Any relief for tight muscles?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by 99, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. 99

    99 New Member

    My neck, shoulder, along spine,(esp lower back) down through buttocks and leg muscles are hard as a rock, even at rest. Heat helps with some achiness, but I can't go around on a heating pad or live in the tub. Muscle relaxers (flexoril, zanaflex) didn't touch it. I think the Zanaflex knocked me out for 2 hours then I was right back where I started.... not good during the day.

    Exercise makes me feel like rigor mortis has set in, only I'm not dead to the pain! Vicious cycle...

  2. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    You are in a vicious cycle. Sorry.

    Myofascial release helps mine, I exercise before my appointment to get my muscles deeply warm and then the PTs do their thing. Yes my muscles do tighten up after a number of days but I do have relief and a sense of control which helps the psychy. I exercise five days a week, stretching being a big part of that. Otherwise, I would turn to stone, I am sure. June
  3. 99

    99 New Member

    I'm new here, and haven't heard of this. What is it?

  4. Wingingit

    Wingingit New Member

    I can relate to the pain you are suffering with!
    I was bedridden for hours at a time with a hot pack and rubbing until I nearly had my skin bleeding...and yes, my muscles were tight and rock hard...thought I would die, the pain was horrible.
    Since discovering MSM, I am doing 60% better!
    A niece of mine suggested MSM and I was willing to try just about anything to get some relief. I did a search on the web and found a lot of information about it. It is a supplement which is harmless and has proven to have no interaction with prescription meds (except blood thinning medications). The only side effects I found it to have was mild gastrointestinal problems (gas, diarrhea)when I first started taking it, but these quickly subsided.
    You may benefit by giving it a try... I certainly did and I take it religiously now.
    If you do a search in this forum, you will undoubtedly find many other testemonials to the effectiveness of MSM.
    Hope this helps you as much as it did me.
    [This Message was Edited on 08/05/2003]
  5. 1948

    1948 New Member

    you can get trigger point injections i han a bad pain in my neck for 6 weeks and a rope like knot i had 2 injections and no pain anymore. before that my siatica and right leg hurt so bad i could hardly walk for 3 months that finally left me and then my neck. the injections are wonderful for me ask your pain management doctor about them. good luck id have more if and i ever need them again. gail mcdonald trenton florida
  6. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    This is how the professionals explain it:

    Myofascial Release is a very effective hands-on technique that provides sustained pressure into myofascial restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. The theory of Myofascial Release requires an understanding of the fascial system (or connective tissue). The fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider's web or a sweater.

    Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one structure that exists from head to foot without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.

    Fascia also plays an important role in the support of our bodies, since it surrounds and attaches to all structures. These structures would not be able to provide the stability without the constant pull of the fascial system. In fact, our bones can be thought of as tent poles, which cannot support the structure without the constant support of the guide wires (or fascia) to keep an adequate amount of tension to allow the tent (or body) to remain upright with proper equilibrium.

    In the normal healthy state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When we experience physical trauma, scarring, or inflammation, however, the fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted and a source of tension to the rest of the body. Trauma, such as a fall, whiplash, surgery or just habitual poor posture over time and repetitive stress injuries has a cumulative effects. The changes they cause in the fascial system influence comfort and the functioning of our body. The fascia can exert excessive pressure producing pain or restriction of motion. They affect our flexibility and stability, and are a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and strain.

    I had FM diagnosed 15 years and did pretty good with swimming etc, but about 6-7 years ago got myself literally tied in knots, was a mess. Myofascial release MFR helped a lot. As with all the info presented on this board, MFR is one tool we can use.

    Good luck. Fondly June

  7. 99

    99 New Member

    Thanks, June, and everyone-

    What a great explanation about the fascia, and it sure makes sense as to what is causing some of the pain, anyway.

    Is this something one goes to physical therapy for, or is it an 'alternative' medicine type thing?

    My prob is no insurance and no $$$, unfortunately, or I'd definitely seek it out. Maybe someday.....

    Anyone have any more suggestions?
    Gail :)
  8. zestytx

    zestytx New Member

    One inexpensive thing I found is a pilates exercise ball from wal mart. It's in the sporting goods department. It's a large inflatable ball, like a beach ball on steroids. YOu can sit on it and bounce to warm and loosen muscles, then stretch yourself over it on your stomach or on your back. It's been amazingly helpful with back, leg and hip muscles that dont' want to relax. I still haven't gotten a lot of help with my neck, but just relieving my legs has done wonders with my ability to get around more gracefully.
  9. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    I found that working on trigger points either myself, with my hands, massager or by rolling on a tennis ball or a little hard cedar storage ball on the floor, or by a friend or physio or chiro helped release my muscle spasms a bit.

    Also I found a great free site for info on stretches and palpation to help release the fascia and muscles called bodymindresources.

    If you can hang upside down, i.e. don't have any contraindications, maybe the bending over and letting your body hang stretch shown on the site would help your back to release a bit. I think it's wise to start off really slow and small and work your way up. he mentions that if you can hold a stretch for 5 minutes I think he says, the muscle will release. but, I don't think it's wise to start with 5 minutes!! I started with 15 seconds I think.

