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Has anyone told you you have tight muslces? in your neck, legs, back?

Posted by CatherineL on 1/21/03 at 11:49 (106136)

Hi all,

Something that dawned on me this week in thinking about my pf 'cure'...

After 2 years, and several posts here last year, and trying just about everything...

I thought I should post to anyone who has tight leg muscles, or has been told by a therapist their muscles are very tight.

In 2000 I had a phisiotherapist tell me I had very tight calf muscles.
In 2001 I had an athletic therapist tell me I had tight calf muscles.
In 2001 I had a massage therapist tell me I had very tight muscles.
This same massage therapist inquired whether I'd ever been checked for fibromialgia.

Well, no I hadn't. My mom has fibro, and my sister was recently diagnosed, but, no I hadn't even thought of that. Because, I feel fine! (ya right, hobbling around, being tired, muscles tight... that was fine to me at the time, I was used to that being normal for me)

Well, after seeing my dr. last year and discussing it in regard to other health problems, she checked the trigger points, and low-and-behold, I had many of them. My dr. was not ready to label me 'fibro', but she started me on flexril (a very typical fibro med), and I started doing better in many aspects of my health. Then she started me on elavil (another very typical fibro med). And, a few months later, after battling the pf for 2 1/2 yrs, well, the pf is 'cured'. And all the tight muscles I had all over, are no longer tight, and yanno, I never even realized they weren't tight anymore, until I had a bad day, and they were tight. Then it dawned on me.

Now, when I'm stress, or not sleeping well, I find my muscles tighten and my feet start to hurt a bit.

So, if anyone has ever told you that your muscles are tight... take that as a serious concern!

CatherineL

Re: Has anyone told you you have tight muslces? in your neck, legs, back?

Kathy G on 1/21/03 at 14:21 (106155)

Good point, Catherine and I'm so happy to hear that you're feeling so much better. Fibromyalgia is no fun. I know; I have it. I was wondering, how often do you take the Flexeril. I take Soma (a muscle relaxant) when I have a problem and of late, I have been taking it at bedtime. It seems as though I awaken with less pain. I can't take Flexeril. I tried it on two occasions - about a year apart - and both times it gave me a ferocious migraine headache.

My newest problem is carpal tunnel syndrome, or at least I think that's what it is. I've got an appointment with the doctor tomorrow. My pain isn't in my fingers, though, it's in my wrists and forearms. I've stayed off the computer due to a muscle spasm in my shoulder but it looks as though I'll be off for a long time due to this. I'm hoping I've caught it in time and it will be short-lived.

Ain't life fun?

Re: Yes! I have tight muscles and could use a lttle advice....

marie e on 1/21/03 at 20:52 (106215)

I have had problems with tight calf muscles all my life. I have TTS, PF with a touch of tendonitis. My leg muscles have been really tight for about 6 mos. It's worse when I am tired or stressed. I ache when there is a low pressure system or damp weather. I don't know much about fibro but I am going to talk to my GP about it at the next appointment. What doctor is qualified to dx fibro? Are there any tests involved?

Any help you can give would be appreciated.

thanks marie

Re: What is flexeril ?

Pete on 1/23/03 at 03:24 (106415)

Is it a muscle relaxant ? What are the side effects.

I have foot and back problems and have been told I have stiff calf, hamstring, hip, lower back, shoulder and neck muscles. I have had numerous treatments inc myofascial release massage none of which have had a significant effect.

Re: Yes! I have tight muscles and could use a lttle advice....

Liz P on 1/23/03 at 07:59 (106429)

Marie,

To be properly diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, you should see a rheumatologist who specializes in the treatment of FMS. There are certainly GPs and family docs who are well researched in FMS and can do proper diagnosing of this syndrome, but there are also many doctors who are not well educated in FMS and do not know how to diagnose it. Many of these doctors, unfortunately, blanket-diagnose Fibro for just about anyone (mostly achy women) who seems to ache for no apparent reason. That's NOT what you want as there are many reasons you could experience symptoms similar to FMS and not have Fibro.

There are no definitive tests (blood work, X-rays, etc.) which show FMS; that's why it's usually a diagnosis of ruling out everything else. Go to the website for the American Arthritis Foundation or the Rheumatology Association to find out the 18 sets of trigger points which play a part in diagnosing FMS and also for a list of its other symptoms. On the Web, you'll also find most major medical sites have a lot of information on Fibro. I'd read as much as you can before seeing a physician so you've got a better basic understanding and can ask specific questions of your doctor.

Good luck with your research. I've had Fibro for 13 years and am very familiar with the research being done and the treatments that are out there. I'll try to help you if you have other questions!

Liz
(email removed)

Re: Has anyone told you you have tight muslces? in your neck, legs, back?

CatherineL on 1/23/03 at 12:32 (106484)

Kathy,

I took flexril 3x/day for several months... I had to work up to that dose otherwise it knocked me out. I'm now pretty-much off flexril and take elavil daily instead.

I think these 2 meds were KEY to my recovering!

