalgia is hypersensitivity to pain. People often associate fibromyalgia with other conditions. The reason is symptoms of FM may overlap with symptoms of other conditions. Below are some of the common signs of FM:

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and fibromyalgia, download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.

  • Widespread pain
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sleep problems
  • Fibro fog – cognitive or memory problems
  • Muscles spasms or twitches and weakness
  • Morning stiffness
  • Chronic headaches or migraines
  • Visual disturbances
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, cold, and heat
  • Bloating, belly pain, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Urinary and pelvic problems
  • Anxiety
  • Skin issues
  • Dry mouth, eyes, and nose
  • Symptoms of a cold
  • Chest symptoms
  • Myofascial pain
  • Weight gain
  • Problems with menstruation
  • Problems breathing
  • Peeing more often

Fibromyalgia-Associated Conditions

As mentioned earlier, symptoms of fibromyalgia often mimic symptoms of other disorders. This leaves doctors more challenged to diagnose the condition. Nevertheless, fibromyalgia is still unique from other illnesses. 

Some of the conditions that have some similar signs with fibromyalgia include:

  • Lupus
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Lyme disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Cervical spinal stenosis
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome

Besides the above disorders, people with fibromyalgia are also more likely to develop other illnesses that aggravate their symptoms even more. Some of these are:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Endometriosis
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • GERD
  • Anemia
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Low cytokine levels
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Bruxism
  • Internal cystitis
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Seasonal affective disorder

Can Trauma Cause Fibromyalgia?

There has been a common factor among fibromyalgia patients, as observed by researchers in various studies. Most of them experienced some incidents before the onset of their fibromyalgia. Often, they involved an injury or trauma to the head or neck. 

For this reason, researchers consider that head and neck trauma triggers alterations in the brain. Among its results is abnormal production of stress hormones and neurotransmitters that convey pain signals to the brain. Fibromyalgia is the result.

What can lead to head and neck trauma?

Whiplash or a concussion can result in trauma to the head or neck. Often, they come about following a car accident or tragic incidents in high-impact sports such as gymnastics, surfing, horseback riding, and soccer.

Any of these can sprain or stretch the ligaments in the head or neck, causing the upper cervical vertebrae to misalign. This places stress on the brainstem and triggers it to transmit incorrect signals to the brain. If the brainstem warns the brain that the body is in pain even when it is not, fibromyalgia can be the result.

Results of a Fibromyalgia Case Study

Numerous studies have revealed the great help that upper cervical chiropractic care can provide for FM patients. One study examined 23 cases of fibromyalgia patients who also had chronic fatigue syndrome. The severity of symptoms ranged from moderate to severe. After the stabilization of the spine, all the 23 patients shared an improvement in their illness. They were all able to return to their full-time works and perform their normal activities.

One compelling story is that of a 55-year-old woman that complained of fatigue and pain all over her neck, mid-back, elbow, hips, and feet. She used to be a gymnast and had a fall when she was only 20. The woman was unsuccessful in getting relief from many forms of care until she tried upper cervical chiropractic. Within 15 weeks of care, she reported her symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue disappeared. 

Trusted Upper Cervical Chiropractor in White Plain, NY

Here at Upper Cervical Chiropractic of New York, we use the same technique as the study above. Upper cervical chiropractic is a gentle and safe method of adjusting the bones to realign in their proper positions. We do not use force on the spine to drive positive results. Instead, we help the bones to move back into their alignment naturally, leading to pleasant results as those stated above. Call (914) 686-6200 to schedule an appointment at our office in White Plains, New York.

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