Why does fibromyalgia cause neck pain?

Coping With Fibromyalgia Neck Pain

Fibromyalgia is pain in the neck, literally. Although known to cause pain throughout the body, fibromyalgia neck pain seems to be a common complaint for many people.

Is there a reason why our necks are more sensitive to pain? If so, what can we do to get relief?

Why does fibromyalgia cause neck pain?

The first question we need to answer is: why are we more prone to neck pain? There are several possible reasons for this.

Although the exact reason is unknown, a possible culprit may be trigger points found on the neck. A cluster of tender points are found on the neck, at the base of the head and shoulders, and on the upper back. It’s easy to see why pain can start in the neck or be transmitted through pain that originates elsewhere.

Those of us with fibromyalgia are also thought to have decreased blood flow and/or oxygen to the muscles. This can be the cause of many of our pains, including fibro neck pain.

It can also be the result of nerve damage, which is another common factor found in people with fibromyalgia.

Poor sleeping habits can also contribute to neck pain. Sleeping in the wrong position can cause tension in the neck muscles.

A study suggests that another cause of neck pain with fibromyalgia could be atlas misalignment. The atlas is the upper part of the neck and any misalignment, even the smallest, can lead to several uncomfortable symptoms, with the main symptom being neck pain.

Fibromyalgia Neck Pain Treatment

The next question we need to answer is: what can be done to treat the neck pain so common in fibromyalgia? These seven fibromyalgia neck pain treatment options may provide some relief.


Exercise with fibromyalgia is a big challenge, but movement has proven to be one of the best things to help reduce fibro pain. Gentle stretching exercises help keep your muscles from becoming stiff and weak. Inactivity can increase trigger point pain in the neck.

Exercise such as Pilates or swimming can benefit many people with fibromyalgia. Even simple stretching and a moderate amount of activity and movement throughout the day can be a big help.

Fibromyalgia News Today    shared a few exercises that can specifically help relieve neck pain:

  • Stand against a wall with your arms outstretched. Move your arms up and down like a snow angel. Move slowly to feel the tension. Keep your head up and your back against the wall at all times. Make a set of 10.
  • Sit down with your arms at your sides. Shrug your shoulders and release them radically as you release them. Muscles may shake after releasing them. It’s only momentary and feels better when it’s over.
  • Sit down, slowly bring your head to your chest, then slowly raise your head and put your head back. Try to do it in one smooth motion. As you do, slowly open your mouth so that it is fully open when your head is back.

Gentle massage

Massage therapy can be helpful in relieving neck pain. Even the self-massage tools were useful for some people.


Acupuncture therapy has been of tremendous help to many people when it comes to treating neck pain.

To relax

Learning to relax is an art form, but very beneficial. Stress leads to physical tension, which leads to pain. Relaxation techniques can be a great help in reducing pain. Mindfulness, deep breathing, and body scanning can be extremely helpful tools.

Taking time to do the things you enjoy or to calm down can help make the stresses of life more bearable. Some enjoy journaling, painting or coloring, spending time in nature, playing games, swimming or doing puzzles. Whatever brings you peace and joy, take the time!


Many people with fibromyalgia are low in magnesium, which leads to muscle cramps and weakness, among other things. If you are low in magnesium, taking a supplement or using magnesium oil or spray can help relax your muscles and relieve neck pain.

  • Chronic pain relief
  • Fibromyalgia Pain Relief

topical cream

There are several creams and ointments that can be used to soothe sore or stiff muscles and reduce neck pain. Many of these products contain natural pain relievers, such as arnica.


Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen, are options that many turn to for relief. A doctor may also prescribe a muscle relaxant to relieve more severe pain.

When I turned to the fibromyalgia community on social media, I received suggestions of things that have helped other people cope with fibromyalgia neck pain. These suggestions included essential oils, rice packets used for heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain relievers and muscle relaxants.

Research is ongoing to find answers to why fibromyalgia causes all the pain it does. Although we don’t yet have all the answers, we can take comfort in knowing that we are not suffering alone.

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