Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
How Upper Cervical Care Relates to
Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Fibromyalgia pain is described as deep aching, radiating, gnawing, shooting or burning. The overwhelming characteristic of fibromyalgia is long-standing pain at defined tender points (myofascial trigger points).The initial patient profile of fibromyalgia syndrome includes a history of widespread pain of at least three months' duration, both above and below the waist and including both sides of the body.
Ninety percent of fibromyalgia sufferers also are afflicted with chronic fatigue syndrome. In addition to pain and fatigue, common symptoms include malaise, headaches, numbness and tingling, dizziness, sleep disturbance, swollen feeling in tissues, stiffness, sensitivity to noise and stress, and cognitive impairment.
While the exact cause of fibromyalgia syndrome is unknown, recent research has pinpointed traumatic neck injury (whiplash, concussion, etc.) as a risk factor for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue onset.1-14 Following the cervical spine injury, pain and fatigue symptoms can be triggered immediately or can take months or years to develop. The purpose of upper cervical chiropractic care is to reverse the trauma-induced upper neck injury; thereby reducing irritation to the nerves in the brain stem and spinal cord that can trigger pain, neuromuscular dysfunction, and fatigue.
While many fibromyalgia sufferers recall specific traumas such as head injuries, auto accidents or falls, some do not. An evaluation is necessary in each individual's case to assess whether an upper cervical injury is present and whether benefit from upper cervical care can be achieved.
Research Articles and Publications
- "Get Your Head On Straight" By Erin Elster, DC, Lahaina News, March 31, 2016
- "Does Trauma Cause Fibromyalgia?" by Erin Elster, DC, Lahaina News, July 23, 2015
- Buskila D, Neumann L. Musculoskeletal injury as a trigger for fibromyalgia/posttaumatic fibromyalgia. Curr Rheumatol Rep 2000 Apr; 2(2): 104-8.
- Gardner GC. Fibromyalgia following trauma: psychology or biology? Curr Rev Pain 2000; 4(4): 295-300.
- White KP, Ostbye T, Harth M. Perspectives on posttraumatic fibromyalgia: a random survey of Canadian general practitioners, orthopedists, physiatrists, and rheumatologists. J Rheumatol 2000 Mar; 27(3): 790-6.
- White KP, Carette S, Harth M. Trauma and fibromyalgia: is there an association and what does it mean? Semin Arthritis Rheum 2000 Feb; 29(4): 200-16.
- Fishbain DA, Rosomoff HL. Posttraumatic fibromyalgia at pain facilities versus rheumatologists' offices: a commentary. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 1998 Nov-Dec; 77 (6): 562.
- Aaron LA, Bradley LA, Alarcon GS. Perceived physical and emotional trauma as precipitating events in fibromyalgia. Associations with health care seeking and disability status but not pain severity. Arthritis Rheum 1997 Mar; 40(3): 453-60.
- Buskila D, Neumann L, Vaisberg G. Increased rates of fibromyalgia following cervical spine injury. A controlled study of 161 cases of traumatic injury. Arthritis Rheum 1997 Mar; 40(3): 446-52.
- Jenzer G. Clinical aspects and neurologic expert assessment in sequelae of whiplash injury to the cervical spine. Nervenarzt 1995 Oct; 66(10): 730-5.
- Waylonis GW, Perkins RH. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 1994 Nov-Dec; 73(6): 403-12.
- Romano TJ. Clinical experiences with post-traumatic fibromyalgia syndrome. W V Med J 1990 May; 86(5): 198-202.
- Saskin P, Moldofsky H, Lue FA. Sleep and posttraumatic rheumatic pain modulation disorder (fibrositis syndrome). Psychosom med 1986 May-Jun; 48(5): 319-23.
- Yunus MB. Primary fibromyalgia syndrome: current concepts. Compr Ther 1984 Aug; 10(8): 21-8.
- Weinberger LM. Traumatic fibromyositis: a critical review of an enigmatic concept. West J Med 1977 Aug; 127(2): 99-103.
- Salit IE. Precipitating factors for the chronic fatigue syndrome. J Psychiatr res 1997 Jan-Feb; 31(1): 59-65.