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Old 04-07-2012, 06:22 AM   #1
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Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

Hello everyone, apologies in advance if I'm in the wrong place, but I feel like this may be worth a try and someone could possibly advise me. I've been reading through other posts to find something similar.

Here's my story:
I'm a 25-year old female and have been suffering with chronic lower back pain for over five years. I post on the Back Problems message board, but lately I've been reading a lot about fibromyalgia (more specifically, localised fibromyalgia) and I'm wondering if that could be what's causing my pain.
I do have a bulging disc at L4-L5, but my pain is much lower and only ever at the base of my spine and in my buttocks. I've had a few sets of injections for pain management, none of which really helped, and have used various pain meds. including Cymbalta and Lyrica. Again, none of these have helped. I've seen two rheumatologists (amongst other specialists) but neither mentioned fibromyalgia. The thing that got me onto this in the first place is that I cannot tolerate most clothes around my waist. Now, I don't mean tight clothes. I mean any clothes in my size. Anything that exerts any pressure whatsoever on my back causes me a lot of pain, so for the past few years I've been wearing things that are a few sizes too big for me, or when I'm at home I usually wear very very loose tracksuit bottoms or pyjama bottoms. However, deep tissue massage gives me relief, so it's obviously a different type of pressure that causes me the pain, because it stops the muscles from tightening or seizing up. Can anyone advise me as to the type of pain felt from pressure which is associated with fibromyalgia?

My other main symptoms are pain when standing (pretty immediate) and when walking (not as bad as standing). A neurosurgeon I've been going to wants me to get a spinal fusion at the spot of the disc problem, but can't guarantee it will help. I'm really starting to doubt whether this is my problem because none of the other pain relieving treatments have helped me. Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Maeve

 
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

Researchers now believe fibromyalgia is part of a spectrum of conditions related to "central pain sensitization." This means the volume on your pain sensing nerves gets stuck on high.

You say you've tried Cymbalta and Lyrica, have you ever tried the older tricyclic antidepressants?

If deep tissue massage helps, it may be a myofascial problem. Basically, your muscles knot so badly that it causes pain in neighboring parts of the body. Regular gentle exercise, massage, and trigger point injections all help.

For me, doctors disagree on whether I have fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome or just a sore back and neck.

 
Old 04-11-2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

Thanks for your response.
No I've never tried any of the older ones, or at least the list I just read online doesn't ring any bells.
Reading about myofascial pain just now does seem similar to my pain. The pain in my glutes feels muscular and very deep. I often punch the muscles to ease it, or lean on table corners. Using a foam roller gives some relief too.
Exercising most definitely makes the pain worse afterwards (usually about an hour or two later), although it doesn't hurt much at the time. I get so tired after going to the gym, and then this combined with the pain means I can't really do much for a few hours afterwards, which I hate.
I just wish I knew what was going in, I'm so miserable from being in pain all the time and I really miss being able to do normal things like walk my dog and not suffer for it afterwards.
Thanks for reading,
Maeve

 
Old 04-11-2012, 06:58 PM   #4
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

It may be you're doing too much exercise or the wrong exercise. Try a Pilates class or DVD. Start with just the warmup part, and see how you feel after that. IF that's OK, then add a few more exercises, but keep it gentle and work on posture. I paid for a few private sessions with a yoga teacher to help me develop an exercise routine that would make me better instead of worse!

 
Old 04-12-2012, 01:33 AM   #5
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

The mother of a friend of mine is a yoga teacher so she did some classes with me. Some of the stretches feel great so I still do them every day. I recall reading a similar complaint on this board though, that I feel I need to do cardio too or I just get unfit and put on weight. The doctors I've seen all insist that it's good for me to keep up the exercise though. I was playing Gaelic football once a week but eventually quit because despite what the doctors were advising me, I knew it was making my pain much worse.
Thanks,
Maeve

 
Old 04-12-2012, 06:35 AM   #6
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

hi maeve,
that was probably me talking about being a personal pain in the arse. i am having the surgery done. mine is L5/S1. i also have a mesh urethra support in which is attached to my obturator muscles on each side. have you been tested for sjogrens disease? probably worth ruling out. it can cause minimal to moderate damage to feel like severe damage in the spine. well, so says my rheumy. i see the neurosurgeon next week for the first time.
exercise is important. have you tried those heat wraps? i love them. also lidoderm patches help me. better than anything else. may or may not work for you.
please reconsider the surgery. as long as it can't make it any worse, what have you got to lose but pain?
peace,
blue

 
Old 04-12-2012, 06:39 AM   #7
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

Well then, don't try running for your cardio. Try things like swimming, walking, maybe a dance class or something.

