A Summary on Fibromyalgia and How to Get Relief
Fibromyalgia (FM) still remains a great mystery for researchers and physicians alike. There has been a great challenge coming to any conclusions regarding the direct cause of this condition. Not only that, but it has historically been very difficult to diagnose, despite a new blood test that could possibly assist with this issue. One theory regarding the cause of fibromyalgia is an over-stimulation of the nervous system reacting to a trauma of some kind. When you have fibromyalgia, the neurotransmitters that flow between the body and brain get interrupted, leading to pain and muscle spasms.
Fibromyalgia sufferers usually cannot get deep sleep, which prevents normal levels of serotonin from being developed. This growth hormone is usually produced while a person is sleeping. The outcome of decreased serotonin levels is that the body loses the ability to heal itself, and it may include fatigue and depression.
While the exact reason for fibromyalgia remains uncertain, a few studies show a connection with a decrease in the hormones that control thyroid regulation. Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol can be affected by certain lifestyle choices we make, like poor diet, certain medications, and lack of physical exercise. Every one of these contributing factors has the central nervous system in common.
The Connection Between Fibromyalgia and the Central Nervous System
The central nervous system is in charge of controlling all the other systems in the body. If any level of malfunctioning occurs, the negative effects are found throughout the body. This can hinder the endocrine system and the immune system. If you have fibromyalgia, it is a good idea to do all that you can to ensure that your central nervous system is performing optimally.
The nervous system is composed of several parts:
- The central nervous system: Consisting of the brain, brainstem, and spine, this system is the main control center for the body.
- The peripheral nervous system: This connects the central nervous system to our organs and tissues.
- The autonomic nervous system: This includes the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) and the parasympathetic system (responsible for slowing down the heart rate and muscles to conserve energy).
Fibromyalgia is closely connected to the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. It has been found that in patients with FM, the parasympathetic system functions at a very low level, leading to their being in a constant state of flight or fight. Therefore, they tend to have an increased heart rate whether standing and lying down. It has been noted that women appear to be more sensitive to this than men.
Alterations that occur in the nervous system due to fibromyalgia, like being unable to sleep and hyperactivity, can result in the following:
- Pins and needles feeling
- IBS – irritable bowel syndrome
- Panic disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD
- Joint tenderness
- TMJ – pain of the jaw
- Tenderness in various muscle groups including the neck and shoulders
Recommended Options for Relieving the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- Visualization: Imagining your pain as a positive quality that is able to be controlled can help you feel less overwhelmed and more able to rise above the pain.
- Massage: Applying massage oils infused with herbs can encourage the nervous system to relax as heat and friction stimulate circulation and help release chemical impurities in the body.
- Eat a healthy diet: This helps keep the nervous system in balance and can lower sensitivity to pain. Try to avoid the foods listed below:
- Fried foods
- White sugar
- White flour
- Relaxation therapy: Including daily stretching and practicing relaxation methods can help calm FM.
Correcting Spinal Misalignments Help Reduce Fibromyalgia
A 32-year-old woman was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and suffered from extreme exhaustion, depression, and pain. She experienced a rapid drop in her health as well as her energy. After suffering for 2 years, she began receiving care from an upper cervical chiropractor. They provided her with a thorough examination and looked closely at her patient history. They determined that she had a misalignment in the C1 (atlas) vertebra. After 6 months of periodic adjustments to correct this problem, she reported a complete remission of her fibromyalgia symptoms.
How is it possible that a misalignment in the bones of the upper neck could be connected to fibromyalgia? Based on the information mentioned above, the central nervous system includes the brainstem and the spine. The atlas and axis bones – the top bones of the neck – actually house and protect the delicate brainstem from damage. Unfortunately, the vertebrae are susceptible to misalignment due to their ability to move in a wide range of motion. This means that it takes only a minor blow to the head or neck or an accident that overextends the neck muscles (such as whiplash) to cause these bones to misalign. When this happens and the bones shift put of place, it puts stress on the brainstem, which in turn affects the communication between the brain and the body, hindering the sending of important signals about how much pain is felt in the body. This can result in a number of symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. However, there is hope! This kind of misalignment can easily be fixed by a professional who specializes in the way that the spine and brainstem work together.
Upper cervical chiropractors are trained in identifying these misalignments by doing a series of specific measurements and imaging. Then we use a very gentle method that is precise and effective at helping the spine or neck to realign the bones. This technique allows the bones return to their place more naturally, initiating the body’s process of healing and repairing itself from the damage done by the misalignment. In many cases that we see with our patients, this is all that is necessary to experience improvements and even an entire resolution of fibromyalgia.
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.