easing back/neck/shoulder pain

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 1/25/2010 3:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all. I was wondering if anyone can give any pointers on making the shoulder and low back pain better managed. I am taking aleve at the moment, which seems to be controlling the pain in my fingers. It does very little for my back or my shoulders.  
And just for reference - If you have the back pain, do you all seem to have a big Y where the pain is contained at the upper back with another condensed spot right where the bottom of the Y is? 
I have never had low back pain, and I'm finding it difficult to deal with. I have been stretching and doing a light workout on a regular basis.
Also, I am interested to hear what works best for you on the knots in the muscles?  I would think that heat would work, but it sets off a tremendous headache...which is often WORSE than the shoulder pain.  I am afraid to try it on my lower back...but I guess the worst thing that could happen would be a bigger pain in the butt! lol!
Anyway, just looking for information. Thanks!   

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 1/25/2010 4:47 PM (GMT -7)   
No heat doesn't work only cold for me. As for the tremendous headaches I have one now, one that I would not even wish on my worst enemy. Cold fax seed bags work for me ...at times

solar powered
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 538
   Posted 1/25/2010 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
To help with the muscle knots there is a tool you can order off the internet called a Theracane. It looks kind of like a big candy cane with branches and knobs (for lack of a better term) on it in various spots so you can reach different parts of the body. I first saw one at a physical therapy office and my orthopedic surgeon who also works for an NFL team told me that they have them in their treatment room at the stadium. You can also try a hard-ish ball about the size of a tennis ball and put it between where it is tight and the wall and roll it around by moving. A foam roller may help also but I know I'm not that coordinated for one of those. If I can reach the spot without hurting myself, I'm just dig my thumb or fingers into it and massage. Since a lot of my knots are in my legs I often use a wooden rolling pin as a massage tool. It may sound crazy but it is pretty darn effective. For smaller areas I also have a wall paper seam roller. I even have one of those in my pick-up truck for on the go use. So there are some things to help with those stubborn knots and they are low-tech which is perfect for me who is no-tech at heart. If you can afford it a professional massage could be very helpful also. I'm sorry to hear that the heat gives you headaches. I would be really in trouble if that happened to me as my heating pad is my very best friend. Good luck to you. Lisa
If I can laugh at it, I can live with it.

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41928
   Posted 1/25/2010 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   

The only thing that does work for me is a bed buddy around my neck. But I heat it, you don't have to, you could put it in the freezer instead. That and soma. It is a muscle relaxer. That helps a lot. I often massage my own neck and that losens me up. Or do meditation to relax the muscles.

As for the knots, I leave them alone. It hurts way too much. Even when I get a massage I tell them to leave the knots alone. I don't know why but when somebody worked on one, I was worse off than I was before. So that had to stop.

I hope that you find what works for you. Best wishes for pain relief.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17528
   Posted 1/26/2010 5:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Getting a gentle massage and using moist heat works for me.  I, too, do gentle stretching exercises and I don't sit in really soft chairs.  I need furniture that gives my back support. 
I also learned how to get in and out of the car and in and out of the bed correctly and that has helped me a lot.  I used to have a lot more back pain before I started doing this.
First of all, I do not sleep flat on my back because it makes my back hurt more.  I don't sleep on my stomach either.  I sleep on my sides with a pillow wedged behind my back.  This way, I can partially be on my back but have support.  That helps me.  I also get out of bed using a cane.  I roll on my side, draw my legs up in a sitting position so the legs are actually hanging over the floor, and then I push off with the cane.  Gravity will bring your legs down and you will be pulled to a sitting position without using your back muscles.
When getting in and out of a car, sit on the seat with your feet on the pavement.  Then, either using the seat or the steering wheel, swivel your feet into the car while keeping your back straight.  I buy cars with leather seats because they are slippery.  But, when I rent a car and get cloth seats I had to come up with another idea...and I did!  I get a garbage bag and a towel.  I lay the garbage bag on the seat and the towel over it.  Then I do the above.  The garbage bag and towel let  your rear end swivel like you were on a lazy susan!  LOL  Just reverse the above to get out of the car.
Don't use your back muscles when you are lifting things up.  Use your legs instead.  By doing the above things, my back rarely hurts me now.  I hope these suggestions will help you, too!
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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 1/26/2010 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I must say we have a creative group when it comes to finding things that help us. smilewinkgrin
I have the Y thing going on but I broke my sacrum many years ago and now have arthritis in it so I had lower back pain long before fibro. But I guess part of the pain could be from fibro.
I am a knotty old woman. devil I finally made an app for a light massage with the girl I really like but can't get in til the 9th. It's been so long since I have had one I know she is going to have to go real easy on my back as not to make me sick.
My DH rubs my back in circler motions that feels so good but when he hits a knot I flinch and tell him to get away from it.
luv and hugs

Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4796
   Posted 1/26/2010 10:14 AM (GMT -7)   
I get some relief for my back from a massage chair pad. Heat always feels good to me and
when my muscles are really tight I take a muscle relaxer.

Hugs, Robin
Fibromyalgia, MCTD (Lupus, Scleroderma & RA) Raynaud's, Osteoporosis,
Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Migraines, and Hypertension
Prescription Meds: Savella, Cyclobenzaprine, Methotrexate, Diltiazem, Boniva,
Folic Acid.  OTC Meds: Multi-vitamin. Vit, D, Vitamin B12 & calciim supplements

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