Relieving Fibromyalgia Through Exercise and Proper Spinal Care
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic disorder that is associated with widespread pain in the bones and muscles, general fatigue, and spots of tenderness on the body. The types of symptoms that go with fibromyalgia are referred to as subjective because they cannot be confirmed by medical testing, causing FM to often be misdiagnosed as another condition.
Some medical doctors question whether fibromyalgia is even a real condition. Thankfully, for anyone suffering from it, it is becoming more widely accepted among those in the medical field. Researchers are getting ever closer to understanding FM and this helps in the struggle to get it recognized as a real illness. This also is leading to more and more research in order to find a way to care for this painful condition.
The Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
When people think of fibromyalgia, they often think of tender spots or trigger points on the body. These are areas of your body where even the lightest touch can lead to pain. In the past, these points were used to diagnose FM; however, that is not the case today. Because the pain of fibromyalgia can fluctuate, you may not feel as much pain on the day you visit your doctor for a diagnosis as you did the day before when you made your appointment. This can lead to a misdiagnosis and not getting the proper care. The tender points are helpful to your doctor in determining the cause of fibromyalgia. The pain caused by these trigger points is described as a constant dull ache. If you have had pain for over 3 months, your doctor will consider it a symptom of fibromyalgia. Common spots for trigger points are:
- Tops of the shoulders
- Back of the head
- Upper chest
- Outer elbows
Other symptoms include:
- Extreme exhaustion
- Abnormal headaches or migraines
- Problems sleeping
- Sleeping more than usual without feeling rested
- Dull aching or pain in the lower stomach area
- Problems focusing or paying attention
These symptoms can be a result of the brain and nerves overreacting to normal pain signals.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
The exact cause of fibromyalgia remains a mystery among medical doctors and researchers. Due to many years of research, some of the factors that play into the onset of fibromyalgia have been discovered. These include:
- Infections: It is possible that illness can be a trigger for fibromyalgia or make the condition worse.
- Trauma: Physical or emotional trauma can bring about fibromyalgia. FM has also been connected to PTSD.
- Stress: Similar to trauma, stress can cause long-reaching effects in your body. Stress has also been linked to hormonal imbalances that contribute to fibromyalgia.
- Genetics: FM is often seen in families. If you have a family member with fibromyalgia, your risk of developing it increases. According to researchers, this may have to do with particular genetic mutations. They are unable to identify these genes thus far.
Doctors are really at a loss when it comes to explaining why widespread pain is happening with people that have FM. Theories suggest that the brain is lowering the pain threshold for some reason. What caused no pain in the past is now very painful. Another theory blames the nerves and receptors in the body as being more sensitive to stimulation, causing them to overreact to pain signals and cause exaggerated or needless pain.
Finding Ways to Cope with the Pain of Fibromyalgia
Some new information has recently come to light in regards to fibromyalgia. The European League Against Rheumatism has released new suggestions on coping with fibromyalgia through exercise. Some may find this strange as it may seem like exercising while in pain can actually do more damage, but it’s not the case.
First of all, it is important to note that these researchers are not recommending you go out and run a 5K or begin lifting weights at the gym after a rigorous workout. This would not be safe or beneficial. Rather, low impact exercise is being recommended. It is known that a sedentary lifestyle is actually a contributing factor to pain and can increase the discomfort associated with fibromyalgia. In fact, not getting enough exercise can lead to weight gain and may explain why so many patients with FM have cardiac issues as well.
What kind of exercise are we talking about? Here are some suggestions:
- Walking: If you walk every day, you will see a great benefit to your overall health.
- Swimming: When you exercise in the water, it absorbs most of the impact and provides resistance.
- Stretching: Pilates is a great place to begin and helps you gain better range of motion and core strength. This can also contribute to the reduction of stress.
Another great place to ease the pain of fibromyalgia is at your local upper cervical chiropractor’s office. Here at Perkins Family Wellness and Spinal Care in Farmington, Michigan, we use a very gentle method that does not cause you any further pain and helps to realign the bones of the neck. We do not have to pop the neck or crack the spine to get the bones to move back into place. Rather, we adjust them more naturally, resulting in a longer-lasting adjustment. This is good for you because it eventually leads to fewer visits to our office. Many of our own patients and those in case studies have seen great improvement in their fibromyalgia symptoms after just a few adjustments.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Perkins call 248-478-6203 or just click the button below area
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.