Let me start by saying that I am an ICU nurse, though I have put my license on hold for now in order to stay home with my kids. My background in
medicine leads me to be extremely skeptical of any "miracle cure" offered by alternative medicine. I know there are many on here who swear by
alt.cures, but I prefer the old tried and true meds, yes from big pharma, that have been tested and proven to work. That said, I don't wish to
argue my nonacceptance of alternative med in this thread, but just relay what I honestly believe to be the cause of Fibromyalgia, which I have
suffered with for the last 12 years. I only mention my views on the subject to let others who are like me know that I am not one to easily accept non
traditional views in medicine.
Here is my story:
After being diagnosed with FM, I have spent countless hours searching for a cause behind this beast of an ailment that had robbed me of my livelihood.
By the time I was diagnosed I was suffering almost all the lovely little things that folks with fibro live with every day. I had the widespread pain
in my neck, shoulders, and hips, as well as ocular migraines, numbness in my arms and legs, fibro fog, extreme fatigue, IBS, TMJ, etc etc. It is not
a fun thing to live with. My doctor sent me to a neurologist who placed me on Lyrica. This little pill was amazing and helped with almost all of my
symptoms, decreasing them significantly. For the first time in years I felt close to being my old self again. Here comes the but.... but the Lyrica
almost instantly put 30 pounds on me. Within 6 weeks I went from a size 6 to a size 14. My docs tried other meds, but none worked like Lyrica. I
felt like I was stuck with the choices of either having my figure back and being in pain, or continuing the Lyrica and feeling better but at the price
of gaining an unknown amount of weight. Neither choice was very appealing.
I chose to continue the Lyrica, at the same time continuing my search for the cause Fibromyalgia. I figured if I could find the cause, I could wipe
this out and do away with my need for the Lyrica. I read all kinds of theories, but the one I was most sold on was that it was caused by a virus. I
knew that there was a large number of nurses reporting to have fibro, so a virus would fit the bill if they were acquiring it from work. I asked my
doc about trying antibiotics and he really didn't buy into the virus theory. I don't want it to sound like he was completely discounting me, he was
just more of the type to wait until we have more info. I was disappointed at the time, but I am so glad he didn't give into me. If he had, I
wouldn't have found hat I am about to share.
What I believe to be the cause of Fibromyalgia:
At the urging of my husband, I scheduled an appointment with a local chiropractor. This is not a normal run of the mill chiropractor, he preforms a
type of chiropractic care called NUCCA
. From the link
NUCCA is a unique form of Chiropractic spinal health care that uses a specific procedure focused on correcting a small misalignment of the upper
neck known as the Atlas Subluxation Complex. This subtle correction ultimately restores optimal balance to the entire spinal column. Because the
spinal column protects the central nervous system that controls and coordinates all body functions, good spinal balance is critical to good health.
Extensive research and clinical studies show that improved body balance effectively reduces stress throughout the body and helps to relieve pain and
stress. Although the NUCCA correction is performed on the neck, it affects the balance of the entire body.
I don't know how to stress how extremely skeptical I was about this helping me in any way. I had never had any major injury to my neck but if it
could help my pain in any way I figured it was worth a shot. If it worked well enough, then maybe I could wean down my meds a bit. When I got to the
doctors office, he did all the usual patient history, exam, xrays etc. I kept him busy for about 2 1/2 hours asking every question under the sun
about his thoughts on fibromyalgia and how this procedure could possibly help. He was very patient with me I have to say, bless his heart. Anyway,
he is of the belief that the cause of FM is Atlas
If you also suffer from FM, please take a look at these symptoms and tell me if any of them sound familiar
Mechanical Symptoms Headaches- often involving the base of the skull, and referring to the sides of the head and around the sinuses.
Migraines, often with marked agitation and nausea. Neck pains and stiffness and difficulty finding a comfortable position on the pillow at night.
Sometimes crackling or grating noises at the base of the skull when turning the head. Often there are associated shoulder pains, especially between
the shoulder blades. Jaw joint pains or dysfunction. Clicking jaw. Chest wall pain- due to the distortion of the ribcage Low back pain
and/or disc injuries due to abnormal posture. Nerve root irritations at any level. Pains or injuries in one hip, knee or ankle, often repeated
injuries to one side of the body. Patients may be told they have one leg shorter than the other.
Symptoms based on nerve and blood vessel compromise. Vagus nerve: Nausea, heartburn, irritable bowel, constipation, vasovagal (fainting/near
fainting) episodes, probably infantile colic. Cough and voice problems Internal Jugular Vein: tiredness, mental fogginess,dizziness, tinging or
burning finger or toes
Sympathetic Nervous System: There are multiple reasons to believe that atlas subluxations may cause sympathetic overactivation (stress response):
Poor balance itself is a cause of sympathetic overactivation, also the traction on the brain stem caused by the typical head forward posture of most
people with the injury activates a stress response, and there may be further impacts on sympathetic ganglia (nerve cell clusters) that lie close to
the spine along the whole length of the spine. Symptoms would include chronic anxiety and impulsiveness, fine tremor, raised heart rate It is
arguable that chronic sympathetic overactivationmay be lead to: a)gut problems due to chronic diversion of blood flow away from the gut into the
muscles which may well be contributory to peptic ulcers, food allergies ( via increased gut permeability) b) Adrenal gland activation and chronic
over production of cortisone as an expected consequence of chronic sympathetic (stress) response. Adrenal fatigue as a downstream consequence of this.
c) unstable attention- as the body is effectively being given a warning to loo for threat in the environment.