Severe muscle tension?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by rfarwell5, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. rfarwell5

    rfarwell5 New Member

    I was wondering if anybody on the boards has had a similar experience/ set of symptoms:

    About 5 years ago (age 19), I woke up one morning with what I would later find out was a tension headache. I had had migraines and minor headaches in the past, i.e. throbbing, intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, etc., but nothing like this particular headache ever before. I just had this feeling of tension in the back of my head, no pain really.

    The next few days and weeks the tension did not dissipate. Over the course of the next weeks and months, the tension - incredible stiffness and "tightness" - spread to my neck and upper back. I of course sought help from my family doctor - he chalked it up to stress and wanted to prescribe antidepressants - to which I initially balked at.

    Fast-forward 5 years and countless X-Rays, MRI's, and lab work later...along with trying many different medications, my symptoms have grown to match the majority of fibromyalgia complaints. Along with the CONSTANT dull aching tension of my neck and head muscles, shoulders, back, knees, and hands (typing is the worst!), I have bad acid reflux, IBS, migraines, anxiety problems, and severe depression.

    However, I do not have shooting pain when the doctor touches various tender points, hence I am not officially diagnosed with fibro. That said, my doc says its the closest condition with my presentation of symptoms, and that fibro can "present itself in many different ways."

    Although it may not help to have a "label" affixed to my disease, it would at least make me feel less lonely.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/25/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 09/26/2008]
  2. goldengoddess

    goldengoddess New Member

    I've had shooting migraines, and tension headaches... they have plagued me since aobut 16 and have grown increasingly worse over my 32 yrs. I think fibro affects everyone just a little differently. I mainly get shooting pains in the trunk of my body, in the pelvic area, hips, and lower back. It seems to be different for every single person.

    There is a theory out there that fibro is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Since I suffer from Bipolar as well and know that each BP patient suffers differently, it makes sense to me that fibro is the same.

    Pursue the fibro diagnosis, atleast you will have a "label" from which to work with within our medical system. I definitely feel your pain!

  3. jami117

    jami117 New Member

    I, too, have what feels like muscles in a constant state of contraction. I'm quite limber, so it's not a case of just needing to stretch the muscles. As with you, the muscles in the base of my skull and in my neck were the first to get so bad. I often use my wooden foot-roller to beat those muscles on my neck to try to get some relief from the tightness.

    I tried a muscle relaxer about six years ago and it didn't help at that time. I've just started again trying to find one that might help a little.

    Another thing that sometimes gives me some relief is a devise that you attach to a door, then put a cradle of fabric around the back of your head, then you can adjust the traction to get a major stretch to those neck muscles. I got mine through my physical therapist several years ago.

    If I find anything else that helps me with this specific problem, I'll post it here. I wish you comfort.

    [This Message was Edited on 09/26/2008]
  4. sunflowerxo

    sunflowerxo New Member

    Hi, When I had my back injury 3 years ago the fibro started in my back along with the injury so I never knew it then. The second symptom I had after that was intense stiffness and sharp pain in my neck right at the base of the skull at the end of the hairline, especially when I woke up in the morning. I thought it was my pillows. I found out 2 years later it was FM when the rest of the body started hurting everywhere. Also, I was diagnosed with benign positional vertigo at 18 right around the time I had mono.... It may have taken all these years for an injury to bring out the FM full blown.... Anyways I'm 41 now and the headaches are like every other day and it always feels like someone hit me in the back of the skull with a baseball bat! Not fun. I'm currently using heat, the TENS unit on top of the shoulder area and hot tub. I still have symptoms :0(
  5. vannafeelbettr

    vannafeelbettr New Member

    It's the kind at the vitamin/health food stoore that the body-builder's use to promote quick muscle repair. People with our syndrome (and you look just like FM to me) do not have adequate amino acid availability to repair the little 'wears and tears' in the tissue of the muscle like 'normal' people do. Theory is due to our lack of stage 4 sleep and Krebs cycle. I am following a protocol put on this board by KALLSUP that I strongly recommend you look at. It has helped me with my muscle pain and strength immensely!!!

    Good luck!!
    [This Message was Edited on 09/26/2008]
  6. sleepyinlalaland

    sleepyinlalaland New Member

    and have had since my teens. I'm 60+ now, so sorry if the prognosis sounds gloomy. I also have barely noticeable tender points (hmmm, could this tight "body armour" be masking them?)

    Like Jami117, I also am very limber, which only makes it more baffling when I describe my muscle pain as STIFFNESS, that obviously can't be quite accurate, but that's the way it feels.

    I've tried everything to little avail. I stretch a lot everyday and sometimes do yoga, but get only temporary relief (like only in mid-stretch!) I've tried hanging upside down back in the days of "gravity boots" and have had two hour massages and chiropractic intervention. I lie down on a tennis ball every day and manipulate it along my upper-back and shoulder area. Things cruch and crack but only momentarily relieve tension.

    They NEVER let go and while nothing makes it better, there's plenty that makes it WORSE. I'm just grateful that at my age I can finally (thanks to SSDI) avoid the real stressors that make the chronic tightness flare often into actual stabbing pains!

    I have children your age Rick and at least one of them has the same issues that I do. She STRUGGLED mightily through college and is now struggling through a first job. I hope and pray that for her sake and all younger victims such as yourself, that there will be more effective treatment and knowledge about this condition SOON!

    P.S. I don't have a "label" either, so I know what you mean by wishing you fit more neatly into a medical category. FM is so varied, that I'm sure there is no real norm.
  7. rfarwell5

    rfarwell5 New Member

    As scary as your post was, I am relieved to hear that other people suffer from the same hellish thing as me. It sounds like your daughter is in a very similar situation as me.

