Anxiety Disorder causing severe upper back/ neck pain

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by StephieBee, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    For the past week i had been experiencing severe upper back / neck pain in my spine. It was so bad that I was actually seeing stars.

    It didnt feel like muscle felt like something "popped out" of place in my spine, like a disc had popped out. I could actually hear creaking and grinding inside my body coming from my spine. I would also get the feeling that my spine was shifting although i know that it is not possible.

    This all came after I was bedridden from being sick from a bad reaction to Lyrica for 2 weeks. I went to the ER and they just assumed it was my muscles and sent me on my way. I was hoping for an MRI. Finally I got in to see my Rheumy (he only works 3 days a week). He did a complete physical exam and talked over my symptoms and came to the conclusion that the underlying problem was my panic disorder!

    I knew I had a panic disorder but never in a million years did I expect it to cause what felt like a slipped disc in my back that would cause me to be bedridden and be left in such severe pain that I was in tears.

    He explained that the anxiety was lowering my pain threshold. I would hyperventilate subconsiously also. (I was possibly experiencing muscle spasms and other things that contributed to the pain.) And since I had the reaction to the Lyrica, it set off my anxiety even worse. I had been on Valium for 5 prior to this, but recently had to stop seeing my psychopharm. due to insurance reasons so I was no longer on any anti-anxiety this made it even worse.

    He rx'd me Xanax 2mg twice a day and Im happy to report that I am doing much better. My muscles are still a little stiff but they are improving. I just wanted to tell my story because I never thought that anxiety could cause pain like this. So for those who are experiencing pain that have unsuccessfully tried to find the underlying reason behind it, maybe its worth a shot to look into something that is not so obvious.

  2. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Look at my thread on unrelenting anxiety...and I sit here with my neck and shoulder aching, sucking on my tongue because of anxiety.

    My doc said to double my AD and I do have some Klonipen and Ativan, but things are just bad.

    Your back and muscles are feeling better? Oh, how I would love that.

    You know what gets me? Doctors seem to place you in a category and then don't look for other problems. Maybe a change in docs...a second opinion is needed.

    I'm glad to hear you are doing better. I'm headed for bed. Just too mcuh right now.

  3. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    Well this is the second time I am retyping my post because I lost it!! Ugh!!! Here it goes again...

    Im sorry for all that you are going through. Ive suffered from severe Anxiety / Panic Disorder for almost 10 years now. I was dx'd at the age of 17. Unfortunatly it stuff like this runs in my family heavily on my mother's side so I dont think it will ever get any better. I think this bout of severe anxiety was triggered by Lyrica tho. I had a very bad reaction to it and it basically caused me to have every extremely rare symptom in the book. And as far as all the common symptoms such as weight gain and increased appetite...well I couldnt even force myself to eat due to the nausea and I dropped 10 lbs in the 2 week trial basis that I was on it for. And all I did was get up to basically go to the bathroom. Healthy huh!? But I had heard it was suppose to help anxiety, but instead this is the point when my anxiety went from manageable to severe and uncontrollable. (Feel free to skim thru my list of posts and read about my Lyrica ordeals) It didnt help that the psychopharmachologist I had been seeing for 5-6 years doesnt take Medicare (I lost my other insurance) so now I didnt have a doc to prescribe me the Valium I had been on to contorl my anxity for over 5 years. And prior to that, at the age of 17 I was placed on Xanax due to anixety related stomach problems. Unfortunatly benzo's are the only things that work on my anxiety. Ive tried everything...AD's, non-chemical therapy like breathing exersices and many other relaxation techniques. I guess I just have a type A personality. And Im sure it doesnt help that we suffer from this chronic pain that there seems to be no treatment that ever gets rid of the pain. I know Im not clinically depressed...but yes sometimes the pain gets depressing and the fact that I cannot do alot of the things a normal 26 y/o do is depressing, but I suffered from PTSD for many many years and I know the difference between depression and anxiety. The docs tell me the depression is gone.

