Finding relief for fibromyalgia can be a daunting process. Where do you start? Pharmaceuticals? Chiropractic or massage? Acupuncture? Or maybe one of the thousands of supplements or gizmos you’ve read about on the web? The truth is any of them may work but only after you dig a little deeper to discover your root cause.

Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia is a lot like going to your mechanic and being told your car won’t start. There are many different causes to rule out, each with its own specific treatment options. What makes fibromyalgia so complex is that in most cases, we see multiple “root causes” that need to be addressed to get adequate relief.

To simplify things, we lumped a few of the most common causes of fibromyalgia we come across into 3 main categories.

Central Nervous System Sensitization

Have you ever been told your fibromyalgia symptoms are all in your head? Well in this instance they actually are, although not in the way they meant it. Your brain is constantly being bombarded with information from pain receptors all over your body but it is the job of an area at the base of your brain to shut off or at least dial down pain signals that don’t serve the purpose of avoiding a damaging activity. It does this using the neurotransmitter serotonin.

This is one of the few instances of fibromyalgia that pharmaceuticals may help (typically SSRIs) although acupuncture, adrenal support and 5-HTP (a precursor to serotonin) are also good options. Similarly, most of your serotonin is actually made in your gut so problems such as dysbiosis or other GI issues will lower the amount of available neurotransmitter.

Poor Cellular Metabolism & Waste Buildup

Problems like toxicity, anemia, mitochondrial dysfunction, poor blood sugar control, or hypothyroidism all lead to a sluggish cellular metabolism and waste buildup. Both of which will cause global pain and fatigue. The good news is they are fairly easy to find with the right lab work.

Musculoskeletal Problems

Having fibromyalgia doesn’t make you immune to postural strain or general wear and tear. In fact it may make you more sensitive to conditions that others typically ignore. Treating structural problems with chiropractic and myofascial work can go along way in limiting how widespread your pain feels.

With so many causes of fibromyalgia, getting to your individual root cause(s) is key to finding the right combo of treatment.

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