The brain stem, which can be compared to a telephone cable with thousands of individual wires or nerve fibers sending signals between the brain and the body, controls nearly all vital functions. Misalignments in the upper cervical spine (neck) can affect the function of the brain stem, which can be a critical factor in the development of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Trauma or compression of the upper neck can cause the same symptoms seen in fibromyalgia or patients with CFS. These symptoms may appear immediately after the injury or several years later.
Most FM patients suffer with chronic pain, stiffness and burning in the neck, shoulders, lower back and hips. Others experience depression, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, numbness, dizziness, headaches or sleeping disorders. Even minor exertion can aggravate the pain and increase fatigue.
Although the exact cause of fibromyalgia is not fully understood, numerous studies and clinical trials show that FM often develops after traumatic neck injuries. Nearly 70% of the fibromyalgia patients at Upper Cervical Health Centers of America could relate the start of their fibromyalgia symptoms to a specific injury to their neck. Car accidents, sports or on-the-job injuries, repetitive stress, falls, or even birth trauma can cause these injuries. Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Rosner, states that when the neck is hyper extended backward, the spinal canal narrows, impacting the spine and brain stem. This can occur in cases of whiplash in automobile accidents, extended dental work in which the head is bent back, or severe bouts of coughing. Even activities like painting a ceiling can cause injury to the neck that may lead to fibromyalgia.
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