    Anywho...I read the post you mentioned that you had written. We seem to have ALOT in common. Its very unfortunate that our sriking similarities are due to something as horrible as our anxiety, but possibly we could keep in touch over the board and help each other. Im sorry that your anxiety is unrelenting. Mine is also. It appears out of nowhere and for no reason. I could be out having fun somewhere and get an anxiety attack. Im sure you know how horribe it is to live like this. You can feel it in the pits of your stomach and in your chest. No matter what you do to try to get rid of it or forget about it, it just seems to cling to you like a leech. It just seems to cause so many problems...obvoiusly even ones that I didnt think were possible!

    As far as the pain goes, are you experiencing the same kind of pain I that it was in your spine caused by a disc or something on the lines of that? I kept of feeling extreme pain in my upper spine / neck that would sometimes sound like it was creaking and grinding. No one could hear it, butI could from inside my body. It felt as though something in my spine had "popped out" of place and I couldnt get it to go back. It was very painful and very uncomfortable. The feeling of it would make me nauseous because it was so awkward. It almost felt like the discs in my spine were shifting, even though I know that is impossible. The muscle aches didnt come until later on. I know that the muscle aches, cramps, stiffness etc were just due to the vicious cycle of not being able to move my neck due to the pain I would experience, therefore they started becoming rigid which is why they are so sore because I can move them now. This DD is just chalk full of surprises. Anyways you know the rest of the story.

    As far as you moving goes...I moved about 25 miles in October. And this apartment was on the third floor with no elevators!!! Im assuming that you are already moved in to the new place?? Well dont feel bad about not having things put away...I still dont..My closets are filled with boxes that have things in them. There were so many ideas that I had for mine and my fiancee's new place but we still have work to do. I just feel like I can never get anything done...if it isnt the pain its the fibro.

    The only thing I can suggest to you is that you take the advise of a woman that posted on this board many months ago. she was fed up with worrying about getting stuff done around the house, errands etc. Ill try to find it because it was rather funny to tell you the truth....but everyone felt so strongly about it because we all worry about these things but they are not in our control! The next time you see something like the curtains are slightly wrinkled for example...just forget it...its not worth the worry. I swear its stupid things like this that give me anxiety too! She had alot of good points just like that one.

    Im sorry my post was so long...its jus that I feel like I can relate to you in so many ways...its weird. Lets stay in touch if you would like...I think it could be good for the both of us. Take some time for yourself and try to not worry about the little things....even though like me...I dont think they bother me.

    Bug hugs!

  4. taylorperot

    taylorperot New Member

    Hi Steph
    I have been having the same symptoms as you, especially my spine locking out of place. It bothered me so much, I saw a few surgeons who said the locking was caused by torn/weak ligaments in the upper back, and the only way to fix it was surgery.My personal opinion is that people with fibromyalgia have weak and inflamed connective tissue, because I also have problems with my knees, shoulder, feet,and elbows.
    For the anxiety, I've found that small doses of Xanax really help when it's bad. Hope this helps.
  5. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    Glad to hear you are feeling better.
  6. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    You are so young to have all this anxiety and pain. It makes me feel so bad for you. I will be 60 in a couple of months, so although this is very hard on me, at least I'm not just a youngster. Heavens, my youngest son is older than you are!

    I would like very much to keep in touch. I'm relying on benzo's to keep me sane right now, but I have been for over 10 years. This is the worst episode since my first...over 10 years ago.

    About the, we haven't moved. We have to build the house first. And that means getting the design and plans finalized and the contractor on the ball.


    Take care. Thank you for your kind reply and I will keep in touch with you.

    Best wishes for an easy, pain-free day.

  7. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member


    Im glad to hear that you were able to fix your problems. Also, I too find that Xanax helps my anxiety tremendously.


    Thanks for the kind words. I hope you are feeling better yourself. Its been a rough 2007 for us!


    Thanks you also for your kind words. I really am sorry for what you are going matter how old you are. It doesnt matter if you are 20 or 90...the anxiety can be just as bad. Now that I know that the house you were talking about isnt finished...I can see why you are having even worse of a time. Hopefully it will all be over with soon and some of the stress and anxiety can be relieved.
    Take care of yourself, and Im sure we'll be in touch soon.


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