Shoulder and arm pain in fibromyalgia

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Can anyone describe the pain they get in shoulder and arms. I understand from what I have read that shoulder pain common in fibromyalgia. I have been diagnosed with mild fibromyalgia against a background of osteoarthritis in knees neck hip and lower back. I have a lot of pain with neck from oa but now having lot of pain in shoulders and arms including hands. Left side is the worse. Not sure if it's fibromyalgia or oa. Thanks.

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  • Posted

    HI, I Too suffer with the added shoulder pain with Fm, its not a sharp pain but deeply hurts and too tender to touch even bras straps hurt when it flares up, also have oa sometimes its hard to tell which complaint is causing which pain? VERY confusing ,

    wishing you well, I Find doing mindfullness has helped me to relax more

    best wishes, christine

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    • Posted

      Thank you christine17824 for your reply. Yes I have tried some of the mindfulness videos and I agree they do help. I perhaps don't do them often enough. The pain in my shoulders especially left one does burn when I first lie down in bed , but generally it is hard to describe the pain. They are not particularly stiff in that I can raise my arms ok up and out not quite to easy going back and it does hurt to do so. The top of my left arm feels sore and bruised and well as painful one of the doctors as my surgery said it was muscle. I have had neck arthritis for years but it is only last year that it starting getting painful. It eased off a lot with physio but has come back this year. I also remember before this my chest being really sore and my upper back between shoulder blades I wondered at the time was it costocondritis (probably spelt that wrong). None of this is helped by anxiety and stress and the fact that where we moved to 3 years ago our living room is very small so it means sitting at an angle to watch tv. I wish you well and hope the future looks brighter for you as you say it is very hard to know what pain is caused by what. Best wishes Carol

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    It's like a deep pain that runs under the skin and any pressure will cause the pain to deepen and increase and takes a while to ease off, but can get very intense. Sometimes it feels like a burning sensation and other times like intense pins and needles. Pain specifically in the shoulders and arms wouldn't really be typical of fibromylgia to my knowledge, for me it's anywhere and everywhere. There is a condition called Polymylgia Rheumatica (PMR) that's affects the shoulders specifically, causing pain down the arms and the hands can be affected also, plus hips. Do you find it difficult to lift your arms? This would also be a symptom of Polymylgia. On the other hand its may be from your OA, pain in the neck can cause a whole range of problems really. Might be worth mentioning Polymylgia to your doctor, if a dose of 5mg to 10mg of steroids for a few days makes a difference in your pain then likely it is Polymylgia, if it makes no difference, then it's not. Best of luck, hope you find some answers!

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      Thank you Mrs_Hobbles for your reply. As mentioned in my reply to Christine17824 it is very difficult to describe the pain. As mentioned in my other reply I do getting burning in the left shoulder when I first lie down in bed. I sort of have the feeling this might be neck arthritis causing this. We moved here 3 years ago and both my husband and I have had more hospital and gp visits then most of our life before . We are about to celebrate out Golden wedding anniversary. I have have battled ibs and gastritis tests for angina and my my poor husband has type 2 Diabetes, astha/copd and arthritis as well all of which has given me a great deal of anxiety I more or less have the ibs under control now with the help of special diet low fodmap you may have heard of it. You mention polymyalgia Rheumatica what I can tell you is that at the end of June when I saw the rheumatologist she did blood tests the ones for inflammation and they were all normal and the rheumatoid one negative. Are they CRP and ESR and another one you might know. Steroids are a big worry for me as I have glaucoma and steroids are known to increase eye pressures and make glaucoma worse and of course your eyesight is very precious. I was told some time ago at Moorfields eye hospital that I am what they call a steroid responder which for glaucoma it means my eye pressure rises when I take them which you have to do after cataract surgery luckily the course is only 6 weeks and tapering down each week. I was given a steroid inhaler for my perennial rhinitis it worked well but had to come off it for the same reason. I have asthma inhalers but seem ok although I don't if they caused the cataracts. I was told that the type I had where not the usual old age type but one called subcapsular which develops more quickly and can be caused by steroid use. So you see my problem. I know with polymyalgia you have to have steroids for 1 or 2 years so I really hope I never need to take them but of course would have to if really necesssary. You asked did I find it difficult to lift my arms so no I don't but it does hurt. I also have osteo arthritis in one hip lower back all down spine and neck and knees not to forget my right thumb LOL. I am hoping to see my gp this week with any luck she has been away for sometime and only locums available. I would like to get some xrays on my shoulder and fresh ones on the neck and maybe some more physio. My shoulders like my neck crack and crackle when I move them so that is oa I suppose. I am due for routine blood tests so will get them done as well and maybe ask for repeat of inflammatory ones. I also have an underactive thyroid so maybe that needs adjusting have had for over 25 years. Thanks for your advice re steroids. I wish you well with your health. Best Wishes Carol ps one last thing I think the amount of time spent on laptops and I phones will cause problems down the line for some people. I am also to blame I spend too much time on them and keep promising my self to cut down to 30 mins a day.

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