Hi, I'm Dr. Ray Drury with The Upper Cervical Spine Center, and of all the conditions diagnosed on the planet, one of the most confusing and misunderstood is Fibromyalgia, primarily because there's such a wide range of symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia. How do they diagnosis this? Well sometimes it's a number of sore spots or trigger points and some, I've heard as few as five, as many as 17 sore places that people push on. Ultimately the symptoms of Fibromyalgia are typically body pains consistently over time. I see people with neck, torso, neck, upper back, lower back, but sometimes people have extremity pain in the arms and legs. Oftentimes, they get headaches. Most of them have a problem sleeping, which is a big part of Fibromyalgia. They don't get into a deep sleep, so the body never fully recovers, so they're constantly wearing muscles down, which makes them get weaker and ache more and create more soreness. A lot of times people will have reflux, heartburn, and a lot of times they have lower digestive problems, whether it's constipation, diarrhea, or irritable bowel.
We see a lot of people with anxiety and depression. And I don't know if it's the direct cause that creates depression and anxiety or if it's because they feel bad for so long that they become depressed about it. I do know that taking antidepressants has been known to give a little bit of relief, but of course, it doesn't fix anything, just temporarily masks it.
So the medical approach primarily is medication. There are no surgeries that I've heard of for Fibromyalgia. The only medicine has to weapons, drugs and surgery. So the medications, like Lyrica for example, seem to create a wide range of symptoms. A lot of them actually even have the same symptoms that Fibromyalgia itself causes. So it's an anti convulsant, Lyrica. And so you're given a drug to treat seizures for patients with Fibromyalgia. And I know one of the major side effects is brain fog, or they call it the Fibro Fog. So that's an increase in what normal patients would have. And then also sleeplessness, meaning the inability to get into a deep sleep, which actually kind of brings on the Fibromyalgia and can make it act worse and worse and worse.
So I know that depression and anxiety is a frequent side effect. Muscle aches, confusion, digestive disorders. So, there's a lot of the, sometimes the medication itself adds fuel to the fire, right? So I do know this, that Fibromyalgia does not come from a drug deficiency. So taking medications will never ever remove it, get rid of it, fix it. It temporarily masks the symptoms, if that. Sometimes, making them worse, but sometimes it can reduce the symptoms, and take the edge off.
So where does Fibromyalgia actually come from? Well, it actually, from my experience, seeing thousands of Fibromyalgia patients, it actually comes from an old trauma, an old trauma that was introduced into the body may be years, maybe decades ago, that created a misalignment in the neck, specifically the area of the brainstem, that is now wreaking havoc on the body. So what happens is one of the top bones of the neck gets out of line to the point where two things result. One, it can close down on the nervous system, specifically at the top of the neck is the brainstem. So what that does is it affects the communication between the brain and the rest of the body. So if it affects the communication to the arms, the legs, the stomach, and if it doesn't get the full communication from the brain and tell them what to do, then it doesn't work the way it's intended. What does that mean? Well, it means symptom starts to develop.
Also, very important is when the bones move, it actually takes the head with it. The brain sits in here, right? And the brain is designed to be level always. There's something called the Righting Reflex. It's all about making sure the brain's always balanced. So if one of these bones got even a little bit out of position, takes the head a little bit off, the brain doesn't like it. So the brain will send messages down, forcing the body to compensate to level the brain. So, it will drop down one shoulder, lift one hip. Most people will find if they laid on a bed and you had your feet hanging off and you have somebody check it, that one leg would be a little shorter than the other if you have a misalignment in the neck.
Now at that brainstem level, the top two bones, the brainstem comes through there. In the heart of the brainstem resides the sleep center. The sleep center is responsible for shutting the brain down from back to front through all four stages of sleep to get you into that deep sleep, recovery stage sleep. And what we have found is most of our Fibromyalgia patients are not doing that. They're not getting into a deep sleep, so the body never fully recovers. It's like going to the gym and doing the same exercise every single day and never giving that muscle long enough time to recover. That's what you're doing to your body because you're constantly fighting gravity: postural muscles are moving and shifting. Those muscles still have to be able to recover, and if they never recover, they keep wearing down and keep getting sore and hurting more and more.
So if we can find a problem, the actual cause up in the upper neck and correct that, all three things happen. The sleep center starts to work without interference, so your body starts to get into a deeper sleep. The compensations work their way out, so the body starts to become more balanced and they don't have the tensions within them, so the muscles can relax, and the communication between the brain and the body starts to normalize, so your body works the way it's intended to.
Now, if you have Fibromyalgia, you've been through all of this, right? So what could have created the initial misalignment? As I said, it's always a trauma. Now, what makes it worse? Stress: chemical stress, visible stress, and emotional stress. All three of those can make the misalignment worse and create more problems. Right? And you've probably noticed if you have Fibromyalgia, there are things that make it worse. Stress always makes it worse. Sometimes just as little as a change in the environment, the change in the temperature, the change in the pressure of the weather can actually make you feel worse, like on a cold, rainy day. And then emotional stress can really wreak havoc on you. And then of course if you have any other additional slips, falls, bumps to the head, they always seem to push it down or push it up to the next level.
So if you have Fibromyalgia, first of all, I'm sorry. But second of all, there is hope. We have helped a lot of people. Upper Cervical Chiropractic has been very successful in helping people with Fibromyalgia. So find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you. If you live in the Charlotte area, Belmont, Gastonia, Fort Mill, Rock Hill, Pineville, Matthews, we are the Upper Cervical Doctor for you. Give our office a call at (704) 588-5560. We never charge for the initial consultation to see what your needs are. If we can help you, and if we find you do have a misalignment at the top of the neck causing your Fibromyalgia, we'll explain to you what we need to do to fix it. If you do not, then we will find another specialist that we believe can help you.
If you don't live in the Charlotte area, then Google “Upper Cervical Chiropractor Near Me”, and see what you can come up with. If you're having a hard time, call our office at (704) 588-5560, and we'll be happy to find the closest doctor near you. I hope this video helps you. I hope it gives you some answers for what you've been searching for with your Fibromyalgia, and if there's anything else we can do for you, let us know. I hope you have a great day.