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Regaining Clarity from Fibromyalgia-Related Brain Fog

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."

Fibromyalgia – What Are the Symptoms and How Common Is It?

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Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that affects the entire body. It is now recognized that, rather than being a musculoskeletal condition, fibromyalgia is connected to the function of the central nervous system as well as some vascular factors. What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia? How prevalent is the occurrence of this condition in the US? Read on to learn more.

What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

If you were to ask a person what he or she thought the symptoms of fibromyalgia are, most people could only come up with pain. However, fibromyalgia is so much more than just a chronic pain condition. Consider the following list of other symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cognitive difficulties (i.e. concentration and memory)
  • Headaches or migraines
  • IBS
  • Stiffness in the morning
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet and hands

While some fibromyalgia patients may only experience some of the symptoms note above along with their pain, any or all of these symptoms may be experienced at some time.

How Many People Have Fibromyalgia?

According to the CDC website, fibromyalgia affects about 5 million people in the US. However, that information is admittedly outdated as being from 2005. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, 10 million people are estimated to be dealing with fibromyalgia in the US. Both sites note that the number of women with fibromyalgia outnumbers men by about 7 to 1. However, it has been suggested by researchers that men may just be less likely to be willing to go through the many doctor’s visits and tests to a get a diagnosis that requires eliminating the possibility of many other conditions first. As a result, many men may simply be diagnosed with several symptomatic conditions like IBS and depression. 

Natural Relief from the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

n many cases, the onset of fibromyalgia follows head or neck trauma. This makes sense because such a trauma can cause an upper cervical misalignment. This, in turn, can affect the way the body processes pain. How? Pressure placed on the brainstem may disrupt the proper sending and receiving of pain signals between the brain and body. Additionally, inhibited vertebral blood flow can result in certain parts of the brain getting too much or too little blood (both are factors noted in fibromyalgia patients by researchers). 


To learn more, schedule an appointment for a consultation today. A gentle adjustment to correct an upper cervical misalignment may be the first step on the road to less fibromyalgia pain.