So... are your muscles very tight? I'd guess they were... given that you have fibro and these chronic muscle/tendon probelms. Give the fibro treatments (muscle relaxant, elavil, etc.) some serious consideration.

Catherine

Re: Yes! I have tight muscles and could use a lttle advice....

CatherineL on 1/23/03 at 12:36 (106485)

GP's know about fibro, and there is a string of symptoms. Your problems do sound like they could be fibromialgia, but check out the internet, and other resources, and see your dr. The main test for it is 'trigger point' checking... ie. the dr. will poke at several spots on your body, and they should feel okay, if the gentle poke feels like they hit a bruise, then it's a tender spot and if you have enough of these spots along with many of the fibro symptoms, then the diagnosis is fibro.

I know my dr. wasn't big into 'labeling' me, but she did try the different fibro meds, without 'SAYING' they were fibro meds, and bingo... problem is gone!!!

Re: What is flexeril ?

CatherineL on 1/23/03 at 12:38 (106486)

Pete,

An underlying problem could very-well be the cause of all your muscle/ligament/tendon problems.

I've had laser, massage, phisio, all of it, and it helped with the overall pain, but never got rid of the problem.

Flexril is a muscle relaxant, but is also a primary med to treat fibromyalgia.

Catherine

Re: What is flexeril ?

Kathy G on 1/24/03 at 08:57 (106606)

Catherine,

I also take 20 mg. of amitriptyline a night for the Fibro. Acutally, I took it originally to help combat migraine headaches. One of the other wonderful side effects of the drug is that it helps to contract the blood vessels which expand when one has a migraine. (It's actually a much more technical explanation but that's about as technical as I get!)

I believe I've had Fibro since I was in my early 20's but no one ever gave it a name. It's nice that there are drugs available to help alleviate some of the symptoms but, by and large, I think it's just something you learn to live with. In my case, I had no idea that other people didn't ache in all the places I ache. I just thought it was perfectly normal!

I'm so glad you're feeling better and thanks for telling me about your dosage. There are a few new muscle relaxants on the market that are very similar to Flexeril so maybe I'll ask my doctor if I could try one of them. The Soma is a kind of 'first generation' muscle relaxant so I'm not sure it is as effective as the newer ones are.

Re: What is flexeril ?

CatherineL on 1/24/03 at 09:41 (106610)

Kathy,

Wow, so much in common... What a hoot!

My dr. started me on the amitriptaline for migraines as well. I think she was considering it as a 'all purpose med' for me, to help with the fibro, migraines & mild depression.

[In my case, I had no idea that other people didn't ache in all the places I ache. I just thought it was perfectly normal!]

SAME HERE TOO!!! ie.. my hub would poke my upper-arm, and I'd go 'owwww', and for years he just thought I was a big baby, and I bruise so easily too. When they were considering fibro in my sister, my sis checked my 'trigger points', she explained that 'you shouldn't feel buised' Those points should feel the same as any other place. What a revelation huh!

I'm trying to increase my amitriptaline/elavil and I'm working up to 30mg right now... I think I'll keep upping until I feel it's also helping my sleep, moods, and MIGRAINES.

Catherine

Re: What is flexeril ?

Kathy G on 1/24/03 at 16:23 (106670)

Yes, I know what you mean, Carmen. I was seventeen when I found out that everyone didn't have a stiff neck when they wake up in the morning!

Re: Has anyone told you you have tight muslces? in your neck, legs, back?

Kathy G on 1/21/03 at 14:21 (106155)

Good point, Catherine and I'm so happy to hear that you're feeling so much better. Fibromyalgia is no fun. I know; I have it. I was wondering, how often do you take the Flexeril. I take Soma (a muscle relaxant) when I have a problem and of late, I have been taking it at bedtime. It seems as though I awaken with less pain. I can't take Flexeril. I tried it on two occasions - about a year apart - and both times it gave me a ferocious migraine headache.

My newest problem is carpal tunnel syndrome, or at least I think that's what it is. I've got an appointment with the doctor tomorrow. My pain isn't in my fingers, though, it's in my wrists and forearms. I've stayed off the computer due to a muscle spasm in my shoulder but it looks as though I'll be off for a long time due to this. I'm hoping I've caught it in time and it will be short-lived.

Ain't life fun?

Re: Yes! I have tight muscles and could use a lttle advice....

marie e on 1/21/03 at 20:52 (106215)

I have had problems with tight calf muscles all my life. I have TTS, PF with a touch of tendonitis. My leg muscles have been really tight for about 6 mos. It's worse when I am tired or stressed. I ache when there is a low pressure system or damp weather. I don't know much about fibro but I am going to talk to my GP about it at the next appointment. What doctor is qualified to dx fibro? Are there any tests involved?

Any help you can give would be appreciated.

thanks marie

Re: What is flexeril ?

Pete on 1/23/03 at 03:24 (106415)

Is it a muscle relaxant ? What are the side effects.

I have foot and back problems and have been told I have stiff calf, hamstring, hip, lower back, shoulder and neck muscles. I have had numerous treatments inc myofascial release massage none of which have had a significant effect.

