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11/19/2009 07:47 AM

Is it Joint Pain or Muscle Pain


I'm having a hard time sorting out what symptoms belong to what cause. I have Fibro, and Osteoarthritis in multiple joints, and Ulnar nueropathy in both arms, Raynaud's, an unspecified connective tissue disease, migraines, severe allergies...

The thing is I am having a hard time knowing what is causing what. How do I know if the sharp pain in my knee is fibro or Osteoarthritis. How do I know if the nerve pain in my toes is from the fibro or something we haven't found yet. (more nueropathy) How do I tell if my super severe headaches is the fibro or allergies. How do I tell if the pain in my back is joints or muscle.

What I really want to know is how to tell if it's really my joint or the muscles that surround it. Maybe it's both and that's why I can't tell for sure.

Anybody in the same boat?


11/19/2009 12:13 PM

Oh yeah. I hear you on that.

Pain is pain. At this point I can't tell what is what. I just keep trying different things to see what helps.

The clasic Fibro- heache tho'- I can help you on that.

There are tender/trigger points between our shoulder blades and on either side of the back of the neck just below the skull, there are a couple more points actually on the scalp. When those points get stimulated muscle contractions start somewhere between the shoulder blades and the back of the neck then the scalp starts to feel like there is, well it's kinda like having your hair pulled but the pain feels like it is inside the head- meanwhile there is muscle spasming happening in the shoulders and back. Sometimes spreading to other places such as legs and arms. It's miserable.

A Psychiatrist, told me i didn't have Fibro. She said I had "Somatized emotional pain that presents as physical pain. Yes the pain is real but it's not Fibro."

Well when I ended up in the ER with one of these 'Fibro Headaches' and full body muscle spasms, The Psychiatrist said "Was the pain pulling at the back of your head- was it the Fibromyalgia trigger points at the top of your back and on the back of your head,that set off the headache?"

A male friend of mine had really bad pain in his joints- all the joints in his body. he thought he must have arthritis. His muscles didn't hurt. He was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Now he says if he really focuses on the pain in the joints during a relaxation meditation, he can feel that the pain is in the muscles that run through the joints.

Sometimes i will do a relaxation meditation and then have a "conversation " with my body, checking in with each area, visualizing the size shape and color of the pain. I also make an effort to regognise places that are not showing pain and check out how those parts of the body are doing. I figure it's worth trying, I am in a lot of pain and need to lay still an quiet in a dark room. Why not try having a conversation with my body?


11/19/2009 12:43 PM
Posts: 11320
Group Leader

wow I can understand where that might be confusing to you..I also have neuropathy but nerve pain is so very diffrent from muscel and joint..not to say the joints dont hurt cause of muscel..I wish I could give you a solid you treat these types of pains diffrent? for me if a hot bath helps my muscels then I know it was the fibro..diffrent solotions for diffrent problems I know Im not being a big help I just wanted you to know we are here for you

11/19/2009 12:49 PM

Actually heat helps both muscle and joint pain.

11/19/2009 05:51 PM
Posts: 9183
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Hello kitkat,

I am sorry you are having such pain ~~~~ I can t even imagine having muscle AND joint pain. Having both, I would agree, would probably be hard to tell which is which ~~~

Before I was dx d with Fibro, I sometimes wondered if I were developing arthritis of some type but the more I read and talked to my dr., I distinquished that my pain is definitely muscular/nerves.

I would have to agree, at least for muscle pain, heat is definitely my choice ~~~


11/19/2009 07:13 PM
Posts: 8219
VIP Member

I have both...lots of osteo in my neck, back, hips, hands and feet. I kept telling osteopath I used to see that my shoulders hurt...I thought it was osteo but she'd squeeze them in different areas and when I said ow, she'd say muscle...I take meloxicam for the osteo and it even helps somewhat with the fibro pain. Gabapentin is a miracle drug for me, I'm on 600 mg now and most of my nerve pain is gone. Xrays showed where the osteo is. Moist heat helps it all. I bought this thing called a "bed buddy" which is a heavy microwavable collar type thing that puts off moist heat. It's on my back right now but it'll be on my shoulders after I reheat it. It's better than sex, maybe even better than chocolate LOL...

