Chronic pain is often the first thing associated with fibromyalgia, but there are many other facets to this condition that affect people. Fibromyalgia sufferers also experience cognitive changes, such as difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, trouble finding words, and poor short-term memory. These cognitive difficulties are sometimes referred to as "brain fog" or "fibro fog" and can be extremely frustrating to cope with.
Fighting the fog can start with some simple lifestyle changes:
- Establish routines for day-to-day tasks. Doing things like putting your keys in the same spot each time you get home or setting reminders for phone calls or meetings can help with clarity.
- Declutter your space. It's difficult for anyone to focus when you're surrounded by too much stuff. Try to remove distractions around your home and/or office.
- Get regular exercise. Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or cycling can improve blood flow and reduce some of the cognitive effects of fibromyalgia.
- Clean up your sleep habits. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day (even on days off) can improve sleep quality.
Getting to the Cause of the Brain Fog
Although much still remains to be understood about the condition of fibromyalgia, one thing researchers tend to agree upon is that there are changes that occur in the way the brain processes signals relating to pain. These signals can be distorted due to a misalignment of the C1 (atlas) or C2 (axis) vertebra. This area of the spine is known as the upper cervical area and plays an integral role in ensuring the normal transmission of brain-body signals.
Upper cervical chiropractic is a branch of chiropractic care that focuses specifically on this area of the spine since it is known to cause dramatic health problems when compromised. In the case of fibromyalgia, the ability to restore normal signals between the brain and body can mean not only a decrease in pain sensitivity but also a reduction in the cognitive deficits known as "fibro fog."