Fibro vs OA

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Well I'm in my own delema of sorts - I have both Fibro and Spinal OA (no idea what stage i'm at), but I have no clue how to tell between the two when it comes to which is what for what is casuing the pain in my spine and hips. 

I'm in 24/7 pain in my lower back and hips, with minor shoulder/neck pain all the time (i've OA in my upper and lower spine). I have what I think are fibro flairs in my lower spine/hips area that will last for a week plus and the pain is through the roof (those are the days I need to use a chair toget around yet sitting is painful yet walking is almost impossible without asstance and even with assistance there is no garentee that my legs will not louse feeling and end me on the ground without being able to feel them). 

I'm currently on Duloxetine 30 mg at bedtime and have been on it for almost two months now and I honesty can't tell the differance being on it from before being on it, nothing feels different (only side effect is that I'm not as regular as I once was - but that is managable). I'm still in 24/7 pain, I'm still not sleeping more then a total of 4 hours in a signle 24 hour cycle.  

My Rhymatolgist will not up the dosage as we know that drugs and me are more times then naught workable - there are more drugs on the market that I can't have or just don't work that its a nightmare to find something that even is workable, and no thc isn't and will never be a option. 

So what I am wondering is there a way to figure out which is which or is it really one and the same and that there will never be a division between the two of them in these areas? I don't have OA in any other part of my body that I'm aware of but I do have muscle loss all over my body to the point that i've extra skin hanging that was just a year ago firm and tight - so I know something is going on and its worrying. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Nyxks, firstly so sorry to hear you're in so much pain.  I do sympathise.  There is very much a crossover between OA pain and the more generalised muscle fatigue and pain of fibro.  OA can cause muscle pain too - I have upper and lower spine OA too, plus one ankle and both thumb joints.  I have terrible upper arm and upper leg muscle pain and the consultant ortho has told me that the upper arm (bicep, tricep, etc) pain is more likely to be due to the OA in the neck than the fibro - the reduction in the joints has cause nerve pinching etc.  As my muscles weaken due to lack of use because of the pain, that in turn adds to the pain.  For me personally (although obviously everyone is different), I find OA pain to be like toothache but in the area of the body affected, whilst the fibro pain is more like the pain you get when you have really bad flu and the whole body hurts even the skin.  Thing is, doesnt matter whats causing the pain, we still have to deal with it.  Anti inflamms don't work at all on my fibro pain although they can help with the OA.  I've had to stop taking many pain meds due to intolerance issues so now I'm trying a range of different 'natural' remedies such as ginger, curcumin, cloves, willow bark (careful with this one, it can cause the same issues as aspirin), meditation techniques, etc.  Too early to tell if any individual one of these is better than others but just taking control of my own pain has made me feel better in myself rather than feeling hopeless and a victim to my pain.

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    • Posted

      I've been trying to stay active - I push myself to walk 3km a day as possible to do so and when the weather is good I will push for 10km because I am told I need to work out. 

      I try and do weight lifting, but even my 2.5 lbs hand weights at times are to heavy for me to lift without dropping, which is fripping annoying since my ability at times to hold onto anything seems to have been efected for some reason. 

      I was let go from my job because I can't lift and push the 300 pounds that is required to be able to do the job, so I've been unemployed thanks to that and unable to find furher employment unfortunatly since I can't even lift a 10 lbs bag of potatoes which is annoying as the world. 

      The pain is its own deal, walking on its own causes a semi flair along my hip area that can last a week plus depending on how much I push myself through it. I do take a low dose asprin (because i'm told I need to by my endocronolgist - diabetic doc, I'm a T1). 

      I eat a LOT of ginger, tumeric, and other spices/herbs I don't eat meat or dairy - I'm a flexarian, as in I'll eat animal based products if necessary.

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  • Posted

    I too have oa and fibro. I had an arthroscopy on my right knee 2 months ago due to long standing pain which I had put down to oa but on mri there was very little oa but lots of debris and a torn meniscus. The surgeon removed the debris and repaired the meniscus but the pain is still as bad. He said he had no idea why I am in so much pain but there's nothing more he can do. I've seen a physio who said that the fibro will make the pain feel worse and make the recovery time longer.

    My fibro at the moment is horrendous, I don't know what to do with myself and pain killers have virtually no effect. I take amytriptyline before bed and also dihydracodeine more for their help with sleep than for pain relief. I have had fibro for about 14 years now and it certainly isn't getting easier. I've just realised that I said my fibro is bad at the moment, but the "moment" has been over 12 months! I was diagnosed with polymyalgia about 18 months ago and was given quite high dose steroids they made me feel I did pre fibro. Unfortunately they bring their own side effects ie making me insulin dependant diabetic and now that I have weaned myself off them the pain is back.

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    • Posted

      ouch, i've been a T1 dibaetic for almost 20 years now so its something I am use to various degrees (though am still needle phobic). at any rate I'm still new to the whole Fibro deal as i got told it out of the blue (went to see the Rhumatolgist to a treatment plan for the OA and got told Fibro, so it was 100% out of the blue). 

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