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.