11/20/2009 05:06 AM

Actually thats a really good diagnostic thing, squeezing the area to figure out if its muscle. That would lead me tot hink that the pain in my knee is definitley the joint as it doens't hurt any worse by touching or squeezing it. Also it hurts more when I put weight on it (sharp pain when I walk) hmmm. They did xray my knee a while back and said it looked fine but they also said xrays are "behind" when it comes to showing arthritis and xray or no xray it looks different to me. Its pretty easy to look at my fingers and toes and visually see the joint deformity. Its harder when your talking about a knee or your neck or your back... Of course the same doctor looked at my deformity in my hands and feet and tried to tell me "maybe your getting a LITTLE osteoarthritus." and she also said I have a "llittle" fibro but when I read about problems you guys have and what dose of meds it takes to help you I KNOW it's not a "little" anything. I am right now taking 600mg 2 times a day of nuerontin and finding no relief. Not to mention the Tramadol's not doing anything for the pain its so bad. BTW I did fire that doctor! She had the nerve to tell me when I asked her what I could do for myself to feel better, "well most people just learn to deal with it better"!

11/20/2009 05:17 AM

The same doc also said I only needed to be xrayed once a year because its a slow progressing damamge. My hands and feet showed zero deformity a year ago, definitley not slow. I'm still not convinced they wont one day decide its RA. Despite their being evidance in my fingers (bloodvessles) that I do have some kind of connective tissue disease, despite the fact that the anti-inflamatories are actually helping,The bloodtests came back fine, BUT I have the right symptoms and it is very progressive and I know that not everyone has a positive ANA. My mother's issues didnt show up in blood tests either, she had to go to Mayo before anyone finally figured out she had Type II diabeteas. Blood test showed fine. I told my doctors that and they didnt believe me. The same doctor told me I dont have inflamation (I do) and come on, the anti-inflamatories have helped signifigantly. Don't you think that indicates inflamation! I know my ulnar nueropathy is caused by inflamation in my joints. After I started the anti-inflamatory that got better too! Although I now know that the Lyrica was helping it as well. Still it's nothing like it was before the anti-Inflamatories. Hmmmm.

11/20/2009 10:22 AM
Posts: 2157
Senior Member

I'm sorry but when there is no deformity and then deformity next year there is defintely something wrong!!!! And I always thought it came from RA not osteo, especially in hands and feet! And your right ANA's don't always show + on lupus pts. as I'm one. You did right by getting another dr. We need to take a stand when we get dr's who are ignorant and tell us it's in our heads WE KNOW OUR BODIES THEY DON'T. Their just going on general consensus and what have learned in books. So they need to LISTEN, LISTEN AND LISTEN AGAIN...The way I tell if its joint or muscle it to actually poke directly on joint and if it hurts it's joint, if you stand on it and hurts or put weight on it it's normally joint. With my muscles it's more of a burn and ache type of pain and joints are more of a stabbing won't give up with help either pills or rubbing....Does that make sense SORRY VERY FIBRO FOG TODAY shouldn't even be answering but just need to chat.....SOORRY

11/20/2009 11:48 AM

yes that makes sense and thats what I think too. I really think my doctors want to blame all my pain on fibro but I KNOW something else is wrong. Unfortunately their is not another rhemuey here thats covered by my inshurance so I'm not sure what I'm can do but wait for more symptoms and signs and then say HEY PC, what do you think now... My joint problems are what prompted me to see a doc in the first place. I'm very concerned about the stabbing pain in my knees, and wrists, elbows, back, and so on... And your right, nothing helps that pain. I am becoming more and more aware of the difference between the fibro and something else but can't get the docs too see past the fibro. Grrrrrrr. I always thought Osteo was limited to only one or two joints, all my joints hurt.

Post edited by: kitkat2856, at: 11/20/2009 11:50 AM


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