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8 Fibromyalgia Facts You Should Know By Now

Let's be honest; getting diagnosed with fibromyalgia is not fun. People living with this condition constantly experience widespread pain that can last for months and perceive pain more than those who don't. According to the CDC, fibromyalgia affects about 2% of the adult population in the US; that's about 4 million adults. Although this condition's root cause remains a mystery, you can still manage the symptoms and flare-ups by seeking fibromyalgia relief in Norton Shores and knowing as much as you can about the condition. We've rounded up eight essential fibromyalgia facts to help you create a better patient care plan.

#1. The leading cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown

Researchers have yet to uncover why fibromyalgia develops. However, some studies manage to identify a few contributing factors. These include the following:

Presence of other diseases 

Several diseases and disorders increase one's risk for fibromyalgia. Some examples of these include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and infections. 


Whether emotional or physical abuse, young patients who experience abuse are more likely to have the condition when they become adults. This is because a history of abuse (regardless of the form) can change how people perceive and handle pain and stress. Studies also found that abuse can impact neural pathways in the brain.


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common in people who experience devastating life events. These appear to trigger the onset of fibromyalgia in some people.

Mood disorders

Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression have been linked to fibromyalgia, though more research is needed to prove that these disorders cause the condition.

Physical inactivity

It is common for people with fibromyalgia not to be physically active even before being diagnosed. Sadly, this increases the risk of experiencing worse flare-ups. Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle increases a patient’s susceptibility to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

#2. 75% to 90% of fibromyalgia patients are women

While fibromyalgia can affect a broad spectrum of individuals, it often occurs more in women than men. The current ratio of women to men suffering from this condition is 9:1. Studies attribute this trend to the hormonal changes and increased stress due to menstruations, menopause, or pregnancy. Women also experience more fatigue, widespread pain, and more debilitating symptoms compared to their male counterparts. 

#3. Your genetic make-up may be a contributing factor to your fibromyalgia

Genetics plays a small part in the development of fibromyalgia. This means you can potentially develop the condition if your parents have the gene that makes the nerves and brain more sensitive to pain. Your genes can also influence anxiety and depression, causing you to suffer more than the average patient.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and fibromyalgia, download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.

#4. Patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia can still exercise

Most people think physical activity can worsen fibromyalgia pain. In truth, exercise and other low-impact movements can help patients cope better with the pain and other symptoms. Additionally, regular gentle exercises can improve sleep quality, manage mood swings, and promote speedy healing of the body. 

However, you have to ease into a new routine when trying new exercises. Take it slowly and carefully, and avoid overworking your muscles and joints. A 5-minute walk is a good starting point, and then you can gradually build up to 30 minutes of daily movement. Yoga, meditation, gentle stretching routines, swimming, or pedaling on a stationary bike are also some fibromyalgia-friendly activities you can explore.

#5. Patients with fibromyalgia can show gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms

Studies note that between 40% and 70% of fibromyalgia patients experience gastrointestinal symptoms like:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Digestive disorders like GERD (gastrointestinal esophageal reflux disease) and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) are also common among patients with fibromyalgia.

#6. Fibromyalgia and migraine can coexist

As if the widespread body pain is not enough, migraine-related headaches can also happen to fibromyalgia patients. Headaches are one common symptom of fibromyalgia. It is not new to have fibromyalgia patients suffer from migraine and vice versa—almost 70% of people with fibromyalgia experience tension-type headaches or persistent headaches migraines. Upper cervical care can provide migraine and fibromyalgia relief in Norton Shores.

#7. Fibromyalgia has many different triggers

Many factors cause a flare-up of your fibromyalgia. However, it's worth noting that triggers and causes are different, and while these factors can trigger a fibromyalgia attack, they are by no means the cause.

  • Routine change
  • Poor diet
  • Fluctuation of hormone levels
  • Lack of sleep
  • Changes in Circadian rhythm 
  • Stress
  • Treatment changes.
  • Weather or temperature changes.

#8. A dysfunction in your nervous system can lead to fibromyalgia pain

Your brainstem facilitates a lot of the body's vital functions. Also, it acts as a "switchboard" for different signals transmitted between the brain and the body, including pain signals. When signal transmissions get disrupted, your brain struggles to restore balance and process information. Additionally, this might increase the transmission of pain signals which can potentially lead to chronic problems such as central sensitization (oversensitive state of the central nervous system).

This means that fibromyalgia patients' brain perceives slight pain as an excruciating one. A possible cause of this miscommunication is the misalignment of the upper cervical bone - the atlas and axis vertebra. When a misalignment in this area occurs, your central nervous system dysfunctions due to irritation and distortion of the transmission of standard signals and information from the brainstem.

Upper cervical chiropractic care can help return the central nervous system to its optimal function by focusing mainly on the critical regions that are the most essential: the brainstem and the vertebra that protects it. This is also one of the most sought-after sources of fibromyalgia relief in Norton Shores.


Fibromyalgia Relief in Norton Shores that works

Zehr Chiropractic is an established upper cervical chiropractic center in North Shores. We specialize in Atlas Orthogonal, which helps different medical conditions, including fibromyalgia. The topmost upper cervical bone, called the atlas, is essential in the brainstem function. If it is even slightly misaligned, your nervous system may send distorted signals, leading to the development of different health conditions.

If you are searching for natural fibromyalgia relief, you are in good hands with Dr. Jeffrey L. Zehr and Dr. Jared Plemon. They are proficient in identifying and correcting misalignments contributing to your fibromyalgia flare-ups and providing gentle neck bone adjustments using the Atlas Orthogonal technique.

You might be one call away from fibromyalgia relief in Norton Shores! Book your appointment at Zehr Chiropractic by calling (231) 780-9900 or booking online.

To schedule a complimentary Atlas Orthogonal consultation, call 231-227-4495 or just click the button below.

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