Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain throughout the body. It has to do with something called central sensitization, a condition of the nervous system that develops and maintains chronic pain when there is little or no actual pain. Here are a number of theories, all backed by supporting arguments, as to why fibromyalgia happens:
Genetics: This does not suggest that parents pass fibromyalgia on to their children, but that it seems to exist in family groups. DNA studies reveal that several genes do play a role in the development of a person’s central nervous system and add to the possibility of fibromyalgia in the future.
Pathophysiology: This includes central sensitization, but also a few more things such as:
- Cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities: Elevated substance P
- Dopamine dysfunction: Abnormal dopamine transmission
- Serotonin metabolism: This neurotransmitter regulates sleep, and if decreased, sleep patterns can be distorted.
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- Poly-modal-sensitivity & neuroendocrine disruption: Abnormal hormone levels, particularly growth hormones, can lead to longer healing time of muscle trauma
- Sympathetic hyperactivity: If the sympathetic nervous system is hyperactive, fibromyalgia can be an end result
Lifestyle: Choices made in life can induce or exacerbate fibromyalgia. For example smoking, lack of exercise, stress, obesity, depression, and other unhealthy habits can lead to fibromyalgia. In addition, certain illnesses can cause it.
What’s the Common Link to Fibromyalgia?
No matter what the cause may be in developing fibromyalgia, the intensity of this condition may be decreased by properly caring for the upper cervical spine. It has been seen in numerous fibromyalgia patients that they often have a misalignment in either the C1 or C2 vertebra.
I examine my patients for a misalignment, and if discovered, we work together to develop a treatment plan to correct it. This involves a gentle adjustment to the neck area without popping or twisting the spine into place. Rather, the adjustment given allows the body’s natural healing properties to engage and begin to heal the damage done from the misaligned bones. This may help alleviate some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
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