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pain all over, please advise

stormshadowsstormshadow Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi.I have been suffering with severe muscle pain and tightness for the last 6 weeks.
the pain effects my hips, calves , lower back(main site of pain), upperback and everywhere in between.
My doctor prescribed me a NSAID which has had little success.I am also getting physiotherapy and dry needling sessions to try to release the trigger points.All sessions have gave temporary help but the pain returns the next day or sometimes hours later.
My pain and stiffness is less in the morning(straight out of bed) and gets worse as the day goes by regardless of what activity I am doing.
All blood test have been clear except for a mildy high rheumatoid factor of 77.All other inflammation markers are normal(cpk, esr, ana etc) and doctor thinks the problem is not artritis as the pain is muscles and not joints.
Phsio thinks the problem could be a muscle imbalance in the pelvic area due to my walking posture and has given me a stretching program to do and the possibly orthotics soles to correct my posture, I find it hard to believe that a muscle imbalance could cause so much pain in areas that are so far away from pelvic area in question.I am booked in for an MRI next week to see if there is disc problems.
I would appreciate if someone could have any suggestions as to what the problem could be so I could request further investigations.
Thank you
Stephen W
age 31


  • stormshadow,
    Widespread muscle pain, on both sides of the body's midline and both above and below the waist is the definitation of fibromyalgia. There are no specific tests for fibromyalgia and it is usually a diagnosis of exclusion. It is often used as a wastebasket diagnosis when nothing else can be found. There are some who feel fibromyalgia is just another name for already existing conditions such as depression, but without the stigma of having a mental illness. A lot of research has been done on fibromyalgia and it still exists as a nebulous condition that: may be caused by..., or this medicine may help..., or it must be this because it isn't that..., etc.
    However, there has been some promise in fibromyalgia in terms of treatment, with the use of medicines that alter the response to nerve impluses as they are registered in the brain. Savella (milnacipran)(an SNRI antidepressant - though it was approved by the FDA for only fibromyalgia - a marketing ploy in my opinion) helps some people, as do some of the other SNRI and SSRI antidepressants. Nerve pain modulators such as the anticonvulsants Lyrica (pregabalin) and Neurontin (gabapentin) have also helped others. If no other cause of your problems is found, this may be a diagnosis that is brought up. Again, it is usually a diagnosis of exclusion, so make sure there is nothing else that is going on that has a solid treatment.
    Also, you say it has only been going on for 6 weeks. Sure you didn't have some prodromal symptoms going on? Six weeks is a very short period of time (though it may not seem like it to you) and is usually considered still in the acute stage. Hope you find some answers.

  • Hi Stephen,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and there are many well written doctor peer reviewed articles here. What area of your spine are they doing a MRI on? You might want to look at a dermatone map and see how the different areas of the spine relate to the different areas of the body. As far as really telling you what is wrong no one here is a doctor and your symptoms are pretty broad. I can say that typically issues with legs would be associated with the lumbar spine, but that is not a exact. Have you ever injured your back in anyway that you can remember? Sometimes it will take time for a complete injury to show up.

    You might also want to look at the video here that explains the spine. Have the possibly looked at fibro as a diagnoses? I think you might know more when you get the mri completed. How long do you have to wait for the results? The only thing that might help that I can think of, is it is muscle related then a muscle relaxer might be in order. Also try rotating out heat and ice and that tends to help muscle issues much more.

    Anyway just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Good luck and keep us posted. Once again welcome to spine-health.
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  • I would side with mogradh and tamtam for the possibility of fibromyalgia. Your prescribed treatment seems to suggest your doctor diagnosed the same. Still, it's wise to check for other treatable conditions. The pain pattern you described is not typical of an inflammatory disorder. Be sure that you have been tested for hormone imbalances (thyroid, testosterone, adrenal). If you work around any toxic chemicals let your physician know about this (lead, solvents, or insecticides, etc). Try very mild exercise (physio to direct for you) and be sure to get adequate sleep and an ideal diet as much as possible. You should see your doctor periodically so they can establish a pattern for your condition to help them diagnose you. Good luck.
  • I've often wondered if a compressed nerve root could mimic the symptoms of fibro. Not saying that is the case here, but could an irritated nerve root creat the kind of over active nerves associated with fibro?

    Just thinkin out loud here. Any thoughts?
  • An imbalance in your hips can cause muscle pain throughout your back and hips and legs.It sounds like you have a lot of the same symptoms as i do. I also have a lot of disc bulging but i also have done a lot of massages and have also have explanations of how all the muscles inter connect and a problem with one part of you hip area can throw everything else off making them work hard,putting them into spasms.I really hope that your discs are fine and that it is just a muscle issue.
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  • Sassy - I am thinking a bit like you. Ive had one nerve decompression on lower back back in 2006. Had trouble ever since with lower back pain/ sciatica but also have had all the symptons of fibro but just lately im having a big flare up and am wondering if more nerve problems are going on in my lower back and thats why I am getting problems with my feet and hands (numbness / tingling etc).
    Not due back to pain clinic until end of April so will mention it there. In the meantime I'll keep taking the tablets !!

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