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how do you know you really have fibro or cmp?

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Old 01-12-2004, 06:51 PM   #1
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khoff HB User
how do you know you really have fibro or cmp?

how do you know you really have fibro or cmp? It is such a vague disease/syndrome. It sounds like its a classification doctors throw you in when they can't figure it out.

I am a 43 yr old male who was fine until 9/03. Back in 11/02 I hurt my lower back (herniated disk) and was asked by a Physical therapist to do exercises at home. I like a fool did these exercise lying down on a very hard floor. It started to hurt my upper back for awhile and finally when I stopped (after months of these exercises) I reached for a towel and felt a sharp pull in my mid back. Next day my entire rhomboids and upper back hurt tremendousley, was swollen and hot to the touch. Lots of soreness and spasms. Took 8 weeks of P/T to finally get better. Was ok until 2 months later when serious emotional distress tightened these muscles once again and now I am sore and tendor in my rhomboids and upper back.

Now I know I am sore to the touch with light pressure in a number of trigger points in my mid/upper back, soreness along areas along spine in upper back and even under armpits, still have sleep problems from depression, lost weight as well. So how does one know if it is really fibro, cmp, or just strained muscles that are sore and tender?

Your list of symptoms is many and varied. But is also like a laundry list of symptoms people can get for various reasons, even emotional problems which can cause muscle stress, soreness and tightness.
It is not to knock you at all, but it all seems so vague. How does a person really know if they have fibro or cmp or is it just a way to classify someone?

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Old 01-13-2004, 05:19 PM   #2
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khoff HB User
Re: Fibromyalgia- Comprehensive Information

Thanks for your excellent response. My gut feeling is that doing those P/T exercises on a hard floor over a period of time hurt my upper back. And I think your also right when you said it probably didn't heal completely and the emotional tenseness triggered it again.
I have had a MRI and it showen no abnormalities, disk or otherwise. So I know it is muscle related. I also think that when the muscle starined back in 8/03, it may have created scar tissue and became more prone to injury.
I guess I just got a little scared since my lower disk is really torn and adding more chronic pain is a bit much.
I personally hate those diseases that doctors label you in when they are so vague and have no known cause, cure, and you feel so helpless because your told you just have to live with it. I know, it's just me.
I do go to P/T 3 days a week, also started accupuncture recently. I am hoping my upper back will improve since it hurts alot and has limited me greatly.
My back is tender to touch in my upper back (especially trigger point areas), under the armpits, and under the scapula. Just trying figure out what is happening.

Old 01-14-2004, 04:15 AM   #3
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khoff HB User
Re: how do you know you really have fibro or cmp?

No numbness or tingling. Pain confined to back, especially trigger point areas on both sides in upper back around scapula up into top traps. Also along spine each side on upper back.
One thing I forgot to mention was two weeks after I started P/T for my upper back when I strained that muscle, is that like a fool, I tried to do an exercice where you sit straight, but you slowly bend your neck/head downward to stretch the back of the neck and upper sine muscles.
Well, I was already tight and I tried and I felt a tear going right down those muscles on each side of the spine on the top, and ended up in the ER. I think I had done some damage to those muscles. Now I exerccise very slowly.
I think when in your in pain, you look at everything to make it stop. Or at least hurt less. chronic pain for me causes alot of depression and anxiety which further increases the muscle pain. It is a vicious cycle.
One doc suggested trigger point injections, but I am very leary of that right now.I will stay with P/T and accupuncture and give it a fair chance.
I too use narcoctics (percocet 10mg) which I have been breaking in half and doing 5mg twice a day. I tried the oxycontin but after a few days, I couldn't think straight, alot of mental cloudiness and confusion.
Sometime on an occasion I will get a sore spot in other areas, but it seems to go away. I think it is a repitive injury and if I can get well again, I will just have to really strengthen up as much as I can and be careful both physically and emotionally knowing what my back will take. right now I'd do almost anything to get better, but I am trying to take it day by day. Gets tough though!


Old 01-14-2004, 10:01 AM   #4
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Re: how do you know you really have fibro or cmp?


That is a very good question.
Just wondering do you have jaw pain?
Myofascial pain disfunction can be due to
tmj disorder.


Old 01-16-2004, 04:51 PM   #5
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khoff HB User
Re: how do you know you really have fibro or cmp?

