According to the National Institute of Health, 1/9 people suffer from chronic pain in the United States. Chances are that you or someone you know suffers from pain that lasts more than three months, otherwise known by the generic term “chronic pain.” One of the more debilitating of these conditions is fibromyalgia. It is estimated that 10 million people have suffered from fibromyalgia, which affects women more than men. Most Fibromyalgia patients suffer with chronic pain, stiffness and burning in the neck, shoulders, lower back and hips. Others experience depression, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, numbness, dizziness, headaches or sleeping disorders. Even minor exertion can aggravate the pain and increase fatigue for those diagnosed with this condition. Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia don’t have the same zest for life considering how much pain they feel day in and day out.
Before fibromyalgia was termed and acknowledged by the medical establishment as an actual medical condition, many patients were told “it must just be in your head.” Can you imagine how frustrating and devastating that would be to hear? Unfortunately, for those suffering the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia, the pain was all too real, even if the condition itself was poorly understood. Denial of the seriousness of fibromyalgia was once commonplace, as this testimonial from Mrs. K, one of our patients, before starting Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care , shows:
I had spent two years living in constant pain, all over my body, no rhyme or reason, no injuries, no known cause– day and night. I would hurt when I was sitting, when I was laying, when I was standing. It hurt to raise my arms and wash my hair…I could go on and on. It was all I could do to make it through a day of work and home to the couch. Also, my memory seemed muddled. I had gone to two different doctors with two rounds of blood work and testing. They ruled out things like insufficient vitamin D arthritis and also more intense things like multiple sclerosis, ALS. I even had a nerve conduction study which showed no nerve damage. With no answers the doctor said it might be fibromyalgia and the doctor said to take Aleve if it works. I really felt helpless and too young – 50 – to feel like this.
Millions of people have a similar story. So what exactly causes fibromyalgia and how did we come to know more about this disorder?
The term fibromyalgia is relatively new, dating back to 1976. Before that it was often just lumped into a wider group of chronic pain conditions and referred to as rheumatism. Today, many in the medical field do not know the cause of fibromyalgia but many use the term “over active nerves.” Although it is still unclear why, people suffering from fibromyalgia can have an increase in chemical brain activity or neuro-transmitters that affect how the body responds to its environment. If the nervous system is over active, even the most subtle movement or stress can trigger a widespread pain response in the body. That is why some people can experience relief from improved exercise, diet, and stress management relief. It helps calm the threshold for pain, or manage the condition to be more tolerable.
Another option for some is medication. However, these medications merely attempt to mask the pain and not do address the true cause. Additionally, most of these medications have side effects like dizziness, weight gain, nausea, swelling, and increase sleepiness. A very common finding with patients with fibromyalgia is that there has been some history of trauma in their lives. For example, they may have had a motor vehicle accident, fall, sports injury, or concussion. That’s where Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care comes in.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care is a rapidly growing form of chiropractic treatment that focuses on the intimate relationship between the first two bones in the neck, called the Upper Cervical spine, and a vital portion of the nervous system, known as the brain stem. Think of the brain stem as a control center that extends down an opening in the base of your skull, making it vulnerable to injuries or irritation around the neck. The brain stem works like a telephone cable with thousands of individual wires or nerve fibers sending signal back and forth between the brain and spinal cord to every cell, organ, system, and region in the body. Every nerve impulse between the brain and body must pass through the brain stem.
The top two vertebrae, Atlas and Axis, are especially vulnerable to injury or misalignment because they are the most mobile segments of the spine. A misalignment here can produce nerve irritation to the brain stem which in turn, can affect nearly all vital functions and systems in the body. Upper Cervical misalignments can be caused by falls, auto accidents, sports injuries, concussions, physical or emotional stress, poor posture or even birth trauma.
You may have experienced Chiropractic care before in the past, however, Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care is much different. Our doctors go through extra training to develop expertise in evaluating the top two bones in the spine that protect the brain stem. Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care does not use any sort of manipulation, twisting, or popping. We take detailed 3-Dimensional CBCT Scans and X-Rays to know how to properly align the Upper Cervical Spine with as little force as possible. Our goal is for you to hold your correction as long as possible. We always say holding is healing, so if you are constantly needing to be adjusted, you are not healing as well as you could.
We see many fibromyalgia patients in our office that have seen an incredible improvement in their symptoms under Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care. That is because we are not trying to mask your symptoms with medication. With the help of our dedicated team, we can get to the true cause of your condition by taking the irritation off your nervous system that can over stimulate your nerves and lead to fibromyalgia symptoms. Remember Mrs. K? Here is how her life has changed since discovering Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care:
At my first visit, my x-ray showed the top two bones in my neck were not aligned properly –and when thousands of nerve fibers go through those bones and they were misaligned it was no wonder I had pain all over. After approximately 12 weeks of care I finally had relief –the aches and pains subsided! I’m now on a ‘maintenance’ plan with my care… And I am amazed at how good I feel after having felt so bad! No more constant pain and no more around-the-clock pain reliever! I would 100% +++ recommend Upper Cervical Health Center of America in Glen Carbon to anyone who is living with pain and wants relief!
If you or someone you know is suffering from fibromyalgia, and you are looking for a better answer with almost no negative side effects, give Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care a try. It could change your life!
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