    My condition started in the middle of college, and it was incredibly tough to do all the late night cramming and homework through the pain, but I stuck it out.

    After graduation, I moved to a new city (D.C.) and I think all the stressors aggravated my condition. I acquired IBS, horrendous acid reflux, and my muscle stiffness is so bad at times it makes me noxious and dizzy - it's like my muscles are like a huge hand squeezing my brain - and it's like that permanently. They are not "daily" headaches, it is just one long one that has never ceased to exist since June of 2004.

    That said, I am trying my best to live my life. It is hard enough being a recent college grad finding a job and moving to a new city all alone, and with this condition I struggle daily with the decision of whether or not I should go back home (to a clueless father and a depressed mother who does "not know how to help me").

    One day, I hope to find answers to this mystery disease that's completely taken over my life.
  8. vannafeelbettr

    vannafeelbettr New Member

    Also wanted to mention, if the muscle tension is accompanied by burning, it could be from a build-up of lactic acid. A remedy to dissolve that is malic acid, which is found in apples. Take a couple teaspoons organic apple cider vinegar in 1/2 cup of water and drink down (warning...will not taste good). Also, a warm soak in tub with Epsom salts (sold in supermarkets and drug stores) will help pull lactic acid out through your pores.
  9. rfarwell5

    rfarwell5 New Member

    Thanks vanna!

    I am wary of most supplements because it seems that most are just expensive snake-oil - I've lost thousands of dollars (on a credit card) pursuing remedies and treatments that did nothing for me.

    That said, I look forward to giving Epsom salts and the apple vinegar a try. I've been on protein powder before (just GNC Whey) - the whey (dairy) bothers my stomach and makes me very bloated due to the IBS - but I've never tried ones with "taurine" (isn't that a stimulant found in Red Bull?).
  10. surferbuddha

    surferbuddha New Member

  11. surferbuddha

    surferbuddha New Member

  12. surferbuddha

    surferbuddha New Member

  13. sleepyinlalaland

    sleepyinlalaland New Member

    and found it interesting, although not especially hopeful for one lacking the funds for the therapy needed (much less a doctor able to diagnose it and PRESCRIBE therapy).

    I was especially curious in a statement made in the first article that pops up regarding the condition: it states that CMP is a DISEASE...and that FMS is a SYNDROME (and also that it is not unusual to have both).

    I wonder what element of it gives it the DISEASE status. Could it be the physical fact of fibrous bands of tissue (trigger points, which are different than tender points)?

  14. harboreen

    harboreen Member

    I don't know if I'm allowed to tell you about a website. oh yea the rules~ but I forget too quickly.
    I supppose if this is not allowed then it'll yet pulled off.
    good luck!
  15. harboreen

    harboreen Member

    "I lie down on a tennis ball every day and manipulate it along my upper-back and shoulder area. Things cruch and crack but only momentarily relieve tension."
    please be careful w/tennis balls. :(

    I have fibromyalgia/chronic myofascial pain.
    (although I am also very limber) I knot up easliy and often.. when I do the knots can stay with me for months on end,it's quite awful to say the least.
    I have a friend who's daughter is a trainer- suggested exactly what you state above with the tennis ball.
    I like to read what others have tried and greatly appreciate the suggestions, but you just never know what will help or hurt.

    This has been the worst thing for me.
    I tried the tennis ball thing and it caused my muscles spasms so traumataically that I could barely move for weeks! I'm very serious.
    Oh my heavens am I ever sorry I tried this.just be careful is all I want to say, I mean no harm to the poster at all.I just want to warn before people they might try this..
    be careful!
  16. harboreen

    harboreen Member

    there is myofascial pain syndrome
    and there is chronic myofascial pain..
    I have been dx'd with the latter
    it is a for real illness, condition, desease
    then there's fibromyalgia
    some doctors believe FM/MPS or FM/CMP
    are one in the same but if you read Devin Starlaynl's books as the previous poster mentioned "Chronic myofascial pain syndrome" "A Survival Manual"
    you'll learn the difference. It's very easy to understand.
    Great book!! thanks for the reminder I should re read this one since it's been many years.
    think I'll take a trip to the library.

  17. spacee

    spacee Member

    I have done the tennis ball thing. Boy, good to know both sides of that! I did it at night before a bath and it still would hurt during the night but would be better the next day.

    The thing that I have found that helps me the most is klonopin.

    This is an benzo so most people would not want to be taking it but since I have for 20 years, I had it on hand. I took the tiniest of amount you would think would do nothing at all and it 30 mins the pain was gone. And I was in bed with the pain when I took it.

    Well...this worked for me and may or not help you dear friends...just my 2cents.

    Hope you find something that helps!

  18. margo60

    margo60 New Member

    Sorry to hear that you have this debilitating muscle tension as well ...
    This is how my FM pains started ... only at the time I thought it was caused by the air conditioning in the office beating down right above my head (sure it was a contributor as well)
    The back of my head, neck and shoulders felt like they were in a vise. I used to say that I feel like my muscles were holding me hostage.

    At first what helped me the most is getting a shot on each side into the large muscle that comes down from the neck to the shoulder in the back (don't know the proper name of it)

    The all time stand by for me since then is keeping moist heat on it. I have made my own bag (6"x20")filled with rice,
    I mist it on both sides with water and put it in the microwave to get nice and warm ... it feels wonderful, and if you need to use cold pack for something you can put it in the freezer.

    I think you can purchase these as well, but I wanted to make one in the size that would also work if I wrap it around my lower back. I have been using it for years.

    Good luck ...

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