Wittesea -

you said CMP can be treated or elimintaed with stretches, massage, P/T, etc.. and fibro can't. and one is a physical disease, the other a symptom. Since both have tendor spots like bruises and they can be in the same area as trigger points, how do you really know what you have if anything? There are no medical tests (MRI, CT scans, etc..) that can diagnose these muscle pains. That trigger point thing doctors use with the 11 of 18 sounds pretty unstable before they "classify" you.
How do you really know what you have if anything?


(P.S. - I am going to also post about the effectiveness of lidoderm patches)

Old 02-17-2004, 03:32 AM   #6
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Kare_Kare HB User
Re: how do you know you really have fibro or cmp?

Originally Posted by Wittesea
I hate it too when doctors shove a diagnosis at someone and tell them to "just learn to live with"... why bother to take the time to make a diagnosis if you are just going to tell the patient to go home and silently suffer?!?! I fired a few doctors for giving me that line of garbage

Sure, Fibro has no known cause or cure, but it is still treatable. It won't go away with treatment, but a person with Fibro at least deserves to be able to control their symotoms.

Personally, I have a great doctor now and she prescribes me OxyContin (among other things) for my Fibro pain. That is quite a controversy for many docs, because some of them don't believe in treating fibro wioth narcotic pain meds... but I believe in treating pain with pain meds... DUH! When my pain is not horrible, I ask my doctor to decrease my dosage, I don't want to take any more medication than I have to to kill my pain.

I tend to agree with the fact that the PT exercises on a hard floor probably did contribute to your pain and stiffness.

Just wondering...

Do you have any problems with your arms? numbness, tingling, weakness, arm fatigue, swelling in your hands/fingers, pain in your fingers or hands, clumsiness, coldness??

And/or, headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness?

Is your pain aggravated when you use your arm or both arms?

I ask this because there is something called TOS (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome). The reason I mention this is because you mentioned the pain under your arms and in your scapula area... TOS is yet another syndrome ::sigh:: that is hard to diagnose. It is considered neurological in nature... but there are specific therapies to help the symptoms, and for very severe cases, there is a surgery too.

The basics are that it can be caused by an injury in many cases. It is a compression of the nerves and blood vescles in the brachial plexus (nerves that pass into the arms from the neck)....

I am certainly not trying to diagnose you through the internet, I'm just throwing a suggestion out there for you...

If you aren't having several of the symptoms that I asked about, then you probably (99%) don't have it....

...but it is something that my doctors are looking at for me right now because my left arm keeps going numb (like it is asleep) and I am having a lot of increased pain in my shoulder blade and neck region. Right now my diagnosis is "Left sided Cervical Radiculopathy" which can be caused by a lot of things besides TOS (disc problems being one of the causes). I haven't had an MRI yet (the doc is having me try some anti-inflamatories first to see if that helps).

Anyway, sorry to ramble on and on... I tend to "type out loud" ...which is the same thing as thinking out loud, only with typing instead of talking...

I hope you are having a good day today,
I have been noticing your posts Witnesea and I appreciate your knoledge I have just today been diagnosed with TOS an FM. I have been misdiagnosed and undertreated for 10 years and have a ton of problems stemming from a few natsy accidents, Well not to distract anyone from the thread, I beg your patients o' kind people I am painfully new at this, my hands and unfortunately my mind are uncoperative because of pain. Anyway I appreciate the abundance informed people this is were I find my power, knoledge. Thanks

Old 04-25-2005, 04:13 PM   #7
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veryfrustrated HB User
Re: how do you know you really have fibro or cmp?

I have been reading several posts regarding symptoms and it looks like several of you experience pain in your underarms (armpits) as well as tenderness on your rib cage. I am very surprised I found other people who experience this. ITs weird my armpits trade off, they feel like they get really swollen sometimes, but nothing is there when i feel it, i have skin tags i'm overweight so when they get swollen i guess they rub and it irritaes the skin tags (not fun). i also experience muscle pain in my chest, well thats what my doc said it was that and possible GERD. I had an EKG done about 1 month and a half ago it was fine, but i get these tenderspots on my chest kind of like the center of my chest, i feel them when i cough or sneeze really hard. Does all this sound like Fibro??? i'm a 30 year old male with allergeis and asthma as well. Please help. I have been to the doctors probably about 7 times so far this year, they took a blood test and the CT scan for dizziness and the EKG. everythign came back fine. Please help!

