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Fibromyalgia pain plus osteoarthritis
4 Replies
pat - February 28

My PCP sent me to a rheumatologist and he diagnosed fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. He did not recommend any meds or special treatment other than routine exercise (I swim) and warm water showers for pain.

With both conditions it is very difficult to know which one (or both) is kicking in at any given time.

Does anybody else have these two conditions working in their body, and if so, what is being done.

I do intend to address this with the PCP when I go back in two months for a routine exam and blood work.

Thanks, Pat


Fantod - February 28

Yes, I have fibromyalgia (FMS) and advanced osteoarthitis in both knees. One hip is also affected but to a less severely. The rheumy you saw should be shot. You can not simply ignore either of these health issues or treat them solely with exercise. I also have degenerative disc disease and it is very difficult to separate the pain associated with any of these problems from FMS.

Osteoarthitis should be treated with an anti inflammatory. I use 7.5 mg of Mobic every day and have for almost 10 years. Celebrex is another option. I am very intolerant of medication so the low dose is what works best for me. Exercise is great, particularly a program in the water which takes the stress off of your joints. Tai Chi is also good for FMS and helps with reducing the stress and anxiety associated with it. You can find a good DVD of Tai Chi and do it at home.

FMS needs to be treated for a variety of reasons. First of all, it usually disrupts the deep sleep cycle which we need in order to allow the muscles to rest and repair themselves. Poor sleep quality leads to more pain. Any time you are dealing with a multi-phase disorder, ignoring one or all of the symptoms will cause a cascade effect of more things going haywire and staying that way. Amitriptyline is usually prescribed for sleep issues. Only certain classes of prescribed medication work for FMS. OTC medication and warm showers are generally a waste of resources and your time. For treating the pain associated with FMS low doses of anti-depressants are prescribed. I use Cymbalta and find it to be pretty effective. Lyrica is not an antidepressant but it is specifically formulated for FMS. Many people on this board have had some experience with Lyrica. The common complaint seems to be weight gain and swelling of hands and feet.

I would urge you to see your PCP sooner and complain about the rheumotologist. When a chronic pain cycle is perpetuated, it is extremely difficult to break it. To find a fibro-friendly rheumotologist in your area, go the the National Fibromyalgia Association website and ask them for a referral in your area. There are still a lot of medical professionals out there that think FMS is a figment of our collective imaginations. It is, in fact, recognised by the National Arthitis Foundation and the CDC. You will have to learn to be your own best advocate to get decent care.

Take care and let us know how you are doing.


schmind - February 28

Hi Pat...over the past four years I have been diagnosed wiith FM and osteoarthritis and after making a nuisance of myself my PCF sent me to a rheumatologist who saw me twice after pain was still a major issue with me. After the 2nd visit where back and neck pain were the greatest problems that rheumatologist sent me to a second rheumatologist who specializes in back and neck pain as well as FMS. This time I was sent for a complete bone scan and it showed that I had five compression fractures in my spine and the rheumatologist said that the three conditions are setting each other up for much increased pain. I've been on opiods for a year and have had to change from one kind to another to keep on top of the pain. I joined the Fibromyalgia Network online and get 4 issues a year of their journal as well as monthly e-mails re updates. I have found that to be a great help as I no longer feel as if I'm in the dark about this.For a while my PCP was really difficult in terms of discussing treatment options but since I've had more tests done and I've been able to tell him what I've learned, things have improved a great deal.

Sorry for such a long reply. All the best. Linda


JOEGIRL - March 14

I have fibro and Osteoarthitis and it is bad at times. My pain was so bad I just laid around and cried. The rummy dr referred me to a pain care dr since all meds were not working.He tried several meds but it didn't work or I had bad side effects. I am on Norco 10mg, and it helps. I was on a pain patch and mobic but both made my blood pressure go up.The pain patch did help my pain tho. So far the norco is working for me.
I never was a pill person til fibro hit me but I have learned that I will take anything than suffer like I was doing. Guess I just be a pillhead the rest of my life.


ItsmeWayne - March 15

Most fibro people have more issues than just fibro. It really doesn't matter which one or both is flaring. It matters to get pain relief and it looks like your doctor, like most, don't care too much about your pain level! You need to find a doctor willing to give you medications for pain, whether it is fibro or arthritis. Trying to survive with chronic pain and no treatment is insane to me!
Itsme Wayne



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