The Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Fibromyalgia

Natural Fibromyalgia Treatment

Fibromyalgia is a complex diagnosis because there is more than one thing going on. Here are 10 things you need to know that can help! There is a safe, gentle and natural solution. Clear Chiropractic is an upper cervical specialist practice in Spokane, Washington that is a natural choice in healthcare without twisting, stretching or cracking.

Fibromyalgia is a functional neurological disorder. It is characterized by full-body pain, weakness, brain fog and chronic fatigue.

Fibromyalgia is also a diagnosis of exclusion. This means that the symptoms are 100% real – it is NOT all just in your head! – BUT that it does not show up on any MRI scan or blood test.

Let me repeat that: fibromyalgia is NOT all in your head.

Think of it like malware on your computer. The computer LOOKS just fine on the surface. However, it isn’t working right.

The reason with fibromyalgia, there is usually more than one thing going on. There is not one simple test or single treatment that fixes fibromyalgia. Instead, it is a matter of solving a puzzle, and each piece goes toward your ability to heal and feel better.

Moreover, people who experience fibromyalgia can experience similar symptoms, but the underlying cause is different. This is why having the right team of healthcare professionals is so important.

In this article, I want to share with you a few of the most important things that go toward healing from fibromyalgia.

Note: Because the combination is different in everyone, I will address these is ALPHABETICAL order rather than order of priority.

1. Craniocervical Disorder

The craniocervical junction is another term for your upper neck. The alignment, motion and stability of the C1 and C2 vertebrae in your neck have a profound impact on the health and function of your brain. They also have a powerful influence on brain circulation and the vagus nerve, which is essential for brain-body communication, inflammation and digestive health (more on that later).

A common finding among people who experience fibromyalgia is a history of concussion, neck or whiplash injury.

Here’s the kicker: symptoms do not immediately appear following the injury. So what happens? We forget about it and never get treatment!

As a result, the physical stress slowly accumulates over months, years or even decades like compounding interest. There inevitably comes a point where your body simply can’t accommodate for the stress any more, and that’s when the true nature of the problem finally reveals itself.

A craniocervical specialist is a unique type of chiropractor, who performs advanced diagnostic tests to identify the exact degree of misalignment to restore normal function of this critical area of the spine. Unlike general spinal manipulation, there is ZERO twisting, stretching or neck cracking.

2. Dysbiosis

Dysbiosis is an imbalance of the normal bacteria that line your digestive system. Only 43% of the cells in your entire body are actually human. The other 57% are comprised of bacteria on your skin and intestines that make up the first line of defense in your immune system.

When there is an imbalance of these bacteria, it can lead to overgrowth of mold, yeast, or even parasites in your digestive system. This constant battle essentially drains your immune system, disrupts your metabolism and drains your energy.

The health of your digestive system also has a profound impact on your brain health and can lead to brain fog, neurodevelopment problems as well as fibromyalgia.

A naturopathic doctor can help here. They often perform a series of blood and/or SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) tests to identify these types of problems and recommend a treatment strategy to restore the imbalance.

Note: If you feel your symptoms get WORSE if you ever take an antibiotic, odds are the problem is a mold exposure.


3. Genetics

An increasing body of research shows that people who are carriers of what is known as the “MTHFR” gene do not assimilate vitamins or nutrients unless they are in their natural form. The problem is that so many supplements and modern foods have been substituted into synthetic forms.

As a consequence, these people experience a slow drain of the building blocks that are necessary for healing and repair.

Not only chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, but people with the MTHFR gene are also more likely to experience hypermobility disorders such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Here again, a simple blood test with a naturopathic physician can help identify the problem so that you can be sure you are getting the right types of nutrients in your diet.


4. Infections

There are many types of bacterial, viral, parasitic and mold infections that can cause systemic health problems including fibromyalgia. Lyme disease, the Epstein-Barr virus (aka mononucleosis) and COVID-19 are just three examples. In these circumstances, the body may require very specific treatment protocols to assist your immune system with clearing these organisms.


5. Heavy Metal Exposure

Lead, industrial pollution and other forms of heavy metal exposures have an affinity for the thyroid, adrenal glands and central nervous system. In addition, dental amalgams and certain medicines contain mercury compounds that are highly neurotoxic and damage the glymphatic system (i.e., immune system of the brain).

When heavy metals damage neural tissue, it creates a pro-inflammatory state in the brain that can lead to a condition closely associated with fibromyalgia known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (which is swelling on the brain).   

The human body does not have innate mechanisms to cleanse itself from heavy metal exposures because these are forces that do not exist in nature.

