I am new and have a few questions (actually many)

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 10/25/2009 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I was recently confirmed with fibro.  My symptoms began a little over a year ago.  First of all: Is it known if stressful events can bring on fibro?  Second: I have read some posts that refer to "flares", does that mean the fibro will flare up at times?  It seems I have noticed that.  For example, I felt fairly good for about a week and a half, then one evening I was really tired by about 7:30, the next morning I felt like a wreck.  Fatigue, and lots of pain again, then today I seem better.  Third:  When I first started having problems, it was almost exclusively in my hip area.  Over the past year it seems to have moved up to my upper back, shoulders, arms and neck (where it has setteled).  Is this movement of the pain commoin?  Fourth:  So far, I have chosen not be begin taking any perscription meds.  I have been staying away from caffine and dairy.  I have gone to a massage therapist a couple of times that knows alot about fibro.  The first time she worked on my upper back, shoulder blade area presure points, I had lots of shoulder spasms during the treatment.  It did seem to help (thank goodness she does not charge alot)  Any other suggestion are welcome.
Anyway, that is it for now, except I have to admit that just getting a solid diagnosis from a wonderful rumatoligist was such a relief!
Take care to all.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 439
   Posted 10/25/2009 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Have you checked out our Fibro 101 thread?
Amen on that getting a solid diagnosis being such a relief! I noticed that too.

1. As far as I know it is the best speculation of the doctors that stressful events can bring on fibro. I believe that in my case it was the mental stress that came with being stuck in a very horrible job that brought mine out in full force. I never had a problem until I had a job that could be physically demanding at times.

2) Most of us feel exactly that. Our fibro gets worse and better. Mine seems to be tied to my menstrual cycle ... mostly. IMHO this is the worst thing about Fibro. It makes others think, "She looks fine most of the time and I saw her running yesterday, so she must be faking it."

3) Mine started with one ankle, then the other, then one hip ... so on and so forth, now even my shoulders are jacked up!

4) Not sure what your question here is, but if the massage works for you, go for it. Massage is great for me, but some of our other site members hate it. Lucky for you that you found a masseuse who specializes in Fibro. Avoiding caffeine is a good idea, I've noticed that when I drink caffeine I sometimes feel worse. Moderation when drinking alcohol is also smart. The most important thing I guess is to listen to your body and try to eat as healthy as you can. If you have sleeping problems, a cup of Chamomile tea with milk can work wonders. Try not to be immobile for too long, but don't be too active either. Listen to your body and if some activity or food items makes you feel worse then avoid it. We have a list around here someplace of helpful hints for household chores.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 10/25/2009 8:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi imjb!

And I'm so glad you have joined our Fibro Family. It is truly like a family around here...we deeply care about each other, help hold each other up during the tough times and we laugh and have fun together too.

WCC gave you great information and her experiences! She's awesome. I think more people have fibro triggered by something like a illness, surgery, car accident...some physical insult to the body. But like WCC and me it was something more emotional. Often things like witnessing a shocking event, a major stress in your life or losing a loved one. For me I was having more muscle aches and pains for a few years and I just explained it away as getting out of shape. Then in 2000 my oldest son, 23 at the time, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. That event pushed me over the edge with the fibro and it's been like a run-away freight train ever since.

I have always had very tender shoulders but once fibro hit with a vengence it is so bad that wearing a bra is nearly impossible. Lately my mid section/ribs around to my spine have been on fire with pain. Shoulders/neck and even the top of my head!...lol Funny yet not funny. <sigh> My legs and thighs have been pretty bad for the past several years also.

I have always been someone who bragged that I never even had to take an aspirin or Tylenol for anything. That was fine for many, many years...and even when fibro hit I played the 'white knuckle' game and tried to get through it as long as I could. But after a couple of years I couldn't handle the pain because it was just too intense. I have the most wonderful doctor and he's gradually and carefully prescribed pain relief medications that help immensely! Am I pain free? Nope, isn't going to happen without being unconscience and that's no way to live, but I do have some quality back in my life when I take the medication.

OK, I've babbled on long enough. But my opinion is if the massage works for you then do it! Use whatever it takes as long as it's legal, not harmful, and supervised by your doc. And always remember to use warmth on those muscles and pamper yourself at least once a day. ;-)

Keep in touch...OK?
Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.
Richard L. Evans

(\o/)Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 10/26/2009 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi imjb.
Welcome to the group.  There are really supportive, sweet people here.  Do  check out the Fibro 101 at the top of the listings on this page.  It is crammed full of info that is really helpful and informative. 
As for your questions, yup that sure does sound like a flare-up to me.  You go along pretty good and wham-o, knocked for a loop.  Hence, my forum name, Yo-yo.  My life is just a series of up and downs, never knowing what the day will bring, or should I say the hour or minute?  And yes, I believe  stressful events can bring on fibro initally.  Mine was an auto acident, followed by an extremely stressful divorce several years later.  Stress in all its glory takes a physical  and emotional toll on our body and central nervous system.  Daily stresses and upheavals do a number on fibro people, too.  Thats why pacing yourself and having rest periods and quiet times is so important  for fibro people. 
As to fibro starting in one place and moving around to others, I think that is very common.  Mine started with the whiplash neck injury, which I resolved 7 years later with chiropractic help and was then followed by general achiness all over that just kept getting worse as time went on.  Shoulders, upper back, and upper arms are my constant achy places along with hip pain that comes and  then diminishes in severity and then returns.  Also lots of stiffness and major fatigue.  So, yes, it does move around.  As to the massage issue, how lucky you are to have found someone good and not too expensive.  I love massages but the money issue keeps me from having them as much as I would like.  Massage seems to help me with the stiffness and all over general achiness.  I've only had one bad outcome one time and I haven't a clue as to why it happened.  
Anyway, keep asking questions and enjoying the support you will get here.  We even take whines once in a while!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17501
   Posted 10/26/2009 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
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!   shocked  
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

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