If you or a loved one is already dealing with fibromyalgia, then you know that this mysterious syndrome that affects millions of people around the world involves more than just pain. If you do suffer from widespread pain, but do not yet have a diagnosis, you may be wondering how you can know for sure if it’s fibromyalgia. We’re about to take a closer look at the 9 most common fibromyalgia symptoms, but we won’t leave you without hope. At the end of our article, we’ll also introduce you to a natural way that some are finding relief from these insidious symptoms.
#1 Widespread Pain
This is the symptom that fibromyalgia is best known for. However, it is important to note that pain doesn’t necessarily occur all over the body at the same time. Plus, pain levels may be reduced between flare-ups once the condition is under control. Sometimes a patient may wake up with a pins and needles feeling in the hands and feet. Other days pain in just about every joint may make it tough to get out of bed.
#2 Sensitivity to Touch
Fibromyalgia patients often experience total sensory sensitivity (see symptom #3), but touch stands out enough to make it a symptom of its own. The gentle caress of a mate may result in unintended agony. This can have a difficult effect on relationships if one partner is not understanding of the condition. It can also make something as simple as stubbing your toe turn into hours of pain rather than minutes.
#3 Sensory Sensitivity
Any kind of sensory stimuli can be tough to bear for a fibromyalgia patient. Even a natural lotion or cleaner with a strong scent may trigger a reaction. Loud noises, bright lights, tobacco smoke, and other often avoidable experiences can lead to further pain and exhaustion.
#4 Chronic Fatigue
Some doctors confuse this condition with chronic fatigue syndrome because this is such a significant symptom. Whether the pain keeps you up at night or wears you out all day, exhaustion can set in when dealing with just about any chronic illness, but especially fibromyalgia.
#5 Chronic Migraines or Headaches
Frequent pain can lead to tension in the upper back, shoulders, and especially the neck. As a result, fibromyalgia patients tend to get tension headaches or even migraines on a regular basis. Again, the triggers for headaches and migraines often go back to sensory stimuli such as those noted under symptom #3.
#6 Depression and Anxiety
Conditions such as depression and anxiety are far more common in fibromyalgia patients. This isn’t necessarily a symptom of a chronic illness so much as it is a side effect. For example, no longer being able to accomplish what you used to be able to do can be depressing. You may feel anxiety over how people will act around you due to your condition, or you may feel anxiety over making plans in advance out of fear of having to cancel. Not getting enough exercise or sleep can also result in depression and anxiety.
Many fibromyalgia patients find it difficult to sleep. For some, it is the pain that causes the insomnia. For others, it simply becomes difficult to maintain a good sleep schedule. If pain keeps you in bed during the day and fatigue leads to long afternoon naps, you may feel most awake just when you should be ready for bed. But lack of sleep can increase many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, so setting and maintaining a good sleep schedule is vital.
#8 Fibro Fog
Cognitive symptoms are often referred to as brain fog or fibro fog. These specific symptoms may include concentration problems, memory issues (especially short-term), difficulty with information retention, and a general feeling of being in a fog mentally.
#9 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
This is another condition related to fibromyalgia that a person may be diagnosed with along the way. It’s not necessarily a symptom of the fibromyalgia so much as a person predisposed to one of the conditions is likely predisposed to both. The abdominal cramping from IBS just adds to the feelings of chronic pain.
Natural Fibromyalgia Care in Lacey, Washington
If you or a loved one is suffering from the symptoms noted above, we’d like to introduce you to natural way that some are finding relief from fibromyalgia – upper cervical chiropractic. How is the uppermost part of the spine connected to fibromyalgia?
Researchers believe that many fibromyalgia symptoms are related to central sensitization. This is a condition that amps up pain in the body during an emergency situation. For example, if you touch something that burns you, the nervous system amps up the pain reaction so that you get away from the source of the heat faster. But imagine if this emergency response was constantly in place or if it could be triggered by everyday sights, sounds, and smells.
How does upper cervical chiropractic care help? The top bone in the spine, the atlas, is responsible for everything from facilitating blood flow to the brain to protecting the brainstem. Even a slight misalignment can lead to reduced blood flow or inhibited brainstem function. These are factors that may contribute to central sensitization and other underlying elements of fibromyalgia.
Case studies also show the benefits of upper cervical care. For example, a 32-year-old female patient saw complete resolution of her chronic fibromyalgia within four months, including a 90% reduction in pain within the first three months of care alone.
At True Alignment Chiropractic in Lacey, Washington, we use the NUCCA method of upper cervical chiropractic to precisely detect and gently correct atlas subluxations. If fibromyalgia symptoms are related to a past head or neck injury that led to the subluxation, the relief noted in the case study above may be possible. To learn more, call our office to schedule a no-obligation consultation.
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