Depending on the origin of heavy metal in your body, you may need to work with either a naturopath (are you seeing a recurring theme here?) or a holistic dentist who specializes with amalgam removal

Note: Do not have amalgams removed unless working with a holistic dentist, who prescribes a dietary detox protocol. Otherwise, the toxins can mobilize and make your symptoms much worse!


6. Leaky Gut

When we eat things that do not agree with us, it causes leakiness of the tight junctions in our digestive system. This leakiness causes things to get into our bloodstream that do not belong there. This process is associated with every type of auto-immune disorder known in healthcare.

Of particular interest, many people who experience fibromyalgia have antibodies against cerebellar tissue, which is an auto-immune response attacking the brain. This process is also closely associated with multiple sclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s dementia.

Allergy testing is a useful way to tell what you are sensitive toward. However, your body also gives you feedback when you ingest things that are not good for you. In short, if you feel bloated, congested, sapped of energy or more inflamed after eating something, it is not good for you.

Among the most common allergens are dairy, gluten, rice, corn, oats, potatoes, nuts, seeds, and grasses (though this list is not comprehensive by any stretch of the imagination).


7. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

There is a psychological component that contributes toward fibromyalgia. As you see, however, it is only ONE piece of a much bigger puzzle. Again, it is NOT all in your head.

One of the important things worth pointing out here is that it is not always a case of the severity of a traumatic event, but our perception of it that matters most. In this way, stress gets stored in our bodies like sort of holographic memory. The question, “Where does it get stuck?”

We have three levels of consciousness:

  • the cortex (which is language and logical thought)
  • the amygdala (which is emotion)
  • the medulla (which is vital life function)

As you see, only one of these areas uses words to express itself. In this way, many people who experience PTSD will not be able to heal from the trauma simply by talking about it. Instead, they have to feel their way through it.

Not only is cognitive psychology important, but so too are other forms of healing that work to release accumulated stress in the body: Network Spinal Analysis, Spinal Flow, Hypnotherapy, Tapping, Trauma Release Exercises and Eye Movement Desensitization and Rehabilitation (EMDR) therapy are all powerful forms of healing that can help.


8. Root Canals

Dead tissue in the body is never a good thing. A root canal is no exception to this rule. Root canals prime the body toward a pro-inflammatory state, disrupted physiology and can also set the stage for auto-immune conditions.

Although it is nice if we can save a tooth from extraction, if it is the difference between having  a root canal and then getting sick or having the tooth pulled, have the tooth pulled.


9. TMJ Disorder

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are fascinating structures that have a profound impact on cervical spine stability.

As we already addressed, your upper cervical spine affects brain circulation and function. However, there are times when the problem does not originate from your neck at all, but instead from your jaw. The reason is that your TMJ influences your spinal alignment. If so, you can indeed have a problem with your upper neck, but if there is a deeper problem coming from your TMJ, that would only treat the symptom: not the cause.

TMJ and craniocervical disorders often go hand-in-hand. If so, not only is it important to work with an upper cervical chiropractor, but also a neuromuscular dentist.


10. Vagus Nerve Dysfunction

The vagus nerve connects your brain to all your vital life organs: heart, lungs, thyroid, adrenals and digestive system to name just a few.

The vagus nerve also regulates inflammation in your brain. Of interest, the vagus nerve exits your skull between the back of your TMJ and your upper neck (C1 and C2). Therefore, misalignments of either of these structures can impair the function of the vagus nerve, sympathetic nerves (which regulate blood flow in the brain), as well as the internal jugular veins. It is a condition known as Eagle’s Syndrome.

Depending on the original of the condition, this can be helped with upper cervical chiropractic, neuromuscular dentistry or physical therapy that focuses on vagus nerve therapy.


Closing Thoughts on Fibromyalgia

As you see in this article, there are a LOT of factors at play that can influence and produce fibromyalgia. Again, it is not a discrete diagnosis, but a syndrome that often occurs when there is an imbalance affecting multiple systems.

This is the very reason why it is so hard to get an accurate diagnosis for fibromyalgia: it is because it is very seldom ever just one thing causing it.

As you can also appreciate, getting the right treatment can be a very extensive, time consuming and expensive process. I wish I could tell you it was quick, easy and inexpensive, but the truth is it is not.

Nevertheless, I hope that by taking the time to explain the processes of what can produce fibromyalgia, it gives you hope that there IS a way out of this maze that you have found yourself trapped in.

Remember this: your body never forgets how to heal itself. It sometimes needs just that little bit of help to clear whatever is interfering with that process.

If you are looking for help with fibromyalgia and a chiropractor in Spokane, visit our home page more information. To schedule a new patient appointment with our Mead (north Spokane) or South Hill offices, complete a new patient request form here or call us direct at 509-315-8166.