Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 5 million people aged 18 or older in the U.S., and 90% of sufferers are women. The condition is known for causing exhaustion and chronic muscle pain, numbness in hands and feet, stiffness and burning in the neck area, headaches, painful menstruation, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, anxiety and depression, sleeping disorders, and problems with thinking and remembering. It often involves tender points on the body as well.
The medical community has not determined what causes fibromyalgia, nor have they truly been able to successfully treat the condition. Instead, they tend to prescribe a host of different pharmaceuticals aimed at simply masking the symptoms. Interestingly, a study published in the Journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience showed that patients with fibromyalgia have an increased frequency of rhythmic brain waves in areas that are connected to pain sensors. This shows that the condition is most likely brain/nerve based.
The brain stem, which controls and coordinates virtually all the vital functions in our body, is housed within the top two bones in your neck. This is where the nerve fibers send signals between the brain and the body, controlling nearly all of your vital functions. When your upper cervical spine becomes misaligned, it can affect the function of the brain stem, and in turn the nervous system as a whole. Numerous studies and clinical trials have shown that fibromyalgia often develops after traumatic neck injuries such as whiplash due to car accidents, on-the-job injuries, sports injuries, repetitive stress injuries or falls. In fact, nearly 70% of fibromyalgia patients could relate the start of their symptoms to a specific neck injury. When your upper neck is injured, pain processing and other vital body communications are affected. And one thing researchers agree on is that the pain of fibromyalgia is linked to the way a person’s nervous system processes pain signals. If the signals coming through the brainstem are changed to tell the brain there is pain when there is no pain, fibromyalgia can be the end result.
At Upper Cervical Chiropractic Center of Glen Carbon, we use a very gentle method, with no twisting or popping, to help realign the top two bones in the upper neck area. This often leads to a decrease in fibromyalgia symptoms.
Donna is one of our typical fibromyalgia patients. Her symptoms began about 3 months after an auto accident and had been unrelenting for nearly 15 years. She had been to numerous specialists, taken countless medications and gotten minimal relief. In fact, Donna had filed for disability because she wasn’t able to continue working due to the pain and chronic fatigue. A friend who had also suffered with fibromyalgia referred her to our office. Her initial exam revealed a severe misalignment in the top bone in her spine, called the Atlas. That misalignment was putting pressure on the brain stem and decreasing the communication between her brain and body. Once the problem was corrected, she began to have less pain and more energy. Today, she is essentially pain free and has been able to return to work and enjoy the outdoors with her family.
A free, non-invasive upper cervical examination could determine whether or not this correction is the answer to alleviate your fibromyalgia pain symptoms. Call today for your free consultation at with Drs. Thad and Nikki Vuagniaux at Upper Cervical Care, Glen Carbon IL, 618-692-6992.