Hi, Imjb, and welcome! You have come to a great place. We have wonderful members that love to help one another and, as a bonus, we really do care about each other, too.
Well, to get to your questions.
1.) Yes, I would imagine high stress could trigger fibro. I do know that stress makes the pain worse.
2.) Flares can last a couple of hours or many months. You did describe a flare. Your fibro gets worse and you feel pretty crummy but the good news is that flares leave and you will feel better. My fibro flares in the summer with heat and humidity. Also, overdoing will cause it to flare. You need to pace yourself whenever doing things.
3.) Most of us have shoulders and neck and back pain, along with pain in other parts of our body. My fibro started in my toes and worked up my entire body in a 45 minute period while watching television! That makes a whole lot of sense, doesn't it!
4.) I, too, use massage therapy. I use a therapist that has studied extensively and really knows how to massage fibro and myofacial pain customers. That is important that you have a therapist that really knows what they are doing and it sounds like you have a good one! Walking helps me with pain, along with gentle stretching and swimming. I don't take prescription meds but I do take ibuprofen with food, extra strength Tylenol, malic acid/magnesium supplements, and vitamin D3 to help with my pain.
I see you were directed to the Fibro 101 thread. There is a ton of info about fibro and links to info about malic acid/magnesium supplements and vitamin D3 and how these work in your body. Many with fibro are deficient in these vitamins and nutrients.
As I mentioned before, be sure to pace yourself when doing things like housework. Also, keep moving. If you sit or lay too much you will be stiff as a board.
Hot showers or baths really help. You can get yourself a Bed Buddy at Walgreen's or other places or you can make one by taking a tube sock, filling it 2/3's full of long grained rice, and tying a knot at the end. Heat it in the microwave and it will give off moist heat that feels wonderful on those achy muscles.
I'm so glad you joined in and became part of our Fibro Family! Don't hesitate to ask questions because we are here to help you. Hope to hear more from you soon.
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7