    The stretches have helped me some with my neck and arm pain [T.o.s.?] but I've gotten a little lazy lately and haven't had time to do them much in the last few days. I did find the hanging down one does start to release several areas in my neck back and upper butt muscles.

    Also, I didn't do stretching when my injury and muscle spasms were in a very acute stage, the pain was so intense. I wonder if I could have found a drug I could take to handle the pain if I should have pushed to do more stretching or whether it was right to wait til area and inflammation calmed down more...The thought that stretching earlier on might have eased my pain sooner has me wondering...

    Good luck!

    Jen F
  10. gracie97

    gracie97 New Member

    You also might get relief using progressive relaxation and autogenic suggestions.

    A really good book that most libraries have that explains how to do those things: The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook. Even has scripts you can use to make your own relaxation tapes.

    Not a quick cure, but I've found those practices very useful for pain and stiffness -- in fact they are my primary means of pain relief.

    Pain will tense up your muscles, and then that results in more pain, and more tensions, etc. Those techniques help break the vicious cycle.
  11. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member


    Zestytx mentioned the physioball. I work out on that ALL the time,it is wonderful. Just allowing your body to relax over it in different positions. The trick is helping your muscles to truly relax, sometimes not easy for us. You can empty your mind and think you're relaxed, but your body sometimes holding tension. (this is one benefit of having MFR done by another, the therapists know and point it out, and help it along) You can get a fascial release on the ball, relaxing and taking the time.

    Tennis balls for the tender/trigger points are helpful too as someone mentioned above,(sory can't remember who). June
  12. 99

    99 New Member

    Hey, these ideas are great! Sound like can and will dos, to me... I'm not sure about hanging upside down, though. I have a picture of opossoms hanging by their tails from even if I could get INTO that position, I doubt very much I could get out. Sometimes I can hardly get up off the couch (it is low) and I have to get on the floor on my hands and knees and pull myself up using the coffee table. But the WalMart ball sounds like a good place to start. Wonderful, thanks! Gail :)
  13. ladydi

    ladydi New Member

    Hey Gail,
    I can identify with the hard muscles. That's one of my biggest problems.

    The tennis ball on the floor was too much for me. Someone told me about a "dog ball". It's a rubber ball, with a short rope attached to it. This way you can lean against the wall, holding the rope in your hand, and let the ball roll around on your neck, back, ect, until you find just the "right" knot to work on. I bought mine at a pet store. ($5).

    Hope I described this right.

    I also use the big ball for excercise, stretching. You can put in against the wall while leaning your lower back into it. Then you gently quat up and down. This is very good for your front thighs and lower back.

    Good luck.
  14. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    99 - whoops, I didn't describe the hanging down position very well. I didn't mean hanging upside down by your ankles. I meant bending from the waist and letting your head and arms hang down, takes the back muscles out of their holding position I think, and the weight of your head, arms stretches those muscles.

    Though, completely upside down IS good for some people. There's a tilt[?] table at a back store in Toronto that goes upside down and can have great benefits for people with no contraindications. Though, one needs to start with very short periods of time to start with.

    That dog ball idea is great, wish I had known that when I was trying to work on my very painful trigger points a few weeks ago, couldn't find a wall with the right corner to press on the points I needed! That hard rubber ball on a rope is a great idea!

    Fortunately, my muscles and pain's not as bad now.

    Jen F - not an opposum, lol! :)
  15. Sunshyne1027

    Sunshyne1027 New Member

    The post on why it all becomes tight was very informational. Thanks for that!

    I got the tight muscles mostly in my legs, with knee pain. If I sit too long it makes it worse too. When laying down to sleep it spasms in my legs. Almost like charlie horses.

    The suggestion on the ball from Wal-mart.. A great idea too! Don't have insurance or the cash to go to any more doctors either.

  16. reva727

    reva727 New Member

    Have you tried valarian? Hope I spelled it right. It's an herbal product that is a natural muscle relaxer. Most drug stores, natural food stores, etc. carry it.
  17. Therrell

    Therrell New Member

    I have had FM.and Myofacial Pain Syndrome since 1993. It actually was a massage therapist who told me what I had. Her aunt was Janet Travell, the author of many myofacial pain medical books and JF. Kennedy'e personal White House Physician. He also had "Trigger Points". I found a GREAT BOOK called The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook (Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Releif). It is by, Clair Davies, N.C.T.M.B. It is the best trigger point book that I have seen and I think is will greatly help many people and it takes no money to use it. That is the best part. It shows you all of the muscles and where to put pressure on them and it is easy to read and apply. There's examples of how to do everything they suggest.It was copyrighted in 2001,so it is a fairly new book. Check it out and see if you like it. Just one more hopefully helpful hint.
  18. JaciBart

    JaciBart Member

    I use that mentholatum ointments for arthritis, the one that is from Albertson's works great, Osco brand. It must have the glucosamin & chondriontin & lanolin in it. I get muscle spasms that come on instantly, right about the middle of my spine on one side, my right side. My saccro area also will knot up, I just rub some ointment on it and that in addition to the muscle relaxers work for me. Zanaflex is what I am using now for muscles.