Re: Yes! I have tight muscles and could use a lttle advice....

Liz P on 1/23/03 at 07:59 (106429)

Marie,

To be properly diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, you should see a rheumatologist who specializes in the treatment of FMS. There are certainly GPs and family docs who are well researched in FMS and can do proper diagnosing of this syndrome, but there are also many doctors who are not well educated in FMS and do not know how to diagnose it. Many of these doctors, unfortunately, blanket-diagnose Fibro for just about anyone (mostly achy women) who seems to ache for no apparent reason. That's NOT what you want as there are many reasons you could experience symptoms similar to FMS and not have Fibro.

There are no definitive tests (blood work, X-rays, etc.) which show FMS; that's why it's usually a diagnosis of ruling out everything else. Go to the website for the American Arthritis Foundation or the Rheumatology Association to find out the 18 sets of trigger points which play a part in diagnosing FMS and also for a list of its other symptoms. On the Web, you'll also find most major medical sites have a lot of information on Fibro. I'd read as much as you can before seeing a physician so you've got a better basic understanding and can ask specific questions of your doctor.

Good luck with your research. I've had Fibro for 13 years and am very familiar with the research being done and the treatments that are out there. I'll try to help you if you have other questions!

Liz
(email removed)

Re: Has anyone told you you have tight muslces? in your neck, legs, back?

CatherineL on 1/23/03 at 12:32 (106484)

Kathy,

I took flexril 3x/day for several months... I had to work up to that dose otherwise it knocked me out. I'm now pretty-much off flexril and take elavil daily instead.

I think these 2 meds were KEY to my recovering!

So... are your muscles very tight? I'd guess they were... given that you have fibro and these chronic muscle/tendon probelms. Give the fibro treatments (muscle relaxant, elavil, etc.) some serious consideration.

Catherine

Re: Yes! I have tight muscles and could use a lttle advice....

CatherineL on 1/23/03 at 12:36 (106485)

GP's know about fibro, and there is a string of symptoms. Your problems do sound like they could be fibromialgia, but check out the internet, and other resources, and see your dr. The main test for it is 'trigger point' checking... ie. the dr. will poke at several spots on your body, and they should feel okay, if the gentle poke feels like they hit a bruise, then it's a tender spot and if you have enough of these spots along with many of the fibro symptoms, then the diagnosis is fibro.

I know my dr. wasn't big into 'labeling' me, but she did try the different fibro meds, without 'SAYING' they were fibro meds, and bingo... problem is gone!!!

Re: What is flexeril ?

CatherineL on 1/23/03 at 12:38 (106486)

Pete,

An underlying problem could very-well be the cause of all your muscle/ligament/tendon problems.

I've had laser, massage, phisio, all of it, and it helped with the overall pain, but never got rid of the problem.

Flexril is a muscle relaxant, but is also a primary med to treat fibromyalgia.

Catherine

Re: What is flexeril ?

Kathy G on 1/24/03 at 08:57 (106606)

Catherine,

I also take 20 mg. of amitriptyline a night for the Fibro. Acutally, I took it originally to help combat migraine headaches. One of the other wonderful side effects of the drug is that it helps to contract the blood vessels which expand when one has a migraine. (It's actually a much more technical explanation but that's about as technical as I get!)

I believe I've had Fibro since I was in my early 20's but no one ever gave it a name. It's nice that there are drugs available to help alleviate some of the symptoms but, by and large, I think it's just something you learn to live with. In my case, I had no idea that other people didn't ache in all the places I ache. I just thought it was perfectly normal!

I'm so glad you're feeling better and thanks for telling me about your dosage. There are a few new muscle relaxants on the market that are very similar to Flexeril so maybe I'll ask my doctor if I could try one of them. The Soma is a kind of 'first generation' muscle relaxant so I'm not sure it is as effective as the newer ones are.

Re: What is flexeril ?

CatherineL on 1/24/03 at 09:41 (106610)

Kathy,

Wow, so much in common... What a hoot!

My dr. started me on the amitriptaline for migraines as well. I think she was considering it as a 'all purpose med' for me, to help with the fibro, migraines & mild depression.

[In my case, I had no idea that other people didn't ache in all the places I ache. I just thought it was perfectly normal!]

SAME HERE TOO!!! ie.. my hub would poke my upper-arm, and I'd go 'owwww', and for years he just thought I was a big baby, and I bruise so easily too. When they were considering fibro in my sister, my sis checked my 'trigger points', she explained that 'you shouldn't feel buised' Those points should feel the same as any other place. What a revelation huh!

I'm trying to increase my amitriptaline/elavil and I'm working up to 30mg right now... I think I'll keep upping until I feel it's also helping my sleep, moods, and MIGRAINES.

Catherine

Re: What is flexeril ?

Kathy G on 1/24/03 at 16:23 (106670)

Yes, I know what you mean, Carmen. I was seventeen when I found out that everyone didn't have a stiff neck when they wake up in the morning!