I am usually able to walk without worsening things. Yoga or pilates can become cardio if you do it for at least 20 minutes without stopping. Swimming is good for me, I just don't enjoy indoor swimming.

I also (believe it or not) do weight lifting. Builds muscle and loosens me right up. I have to be super careful, there's a set routine that I can do, but it works. (Then again, I've only been to the gym a handful of times since January, and I'd say I'm well recovered from my latest situation, so I ought to get off my lazy bum!)

 
Old 04-12-2012, 07:27 AM   #8
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

Hi bluelakelady and janewhite1.
Thanks for the information. No I haven't been tested for Sjogren's Disease (or at least not to my knowledge!). I've just read about it though and it doesn't seem to fit with my symptoms at all. I've seen two rheumatologists over the years: one sent me for steroid injections in my back which didn't help, and the second put the problem down to my hypermobile joints and said there was little that could be done.
As for exercise, I know it's important, even if just for my mental health. I've always been very sporty and I hate giving that up. I was a competitive swimmer for most of my youth but I find swimming aggravates the pain now. Unfortunately anything that involves being upright is out of the question - standing is the worst thing I can do to bring on the pain.

Bluelakelady - are the heat wraps the ones that you wrap around your body and they stay hot for a few hours? Sorry, but everything is different here in Ireland so I just want to make sure it's the same thing. I've used them a few times, though they didn't help much to be honest. I actually have marks on my back from keeping a hot water bottle on it so much over the years. I will look into the Lidoderm patches, though again, I don't know if we have those here!
Thanks,
Maeve

 
Old 04-21-2012, 01:51 PM   #9
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

It get trigger point injections for pain in my glutes. Before that, I was given a heal lift so that my pelvic bones would be even. That worked for quite awhile. Doing core exercises helps pull my butt in and align my spine and that gives me a lot of relief.

 
Old 04-22-2012, 07:00 AM   #10
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

hi maeve,
no surgery for me. it's sjogrens. i learn something new about it with each new doctor. what you read online is not the whole of it as i have found out.
lidocaine is what is in the lidoderm patch so ask your doctor. the heat wraps are just a comfort thing for me. yea, the kind you wrap around and they last 8 hours. another thing if i forgot to mention it is biofreeze. it's this green stuff you rub on and it smells sorta okay. you can find it at amazon. not that expensive and a little goes a long way. i get about 2 to 4 hours relief with that. it comes in a tube or roll on or a big jug with a pump.
the test is a simple blood test and you most likely have not had it. it's not on the list of things to check out when ruling out everything else. i had to tell my doc to test for it and what a surprise, i have it! it is so much like fibro in symptoms and flares. only this puppy does damage. giggle.
hope i answered all your questions. have to check, giggle. oh, if i do 5 minutes of walking a day it counts so anything is better than nothing.
peace,
blue

 
Old 04-22-2012, 06:40 PM   #11
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

What are some of the most common symptoms of sjorgren's?

 
Old 04-23-2012, 07:00 AM   #12
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

hi 477,
dry eyes, mouth, skin are the most talked about on all the sites i went to. there is much more to it. there is a sjogrens foundation you can visit online for info too.
peace,
blue

 
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:52 AM   #13
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

if a person has it wouldn't it show up on the ANA test? Or does a person have to ask for it? I have always had dry skin (very very bad), dry mouth, dry eyes (can't wear contacts cuz of it)

 
Old 04-24-2012, 06:59 AM   #14
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

hi,
you have to ask for it. no it does not show up on ana test. saw my doc yesterday and she said we find another doc. love it!
sounds like it is worth a simple blood test given that you do have symptoms.
peace,
blue

 
Old 04-24-2012, 07:10 PM   #15
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Re: Question about Fib. and back/buttocks pain only

I may bring it up next time. Doc did a full round of blood tests and all was fine except bad cholesterol was 14% higher than normal and thats prob because Im not as active as I used to be.

 
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