According to recent studies, fibromyalgia has been associated with an increased risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. Because fibromyalgia is a widespread pain condition, symptoms such as heartburn, palpitations, and chest pain often get lumped in under the generic pain category. As a result, the implications for the cardiovascular system may be missed.
Why Fibromyalgia Is Associated with Cardiovascular Disease
There are a number of reasons these two conditions may go hand-in-hand. Consider the following chain reaction that may occur for a fibromyalgia sufferer:
- Pain leads to less exercise.
- Less exercise leads to weight gain.
- Weight gain leads to higher cholesterol and blood pressure.
As you can see, the condition may quickly escalate so as to put one at risk for a cardiac event. Here are a few ways to try and keep your heart healthy.
- Get 8 Hours of Sleep Per Night – Connections between OSA and heart disease show that sleep is vital for heart health. While sleep can be difficult for fibromyalgia patients, there are many things you can do such as creating the right environment for sleep (no sound, lights, or mobile devices).
- Reduce Stress – Heart problems have been linked to stress.
- Massage Therapy – Some studies show that massage can slow heart rate.
- Mild Exercise – Take a walk, go for a swim, do some stretching, or find another form of light exercise. Exercise isn’t just good for your heart. Light exercise may actually reduce some of your joint pain.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Help Too
When the atlas (C1 vertebra) is out of alignment, there can be both neurological and vascular repercussions. The atlas protects the brainstem, but a misalignment can do the opposite and place pressure on this vital part of the body. Proper blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow may also be restricted leading to less lubrication and oxygen for the brain. This can cause many of the symptom associated with fibromyalgia by interfering with the body’s ability to interpret pain properly. An adjustment may help your body to heal any damage caused by a misalignment, thus reducing symptoms.
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