Not sure if my symptoms are all just fibro...

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Lefty85
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 4/23/2009 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I believe I have been experiencing symptoms of fibro ever since about the time I reached adulthood.  Fatigue was the biggest problem for a long time.  I always compare it to feeling the way I felt when I got mono as a teenager-- completely drained, no matter how much sleep I got.  For several years it was just the fatigue along with some occasional pains that would come and go without explanation.  The worst pains were always my back.
 
When I was twenty-one I experienced an uproar of back pain that lasted three days.  Basically, all I could do was lie in bed.  Then, it all went away.  Between then and August of last year I experienced several more flares of the same nature, but never sought medical attention. 
 
Then, in August of last year, I started having back pain that wouldn't let up.  First, it wasn't terribly bad, but it got worse and worse.  Finally, in January (when I got my health insurance plan changed) I started seeing a chiropractor.  She couldn't believe how stiff and tense my back was for someone my age, and she sent me for x-rays.  She didn't find anything that seemed serious.  She just said that a section of my spine was too straight, and after a series of adjustments she said that it had gotten better. 
 
In the meanwhile, I decided to talk to my regular physician about my back pain.  He told me that he felt chiropractic treatments were probably a good way to cure the pain, and in the meanwhile he put me on percocet (prn) and naproxen (bid).  Percocet eased some of the pain, but I didn't want to stay on it long term, so I asked my doctor and he had me try tramadol instead.  Tramadol made me really sick, and I soon gave it up, going back to the percocet because I didn't know what else to do. 
 
Gradually, the pain made it's way into my neck, shoulders, and hips.  Meanwhile, the stiffness got so bad I could hardly move.  Anyway, I kept seeking medical attention until I received the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. 
 
Now, the meds I take seem to help a good bit with pains I experience in my hands, feet, arms and legs.  But they do not help at all with the pain and stiffness in my back, neck, shoulders and hips.  It's a different kind of  pain.  I don't know how to describe it other than to say that it's a pain so deep it feels like nothing could ever touch it.  Percocet masks it sometimes or dulls it down a little, but that's the best relief I've had.  Now doctors don't want to continue giving me percocet because they say that the other meds I'm on should be helping.  But they don't.
 
I'm just wondering if you all think that my back pain is just fibro, or if you think it could be something else.  I don't know what to think.  All the spots where I have pain fit the tender points diagram almost perfectly.  Several people have suggested that I should also see a spine specialist or a neurologist to make sure nothing else is wrong.  Now I'm not sure what to do.
 
Thanks,
SaraBeth
23 years old
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in April 2009 ~ Suffering since 2008
Diagnosed with Depression & Anxiety in 2007 ~ Suffering since childhood
***********
Diflusinal, Nortryptiline, Celexa, Flexeril & Percocet as needed
*********** 
 
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."   -Robert Frost
Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching.
 
 
 
 
                                                                                  


solar powered
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 538
   Posted 4/23/2009 9:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi SaraBeth. I have had in the past similar problems with my back and hip. The MRI of back did show bulging discs and a compression fracture of one of the vertabrae but no nerve involvement. Hip MRI was completely clean so why was it hurting? After many trips to the ortho and several different physical therapists with no improvement, my ortho finally sent me to a chiropractor who is a specialist in physical rehab. I discovered later that the ortho thought the pain was "just fibro". The chiro believed that fibro did play a part in the pain but also believed I had a condition called lower crossed syndrome which is basically when muscles of the back, hip and leg get imbalanced. some muscles are too tight and short while their opposing muscles are then too long and weak. The body likes balance, not that. The imbalance causes pain because it is pulling bones, etc out of their normal alignment. There is also a form that affects the upper body too called upper crossed syndrome. Lucky me, I've got both. After lots of work with this chiro I am improving to the point that I can do lots more walking without pain than I have been able to do in years. Yes I do still get pain but it is such a relief to FINALLY be working with someone that has given me hope. He did tell me straight up that in my case things will never be perfect because too much damage had been done but I do still have hope for even more progress. Anyway I do not know that you have that issue but the point of telling you about my experience is to remind you that what you feel may not be "just fibro" I used to argue with my ortho about just that. After I got my dx of fibro he thought fibro was the cause of all the problems even though I knew in my heart that it was something more. I am so glad that I kept pushing him or I'd still be arguing with him, living on pain killers and getting worse and worse. You said that the back pain is different from the rest so I would suggest listening to your body and keep persuing an answer and solution if that's what your heart is telling you to do. I really think that a lot of people with fibro are missing out on the possibility of some relief from pain because they say it's "just fibro." Lisa
Life is the ultimate contact sport. Train accordingly and play hard.


Lefty85
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 4/23/2009 9:49 AM (GMT -7)   

Thank you, Lisa. 

The way you describe your pain sounds exactly like what I am always feeling.  It always feels like my muscles are trying to yank my bones out of place.  My back will pop and crack at random, even when I'm not moving.  If I don't take something like percocet regularly my arms and legs get spasms where it feels like they are being pulled towards my back, and everything draws up really tightly.  I am really glad you mentioned this condition to me because I have never heard of it before.  I am definitely going to mention upper and lower crossed syndrome to my doctor the next time I go.  I called my rheumotologist today because I am still feeling awful after an ER visit the other day (my whole back locked up and I could hardly move).  She started me on Lyrica 50 mg twice a day, so I'll see if that does anything. 

Thanks again & hope you feel better!

SaraBeth


23 years old
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in April 2009 ~ Suffering since 2008
Diagnosed with Depression & Anxiety in 2007 ~ Suffering since childhood
***********
Diflusinal, Nortryptiline, Celexa, Flexeril & Percocet as needed
starting Lyrica today (4/23) hoping it helps!!!!
*********** 
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."   -Robert Frost
Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching.
 
 
 
 
                                                                                  


solar powered
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 538
   Posted 4/23/2009 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   
SaraBeth, I wouldn't be too surprised if your doctor, especially a PCP, gives you a blank look when you mention upper and lower crossed syndrome. My ortho kept saying muscle imbalances but never used that term. Every physical therapist I went to (and it was many) never mentioned it to me or even in their notes. I even had one who told me that I didn't have any muscle imbalances when I asked about it which was of course so far from the truth. There is a lot of information on the web about both syndromes. When I started reading about it a lightbulb came on. I know "fixing" these problems won't cure the fibro but it will make the pain less. I would much prefer to work towards fixing a problem if possible rather than just throw meds at it. Just my opinion. Having said that I do wish you luck with the lyrica. If you do have muscle imbalance problems just remember the lyrica won't help but maybe it will reduce the fibro pain enough that you feel up to working on the other problems. I won't lie to you. It isn't an easy road but well worth it. Lisa Oh, you may want to start taking additional magnesium to help for the muscle spasms. Under my chiro's direction, it has helped me.
Life is the ultimate contact sport. Train accordingly and play hard.


IronCladDaisy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 4/23/2009 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   
geckogirl said...
You said that the back pain is different from the rest so I would suggest listening to your body and keep persuing an answer and solution if that's what your heart is telling you to do. I really think that a lot of people with fibro are missing out on the possibility of some relief from pain because they say it's "just fibro." Lisa

Lisa has a really great point, I think. Just because fibro creates a lot of really unpleasant symptoms that doesn't mean it precludes other conditions. Definitely worth having someone take a closer look.
 
 
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