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As an upper cervical chiropractor in Wapakoneta, Ohio, I’ve dealt with more than a handful of cases of fibromyalgia. I’ve since concluded that the disease affects women a lot worse than it affects men.

Fibromyalgia (FM) mainly comes with chronic pain in the muscles and joints all over the body. Often, it also comes with severe fatigue. And between men and women, women are at higher risk of experiencing this condition.

Around 90% of fibromyalgia cases involve women. It’s possible that there are more men out there who have undiagnosed fibromyalgia because they refuse to see a doctor about their pain.

I’m hoping this article gives a better understanding of what this condition is. After reading this, you should be able to find the best relief options if you’re dealing with fibromyalgia.

Now, let’s delve into some of the ways fibromyalgia affects women, and a possible natural solution for pain relief.

Women with fibromyalgia experience stronger menstrual pains

A woman’s menstrual pains are already bad enough, and it can make fibromyalgia symptoms flare up. While it doesn’t apply to all, many women report worse symptoms of their condition before or during their monthly periods.

And because the nervous system regulates menstrual cycles, it becomes sensitive to any changes. That includes any symptoms linked to fibromyalgia.

Some of the symptoms connected to fibromyalgia are fatigue, headaches, and widespread pain. Some patients also go through memory problems and difficulty sleeping.

Women with fibromyalgia also experience endometriosis. It is the abnormal growth of endometrial cells outside the uterus or in other parts of the pelvis.

Menopausal women and fibromyalgia

Menopausal women also feel the effects of fibromyalgia, making their experience worse. Some of the symptoms that intensify during menopause are achiness and soreness, leading to more anxious and cranky episodes.

Fibromyalgia symptoms tend to mimic perimenopausal indicators, which include pain, tenderness, lack of quality sleep, and trouble with memory. These symptoms can also lead to depression.

Depression and fatigue among women with fibromyalgia

According to National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, women with fibromyalgia experience higher levels of depression. Because the ailment coexists with other conditions like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, it can affect sleep quality.

That lack of sleep, in turn, leads to depression and fatigue. It can also result in hypersensitivity to pain.

Women with FM have more tender points

When fibromyalgia attacks, the person affected experiences dull, deep pain that begins in the muscles. As the condition persists, the discomfort persists throughout the entire body. That includes the “pins and needles” sensation.

A diagnosis for fibromyalgia means the afflicted individual experiences chronic pain in the entire body. That means all sides are affected, as well as both the lower and upper extremities. The pain may be recurrent or worse in some days, making it a difficult situation to deal with.

While both men and women experience intense levels of pain, women deal with longer and stronger episodes.

What are the tender points?

These tender points are the pain areas surrounding the joints when touched. The pressure points may be undefined, but doctors know that these locations aren’t random, and happen in predictable areas.

Experts identified 18 possible tender points in the body for FM, but women have a few more than men. These include the back of the head, front of the neck, and top of the chest. These include areas between the shoulders, insides of the knee, top and sides of the hips, and outside both elbows.

The pelvic area often gets affected by fibromyalgia pain, as well. If these symptoms last for more than six months, it can lead to chronic pelvic pain and dysfunction (CPPD).

Worse bowel and bladder problems for women with FM

The CPPD that comes as a byproduct of FM may lead to worse conditions like bladder problems and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It also increases the chance of developing internal cystitis, otherwise known as painful bladder syndrome (PBS).

Up to 32% of people with IBS also have PBS, which can lead to several problems like painful urination, pressure on the bladder, and pain during intercourse. There is also an increased need to urinate often, as well as pain and cramps in the lower abdomen.

Other distressing symptoms

Some of the fibromyalgia symptoms that can affect both sexes include jaw pain, restless leg syndrome, headaches and migraines, and sensitivity to temperature. They also experience “fibro fog” or trouble remembering important details.

Natural and effective care for fibromyalgia

Medication doesn’t work for everyone who has a condition like fibromyalgia. Going for natural methods may be the better option. Making some lifestyle changes like better diet choices, drinking more water, and eliminating artificial sweeteners are some relatively simple changes that anyone can make.

But another effective way to relieve fibromyalgia discomfort is upper cervical chiropractic care. This method corrects the upper cervical spine because of the profound impact that these vertebrae have on the overall health of the body.

The neck is very flexible. The top two vertebrae in the spine have a wide range of motion, and they are also the two that most easily misalign. Misaligned vertebrae at the top of the neck can put pressure on the brainstem, which is an essential part of the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia is essentially a pain processing disorder. It makes sense to look at the health and function of the central nervous system when trying to find a solution for fibromyalgia.

As an upper cervical chiropractor in Wapakoneta, Ohio, I’m trained to perform natural and gentle adjustments to correct misaligned bones in the spine. Once the bones are in proper alignment, the body can begin to heal itself.

If you have any questions about how upper cervical chiropractic care can help your health condition, contact Tranquility Spinal Care for a free consultation.