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Dealing with similar conditions, hard to find resources
9 Replies
Mllea - May 13

Hi everyone. First of all I just want to mention that I have not been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, however I found this site when searching for info on conditions I do have and thankfully this has still been a great resource. I hope it's ok to post here just to see if others are dealing with some of the same things I am and if anyone can help me find out more.

I want to know how I should go about easing and perhaps even erasing my current problems, which include dealing with Mysofascial trigger points including sore spots along my right ribcage and some ocassional sharp "electric" shots of pain, and on and off chest (upper right)/shoulder/under arm pain. A few months ago I saw two doctors, explained my chest pain and "sore spots" and both simply told me my pectoral muscles were inflamed. I then saw a chiropractor who gave me more info - telling me about MTPs and explaining my pectoral muscle stopped working properly (probably triggered by my hours of daily computer use) and other muscles around it were overcompensating, causing my discomfort. Anyways, thanks to her MTP therapy and other treatments the worst of the pain went away but the same things keep coming back on and off: the dull pain, the sore spots, the trigger points. I could go and see her again but I am traveling and so cannot see her very often this summer. Like fibromyalgia sufferers I find relief from heat, rest, yoga, massage, even aromatherapy, but I so badly want these pains to simply go away.

My family and husband don't understand what I am going through because I seem fine to them and I'm only 26, but this reoccurring pain is such a drain and a cause of great anxiety (which only seems to make it all worse). Sometimes I even feel fairly depressed for days at a time over it. Which again, just makes it worse.

The worst thing is I would do more for myself to ensure that it goes away but I really cant find much information on the internet about these problems. I know it's not as severe as fibromyalgia but this was the first website I really came across with some decent info on some of my conditions. I am just wondering if any of you who deal with some of the same problems and could point me towards some more decent resources so that I can continue to understand and treat these issues. Thanks a lot. Wishing you all the best.


January - May 13

Hi Mllea -- You might have a mild case of beginning fibromyalgia. I say this because you mention trigger points, dull pain, shooting pains, muscle pain, anxiety and depression - and these do seem to be linked to fibromyalgia in many people. Have you been to a rheumatologist who is familiar with it to be evaluated? That is probably the best place to start.

Your post caught my eye because right now I am dealing with pretty severe shoulder pain that just won't go away. All my other fibro issues are under control - this came out of nowhere and even pain meds don't help. When I went online, I learned that other fibro people have shoulder problems too. I guess I will see the rheumy and request an MRI. The only thing that helps my range of motion is DMSO. In researching (googling) "shoulder pain" I've come across a lot of material about different things that could be going on - and different possible causes.

If you have time, read the general discussion threads on this website - the one true thing is that we are all different! But there is so much valuable information on here. Some people do well with antidepressant or anticonvulsant treatment, some people (like me) do very badly on them. Before you start taking anything like the usual recommended "fibromyalgia drugs" I suggest you google them and read the forums. Cymbalta has been very troublesome for some. But it helps others. Just be aware what you are getting into if you decide to take these drugs, know what the side effects are ahead of time - and make sure you start at low doses and titrate up slowly. It's better to stay at low doses. The drugs are moneymakers for the drug companies, and are being heavily marketed. The drug reps are "educating" the doctors - many drs. don't know about ALL the side effects - and they are being told by the reps to give higher doses than may be necessary (higher doses = higher drug profits). So just make sure YOU know enough to ask questions about treatments that are offered. You can find out about any drug by googling it. The NIH website is pretty good. You can also read forums about peoples' reactions and recommendations.

There are lots of natural treatments that help, like acupuncture and massage - as you say. A gluten free diet helped me considerably. You don't mention if you have trouble sleeping, but many of us do and that's a major problem that must be treated. If you aren't getting restful sleep, your body can't repair itself properly. The excellent old doctor who diagnosed me years ago told me in fibromyalgia you have to treat two things: sleep and pain. I have found supplements and meds to help with both. Usually, we have to experiment until we find the right things that work for our bodies. Don't know if this answered your questions...

