Why does fibromyalgia cause neck pain?

Coping with neck pain from fibromyalgia

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

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

Why does fibromyalgia cause neck pain?

The first question we must answer is: why are we more inclined to have neck pain? There are a few possible reasons for this.

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

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

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

Bad sleep habits can also contribute to neck pain. Sleeping in the wrong position can cause strain on the neck muscles.

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

Fibromyalgia Neck Pain Treatment

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


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

Exercising like Pilates or swimming can be beneficial for many people with fibromyalgia. Even simple stretches and a moderate amount of activity and movement during the day can go a long way.

Fibromyalgia News Today   shared some exercises that can specifically help alleviate 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 with your arms at your sides. Shrink your shoulders and release them drastically as you let go. The muscles may quiver after being released. It’s just momentary and feels better when it’s over.
  • Sit down slowly, bring your head up to your chest, then slowly lift your head up and reposition it. Try to do this in one smooth motion. As you do this, 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 self massage tools were useful for some people.


Acupuncture therapy has been a great help to many people in treating neck pain.

Chill out

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

Taking time to do the things you like, or to make you feel calm, can help make life’s stress more bearable. Some like to make newspapers, paint or color, spend time in nature, play games, bathe, or do puzzles. Whatever brings you peace and joy, make time for it!


Many people with fibromyalgia are low in magnesium, resulting in 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.

  • Relief of chronic pain
  • Fibromyalgia pain relief

Topical cream

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


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

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

Research is still being done to find answers on why fibromyalgia causes all the pain it causes. Even if we do not yet have all the answers, we can take comfort in knowing that we are not suffering alone.

409 thoughts on “Why does fibromyalgia cause neck pain?

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