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Can fibro cause your legs to become useless?
6 Replies
irishbookfairy - June 8

Hi all,
I have been in severe pain for the past 2 weeks now. I have to work and I work at a conveniece store and do a lot of really hard physical work like stocking the cooler, filling ice bags and putting them in the ice cooler, and emptying very heavy trashbags. Plus we get no sit down breaks at all in an 8 hour shift. I am finishing up a 8 day stretch of work right now with no day off. I cry almost from the time I get home and wake up in the middle of the night crying as well. My time at home is spent only in bed massaging and popping pills. Heres my question. Can fibro affect your legs so severely that one of them is almost completely numb with the exception of a few sharp tingles now and again? My left leg is like this. Woke up this way this am. My husband had to go buy me a cane because I can barely walk. My fibro doctor said it was probably best for me to use one so I would not fall and hurt myself worse. I have heard of fibro people in wheelchairs, is this how it starts? BTW--I am putting in my notice tomorrow and will be working with the cane. thanks all!


Noca - June 9

I would tell your employer about your disability. Make sure you are diagnosed and if necessary get a note from your doctor. They wont make you do the physical labour if its against your disability.


Fantod - June 9

irishbookfairy - In a nutshell, it is not likely that your leg problems are completely a result of Fibromyalgia (FMS). Have you ever been elvaluated by an orthopedic surgeon for a back problem? That could be causing some of the issues with your legs. You can call your local hospital physician referral service and ask them for a recommendation to an orthopedic specialist. Your fibro doctor (a rheumotologist I hope) should be exploring other options rather than just assuming the problem is FMS related.

Certainly, your job requiremenrs are not helping because the manual labor and heavy lifting. FMS patients require extra rest. Working 8 days in a row is also a big problem.

You are eligible under the American with Disabilities Act for some consideration by your employer. You could ask for a stool to sit on during your shift among other things. You'll need documentation from your doctor to back up the need for accomodation. If you decide to go this route, be ready for the convenience store corporate people to push back. Not all employers are enlightened about the need to accomodate health issues at work. FMS is recognised by the Centers for Disease Control, the National Arthitis Foundation and the World Health Organization. However, pain is subjective. Some people have a difficult time wrapping their heads around something they can not see like a body cast.

I use a wheelchair myself. I use it for the days that my balance is off or I am extremely tired. When my fatigue level is bad I need to sit down immediately and not have to ramble around looking for a seat. I just push the darn thing around unless I have quite a distance to walk. In that instance, I will have a helper push me while I sit in splendor in my electric blue chariot.

I hope that my comments are helpful to you in some way. Good luck and take care.


mimosette - June 9

Good Lord, Irish, your work would make a HEALTHY person sore! Plus, 8 days straight?

I'd get checked for lower back problems. Sciatica. I have occasional flare ups of sciatica in one hip/leg, and it causes a strange pain (different from Fibro) down one leg,with numbness and tingling.Starts in the butt cheek area.

I use a gigantic icepack under it when it bothers me.


kvc33 - June 9

This job is definately not for you. Yes, my bf and I experience the loss of function in our legs if we do too much. If I go up and down stairs more than a few times a day they become shaky, weak, tight and painful. The only remedy is to lie down and rest. Please let yourself fully recover from this before thinking about returning to any kind of work. If you stop now you may avoid ending up in a wheelchair, if you keep going that's exactly where you will end up.


SueInge - June 11

Hi there,

Please know that the pain/tingling/weakness may be part of fibro (I had it in one arm), but the progression of it comes from many causes other than fibro. Going from a cane to a wheelchair is not an inevitability. That's not part of fibro. Please check to see if you may have some pharmaceutical side-effects (peripheral neuropathy) or other outside factors. Do not assume that your condition will get worse each day. Do your best to use your legs with gentle exercise. Keep your body moving. Your symptoms will vary, but you can find healing through self-education. Please keep an open mind and educate yourself on how the body heals.

Healthy Hugs,



tnichel - June 11

Honey, you need to find a new job when and if you can. But I realize that's not always possible. I had severe leg pain growing up that was always attributed to flat feet and growing pains but thinking back on it, I think some of it was probably fibro. I used to wait tables 5 days a week and pull a couple of doubles a week. My legs would hurt so bad afterwards. When I'd wake up in the morning..the pain would be so bad I didn't want to stand on them. If I staye don them they would go numb...but the pain the next day was magnified. I suffered in silence but looking back I probably should have quit that job.

So, it sounds like some of it's fibro and some of it may be orthotic. Have you ever seen an orthopedic doc to check out your legs? They mostly recommend custom made arch supports for everything. But it could be worth getting looked at just to be sure. I suggest plent of epson salt baths at the end of your work day. I know exactly the pain you're talking about and it is horrible!!! I hope you can find other employment to get off your feet b/c dealing with this on a daily basis is only making your fms worse. Good luck!



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