Old 04-30-2005, 11:33 AM   #8
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ukiahvalleymom HB User
Re: how do you know you really have fibro or cmp?

Hi, my story starts off the same as yours...
My file at my pcp prior to October of '03 was not even a 1/2 and inch thick since I had moved here in 1990, now my medical file is bulging over 2 inches thick with here. And I also see 2 other doctors and PT. The initial tests revealed normal finds, no autoimmune disorders, etc...

Since then I have been dx'd with both FMS and CMP, there is a book title, Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain, A Survival Manual, 2nd Edition. You will find the listed symptoms of both, and very updated treatment protocols along with great info on learning how to live with these illnesses, it was published in 2004.

One of the differences is that with CMP there will be very tight muscles that cause referred pain to another location, have you ever experienced muscle spasms? or muscles that are as hard as a rock? Tingling or numbness? When massaged does it feel good as its being done then the pain comes back instantly after? When massaged have you experienced something like a rubberband snap in the muscles? Do you pop or crack your bones?

That is CMP, it is a desease of the Myofascial lining, to best describe it, it is the white sticky stuff you see on raw chicken. It is what covers the muscles and tendon and gives them shape, it even surrounds each organ.

CMP causes the lining to be bunched up which causes the affected muscle groups to bunch up or shrink if you will. In turn it caused the muscles to pull in effectivly the wrong way, which causes the bones or joints to become out of alignment, thus pain, very escruiating pain. It has been documented that CMP is the cause of Scoliosis, curvature of the spine. It can cause TMJ, carpel tunnel, pain in the chest, nerve zaps, etc...

I was dx'd with Scoliosis back in the early 70's, wore a body cast for a year and passed on the surgery in 1974. I have dealt with pain most of my life, in 1994 I had the Spinal Fusion, and tho, I don't feel the need to crack my back as much, I still have had to deal with muscle pain, spasms and weakness.

I worked out doing areobics and weight training up until I got sick, continued to try to until I got too sick.

It wasn't until the dx in September '04 of CMP that it all made sense. I needed the muscles treated, so I am in PT for it. I also have had Trigger Point Injections. I have found that gentle massage works, like polarity, or a gentle pressure extending the muscles longer helps, along with heat and ice treatments. Since the worse part of it tends to be my neck and thorasic area, it effects my brain, eyes, my arms and hands the most. However it can set off my whole spine into my legs when really bad.

Sometimes, I have to take a Flexiril, a muscle relaxer, pain medication does seem to work at all. One thing I did recently that worked well, lidocaine patches, you can use up to three of them in the more painful areas, they can be cut into smaller pieces to use in more places. They are available over the counter, tho, mine is a prescription.

It is much different then FMS, tho many people have been dx'd with both.

I had pain under the arm pits initially, it felt like my lymphnodes were inflamed, along with my other symptoms of hypoglycemia, I told my pcp that I thought my hormones were acting up.

I now see a specialist, who addressed those issues with supplements and natural hormones along with T3, and all those symptoms have been gone since Dec '04.

The brain and body fatigue, tender points, dizziness, vertigo, vision problems, flu-like symptoms, sore throats and the feeling of constant malaise is FMS. Through my treatment that started last November (5&1/2 months) it was found to be an underlying compromised immune system that caused active viruses in the cellular, CNS and blood levels.

Some of the initial treatment addressed my serotonin and norenphrine levels, and mitochondria function. Along with all the other FMS symptoms.

My treatment now includes Zithromax and Diflucan along with Heprin, and some treatment for boosting the immune system. I have had 12 straight days feeling great, no FMS symptoms at all, my eyes are white, my vision is better than ever, my skin looks great, no cognitive thinking problems, I can muti-task,and I have energy!

I almost feel like 'my old self' except that I now realize that I don't want to be that person, through this journey I have learned so much, I had to learn boundaries and priorities, to listen to my body, to eat healthier, to rest, to slow down. I want to keep those changes in my life and not go back to the way it was before.

I can only share of my own experience, one thing for sure is that the research has truly advanced over the last 10 years and especially the last 5 years, there is treatment out there, so become active with your recovery.

I hope this helps, and provides encouragement, uvm

Last edited by ukiahvalleymom; 04-30-2005 at 12:02 PM.

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