No one knows what causes fibromyalgia. Some researchers think that many different things, alone or in combination, may cause fibromyalgia. For example, factors such as
- An infectious illness
- Physical trauma
- Emotional trauma
- Hormonal changes
- Muscle abnormalities
Studies have suggested that people with fibromyalgia have abnormal levels of several of the different chemicals that help send and increase pain signals to and from the brain. Whether these abnormalities are a cause or a result of fibromyalgia is unknown but scientific reports(attached) have shown chiropractic to help.
What some signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary, depending on the weather, stress, physical activity or even the time of day. Common signs and symptoms include:
- Widespread pain. Fibromyalgia sufferers usually have pain in specific areas of their body when pressure is applied, including the back of the head, upper back and neck, upper chest, elbows, hips and knees. The pain generally persists for months at a time and often comes with stiffness.
- Fatigue and sleep disturbances. People with fibromyalgia often wake up tired and unrefreshed even though they seem to get plenty of sleep. Some studies suggest that this sleep problem is the result of a sleep disorder called alpha wave interrupted sleep pattern, a condition in which deep sleep is frequently interrupted by bursts of brain activity similar to wakefulness. So people with fibromyalgia miss the deep restorative stage of sleep. Nighttime muscle spasms in legs and restless legs syndrome also may be associated with fibromyalgia.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating associated with IBS are common in people with fibromyalgia.
- Headaches and facial pain. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have headaches and facial pain that may be related to tenderness or stiffness in their neck and shoulders. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, which affects the jaw joints and surrounding muscles, also is common in people with fibromyalgia.
- Heightened sensitivity. It's common for people with fibromyalgia to report being sensitive to odors, noises, bright lights and touch.
Other common signs and symptoms include:
- Numbness or tingling sensations in the hands and feet (paresthesia)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood changes
- Chest pain
- Dry eyes, skin and mouth
- Painful menstrual periods