Pain and stiffness down both sides of neck

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Chelz, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    I think I may be dealing with some sort of myofascial pain syndrome along with my FMS. For years now, going on over 20 years, I have had pain down both sides of my neck in the front.

    I do have TMJ which was diagnosed before my FMS, but I am not sure that this is what is causing this pain. I do have trouble opening and closing my jaw as well.

    I go to a massage therapist about once every other month and she said these muscles were called the sternomastoclodial (I don't think I spelled that right) muscles.

    Obviously, since I have had pain and tenderness in these muscles for so long, I know it's not anything fatal, just so weird. The last time I mentioned this to a regular PCP which was years ago, he just gave me Elavil, but he never really told me what it was.

    I was fitted with a mouthgauard years ago, but it did not take the tenderness away. Also, the Elavil never took this pain away either, so I stopped using it for that reason and also the nasty side effects of the drug.

    They hurt when massaged, but it also feels good to dig into these muscles, but not too deep either or else they will be extra sore. Having this kind of constant pain along with my other FMS pain is so depressing, especially when I don't know what it could be other than a side effect from the TMJ.

    This pain was one of my first symptoms in a list of symptoms that have followed, then my TMJ diagnosis came next, then the FMS, so I feel like a walking mess. But, I also feel that no one else has this problem, not even other FMS people, I feel alone in trying to describe how it feels, so I just don't even bring it up to doctors anymore. My massage therapist says my neck muscles in the front do not feel any different than anyone else she has worked on, so I just don't know where to go from here. Any advice? Hugs, Chelz.
  2. ikathy

    ikathy New Member

    I also have pain and stiffness down my neck concentrated more on the left side. I just had a massage today and I specifically asked the therapist ( a new one) if my muscles felt any different than any of her other clients. She said they did not.

    I have pain in the sterno muscle and facial pain on the left side along with tension headaches. It's really annoying pain. I have had FMS for approximately 17 years. Elavil was the first drug that was prescribed for me also and I still take it. In the past it has helped me sleep, but is really not that helpful anymore.

    What do you mean by TMJ? Is something wrong with your jaw joint or do you have trigger points in that area? Do you grind or clench your teeth at night? I also wear a bite splint to protect my teeth from the grinding, but it does not help with the pain and tenderness.

    I'm sorry I can't give you any good advice because I'm still trying to figure this all out. I feel your pain and I know first hand what your experiencing. Do you do any yoga? It might help.

    Have you tried any of the new medications that are out? I was reading a book recently (can't think of the name of it now). They interviewed a doctor (neurologist) and he felt that those with FMS have a tendency to hold their muscles tight like clenching. I notice that I do this. He prescribes a medication called Buspar (at a low dose) along with an SSRI drug. The two medications work together to release some of the muscle tightness. He stated that muscle tightness in the forearms and leg calves and plantar fasciatis??? is also quite common in FMS patients. Oh, I have all that too.

    Have you ever tried guaifenesin? I'm still confused as to how it works, but it may help with relaxing some of the muscles.

  3. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I am not a doctor so take this for what it is worth.

    Because TMJ has a structural component it might put you at risk for OSA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea. I was just diagnosed and even though I still have the FM but it has improved some of the FM symptoms.

    How is your sleep? Since sleep is so closely tied with FM, I think sleep studies are essentials.

    I had no idea I had it. You don't have to be overweight, unfortunately I am, especially with women, children and the elderly. Weight may be a risk factor but not everyone who is overweight has OSA. The same with snoring. As we age the mouth/throat muscles become lax and if you have structural problems you are more susceptible to getting OSA.

    Have you talked to your dentist about this? Dentist can be quite good assessing your mouth structure, I know mine used to kiddingly complain how hard it was to work on my teeth.

    This may not pertain to you but thought I would throw this in. I wish you luck and keep us posted.

  4. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I have a ton of neck pain; however, there are several reasons for it, so it is hard to say which one (if any) might be the same as what you are experiencing.

    I have had whiplash more than once, have TMJ, have Fibro, Myofacial pain syndrome, and ME/CFS (which causes pain all over, but also makes my lymph glands in my neck get very painful). Usually when it's the lymph glands, it is really obvious to me that there are large extremely painful lumps there, and in general that is also when I am starting to crash. When it is other ME/CFS pain and/or Fibro pain, it seems to be more tenderness and aching.

    When it's the Myofacial pain thing it is also lumps, but they feel different than the glands do. I am not exactly sure how to explain the difference, expect that the gland thing seems to accompany a very bad flu like feeling and the myofacial thing seems to feel more like a muscle thing (& it sometimes squeezes nerves, so then I can't turn my head and that pain can also radiate). The TMJ pain is different from all those, but the muscles involved in TMJ do connect with a bunch of other muscles in the neck and back, so it is possible that one is feeding the other.

    I did have PT for TMJ several yrs ago (I know it sounds included utlra sound, heat, ice, some gentle exercises, and some massage - both inside my mouth and outside -believe it or not)....they did a bunch of different things that really helped, and they also told me that sometimes the splints that a lot of people use can actually cause people to bite down harder during the night, and actually make the pain worse.