Question :

Fibromyalgia, DDD and hypothyroidism

Dear Ask The Doctor:
My mother has been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and fibromyalgia. She also has hypothyroidism. The problem is that her arms are constantly in pain, like a constant feeling of pain like the sore feeling you get after a hard workout. She has trouble just putting a coat on. She had an EMG done and the results were negative. The medication she was put on for fibromyalgia did nothing so she does not take it anymore. The doctors just keep telling her that its fibromyalgia but the EMG came back saying that it wasn't her nerves so how can it be fibromyalgia? Could her pain be caused by her degenerative disc disease? We just don't know what to do anymore and the pain is getting worse. Any thoughts you could give me would be much appreciated, Thanks


Answer :

Dear Patient: 
 Fibromyalgia is a codition that causes chronic pain in muscles and ligaments. It may be a widespread or global pain. It may start in one site, but with time becomes generalized. It can affect individuals of any age, and more women than men, but just the 2% of the general population in US meet the criteria to be diagnosed of Fibromyalgia.    Although this disorder affects about 4 million Americans, the vast majority of them are women in their mid-30s to late-50s.In addition to muscular pain and stiffness can also cause fatigue, sleep problems, depression and an inability to think clearly. It may be associate with other problems, like maybe in your mother’s case, with Degenerative Disc Disease(DDD), also the EMG is not amongst the diagnostic tests for Fibromyalgia. While there is no known cause for fibromyalgia, recent research has revealed some new facts about the disease. One of the new discoveries is that people with fibromyalgia process pain differently. The level of chemical in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) called substance P, which transmits pain impulses to the brain, is three times higher in people with the disease than in those who do not have the condition. This likely causes someone with fibromyalgia to experience pain more intensely. Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, home treatment can relieve some of the symptoms. The most important therapy for muscle pain is regular, low-impact exercise. Keeping muscles conditioned and healthy by exercising three times a week decreases the amount of discomfort. It is important to try low-stress exercises such as walking, swimming, water aerobics, and biking rather than muscle-straining exercises such as weight training. Besides helping with tenderness, regular exercises can also boost energy levels and help with sleep. No single treatment will take away all the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. But most people do get some relief by trying a combination of therapies.’Lyrica’, ‘Cymbalta’ and Savella, These are the only three drugs approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Lyrica is an antiseizure medication, while Cymbalta and Savella are antidepressants. All three have been shown to reduce the pain of fibromyalgia. Flexeril: This muscle relaxant not only decreases muscle pain but also improves sleep. Mirapex: This drug is used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. When used to treat fibromyalgia, it reduced pain in 80% of patients. Low doses of antidepressant medication: These medicines improve sleep and decrease pain as well as eliminate depression. Biofeedback and relaxation techniques: Besides lessening pain, these therapies also decrease the number of tender points. Acupuncture: Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can decrease tender point pain. Tender point injections: Steroid or lidocaine injections into a painful area may provide temporary relief. Massage therapy: This can help relax and soothe painful muscles.


Questions related to Pain

Unusual Bottom-Back Tooth Pain

I recently had a broken tooth filling fixed, but now it feels broken once again. As I bit into a carrot, at least one...

Hurts my thigh when I walk on my heel.

I fell on my leg while skateboarding, and now whenever I try to walk it hurts my upper right thigh. I can do flop ...

Nerve pain in neck hand & foot

My daughter has been having health problems with her foot, hands and neck for the past 6 months. She's had 2 emg and ...

WHAT IS CAUSING THIS DISCOMFORT?

I HAVE DISCOMFORT RIGHT SIDE UNDER RIB CAGE ESPICALLY WHEN I AM SITTING

Back pain, chest, diziness, unwel feeling

Feeling unwel, pain in back, unable to stand upright, loss of balance, dizzy. Loss of weight whilst eating normal.

Female pelvic pain with vomiting and diarrhea

I have been having really bad pelvic pain following sexual intercourse on saturday. I have very runny bowl movements ...

Painful burning penis

I am 28. my penis burns and hurts all the time and is red.. it does not hurt any worse or less when I pee..

Does my shin injury require medical attention?

I hit my shin really hard getting out of our boat yesterday. The area I hit almost immediately swelled up into a gia...

Pain in Lower Leg/Weakness in Leg

I have been researching for the past twenty minutes and have found many answers, but I just want to clarify some info...

19 year old with muscle/joint pain like an old ...

For a couples years I've had lower back pain and jaw pain. A year ago I started having pain in my hips, which would g...

17 and has hip pain?

I'm 17 and recently my right hip has started to hurt. It doesn't hurt much at all but it still has some pulsing pain....

My leg and foot turn deep purple and I recently...

I broke my foot almost 8 weeks ago. I have been walking of foot for a couple of weeks. My leg and foot turn really ...

Tailbone pain when sitting prior to bowel movement

For the past two weeks I have experienced occasional tailbone pain. It only occurs when I sit down within an hour or ...

Sensitivity in leg that is moving down towards ...

Hi I am a lady of 53. Two days ago I had a boil or bug bite on my inner upper thigh. I squeezed it to release the p...

Dislocating legs causing knee and ankle pain?

Since I hit puberty (a decade and a half ago), my legs have been dislocating at the hip. Since that's happened I've ...

Could this be a blood clot?

I have had pain in my left leg for over a month. I've had 2 negative ultrasounds and 2 negative d dimers and a normal...

Neck, throat, jaw dull pain

Ok, three times this past year I thought I was having a heart attack. I went to the hospital and all 3 times everythi...

What should I do It's hurting really bad

I have pain under my left breast and in my upper left back. Should I go to the Hosital or wait to see my doctor?

Diagnostic needed for stomach pain/cough

Hello, I am a 24 y/o female who exercises regular, of regular weight, and have no history of any health problems....

Pain After Accessory Navicular Surgery

I had an accessory navicular (extra bone) in both of my ankles. The first caused pain when i was around 12 and i ende...

Pain in head, blurred vision

My friend was just sitting at the table and had pressure in her head for 9 seconds and her vision was blurry? Could ...

Help me with my swollen ankel

I'm diabetic and I have been running for exercise. For the past 2 weeks, my left ankle has been swelling. The pain is...

Fell on Knee and 3 weeks later still painful

I fell on a wet concrete floor on my left knee on July 18th! It had a pretty bad bruise. Now on August 8 my knee is r...

Underwear Line Pain, please tell me what to do

I have pain where my underwear line is and it went away with Ibuprofen, but it go worse last night. More than the las...

Pain when walking with a UTI

Three days ago horrible back pain sent me to the ER. Bloodwork, CT scan, and urine was all clear and no kidney stone...


Post Your Thoughts