Nobody really knows what fibromyalgia is - drs are taught it's a depressive illness - but there is a lot of evidence that it may also be tied into an infectious agent. If you've had a severe flu, or mono (Epstein Barr virus) or if you've had physical and emotional trauma that ties in to fibro also. There are more young people being diagnosed now - I don't know why. But what you said about "I seem fine to them" is something we can all relate to! Most of us fibro people "look fine" and feel horrible - so other people just don't understand how much pain we are in, and how exhausted we feel! Hope you will get to a good rheumatologist and at least get fibro ruled in or ruled out. Best of luck to you.


Pikespeak - May 15

Excellent response January! Perhaps you should cut and paste this and repost it on an as-needed basis! You are an excellent writer!


Pikespeak - May 15

Hi Milea! One additional thought...once I realized that I had myofascial pain, I bought two trigger point posters depicting the major points. They have been SO useful! When I have a sore spot that won't go away, we get the posters out! Sometimes I can massage the points myself and sometimes my husband's elbow/forearm is/are most helpful...a massage table is most useful too--it has saved us buckets of $$! Hope this helps!


Pikespeak - May 15

UPDATE: Trigger point charts are online to view! Look at to see them! Lots of additional info there as well, but may be confusing to those who aren't familiar with myofascial pain/trigger points.


January - May 15

Hi pikespeak - thank you for your kind words! (makes me feel somewhat useful!)

Just want to say I googled the site you mentioned above, webmanmed, and it is AWESOME! I bookmarked it for a closer look later. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this site for anyone with fibro pain! There is all sorts of great info here that can help you understand how pain gets referred around the body - trigger points, dermatome maps, etc. all in one place.

If anyone is having costochondritis, shoulder, back, leg, facial pain, etc. etc. - any unexplained pain, please check this site out - it will help you make notes of where the pain travels, so you can better inform you doctor and hopefully, get a better diagnosis! Maybe even print out some of the charts and educate your doctor...


Mllea - June 13

First of all my apologies for a belated response. I want to thank you all for your help! January thanks so much for your post and the suggestions. Pikespeak thanks a lot for the poster. Mysofascial pain is my biggest problem and so I am mostly looking for help on that right now. Those charts will be a bit


Mllea - June 13

Sorry, accidentally hit enter! What I meant to say was those posters will be a big help! I am very interested in learning more so I can self treat as much as possible. I travel a lot so don't have a regular doctor at the moment, so I am anxious to learn how to reduce my symptoms on my own. Moving/exercise and avoiding panicking and falling into a depressed state really all help minimize my pain! As well as my chiro's treatments. Also, it may sound silly but I had no idea a rheumatologist was the Dr. To see. So far my symptoms don't seem as severe as the fybro you are dealing with. I do have trouble sleeping but I think that could be a result of some of the anxiety and simple stress of some of the Mysofascial pain.

All in all I will be mindful of it in the future. Thanks again for the help and resources!


January - June 14

Hi Mllea! Good to hear from you. Just a couple remarks - the myofascial pain COULD be related to a food allergy. Lots of us have this problem. I went very strictly gluten free - and after about a year, the myofascial pain was greatly reduced. I also had trigger point injections of lidocaine, with massage, that broke up the big knots in my back. Acupuncture helped too.

As for the sleep issue, that is a classic fibro symptom. Not saying that is YOUR issue - but it might be. I've done the best with melatonin for sleep. I also add on some Ambien as needed. Ambien is great, but some people can quickly build up a tolerance to it - I did, so now I rely mostly on melatonin. Other people have mentioned Calms Forte, an herbal supplement. For years I took Unisom to sleep and it worked well, but it doesn't seem to help much any more.

Good luck, and hope you get some relief soon!


Pikespeak - June 14


Glad to know you're still with us! You can do self-massage while you're travelling. You can also try to work on any trigger points that you can reach. When you find the "point," press down for about 30 seconds, then release. The blood will flow back into the area and will hopefully give you some relief. You can also look at all the folks on youtube that address trigger points. Some of them are very informative! Before I was diagnosed with FMS, I developed myofascial pain, mostly in my right ankle and up the inside of my calf. I now have it on the back of my upper arms, and throughout both legs. I had a negative test for gluten sensitivity, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't do well on a gluten-free diet. I eat very little bread/flour products as it is, and buy cereals that are gluten free. I just need to make up my mind that I'm going to give it an honest try for at least 6 months...



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