Shoulder Pain and Fibromyalgia
The Internet is rife with fibromyalgia sufferers complaining of terrible shoulder pain. You can visit different forums where people discuss their fibromyalgia-related shoulder pain issues (like the one below). Fibromyalgia certainly remains an elusive (and diverse) medical mystery.
Fibromyalgia shoulder pain symptoms
Fibromyalgia-related shoulder pain causes
Health practitioners are still at a loss as to what exactly causes fibromyalgia. The medical community estimates that between 5 to 10 million US citizens suffer from fibromyalgia. The majority of these afflicted individuals are women. If you are suffering from shoulder pain and have fibromyalgia, you’re probably familiar with the tender point chart that is an important component of the diagnostic process.
There are 18 tender points, nine pairs, and a couple of these points are actually located in your shoulders.
Is your shoulder pain caused by fibromyalgia?
If you only feel pain in your shoulders, and you haven’t already been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it may be that your shoulder pain is related to some other issue. On the other hand, if you do have fibromyalgia, and are feeling shoulder pain, it could be that your pain is related to your fibromyalgia.
One fibromyalgia sufferer wondered whether it was bursitis. Bursitis describes the inflammation of the bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that is filled with fluid lubricant and is located between bone and tissues.
Fibromyalgia shoulder pain sufferers speak
Fibromyalgia sufferers who have shoulder and shoulder blade pain described it as feelings of stiffness, difficulty moving their arms, and inability to sleep on the affected side.
One of the more frustrating aspects of the shoulder pain is its negative affect on sleep hygiene. Sleep disruptions make the sufferer even more tired the next day and fatigue is one of the primary debilitating symptoms of this ‘invisible illness’.
One forum member over at fibromyalgia-symptoms.org claims that shoulder pain is actually one of the initial symptoms of fibromyalgia.
They write that generally it will be worse on one side and resembles features of frozen shoulder.
Apparently, it is a stubborn symptom to treat, with commentators writing that they have tried throwing cortisone shots, physical therapy and trigger point shots at the problem to little positive effect.
Others wrote that it’s best to stay away from doctors that become annoyed or irritated with you because of how intractable your pain symptoms are.
How to treat fibromyalgia shoulder pain
- One person wrote of a simple exercise they performed to help diminish the pain. They suggested getting a paint roller and then rolling it up and down gently against the wall. This stressless exercise is able to somewhat disrupt shoulder stiffness.
- They advise then trying out some ice or heat, whichever one you prefer, and resting the affected shoulder. Unfortunately, they said, it’s likely that this shoulder pain will persist and be chronic. This particular fibromyalgia patient, wrote that his chronic shoulder pain was a precursor to development of other fibromyalgia-related pain symptoms
- Some fibromyalgia suffers described getting some relief from receiving massages. However, it was noted that relief was only provided for a couple of days before the shoulder pain returned.
- Even for individuals that are confident that their fibromyalgia is causing the shoulder pain, many people write that it only makes sense to get the shoulder examined with an MRI and not an x-ray.
- If you are suffering from shoulder pain related to fibromyalgia, it’s best to consult with your rheumatologist and other physicians to get some insight into its actual causes. If it is genuinely caused by fibromyalgia it’s best to investigate how to manage your pain symptoms.
Natural fibromyalgia treatments
- Natural treatments include aromatherapy. Using aromatherapy can help to promote sleep as well as decreased muscle pain, increase blood circulation and helps to promote mental tranquility.
- Perhaps it would make sense to try out acupuncture. A qualified acupuncturist could target your shoulder pain and perhaps increase blood flow to the area.
- Yoga and other stretching exercises can, like acupuncture, enhance your circulation as well as reduce inflammation. There is also a meditative component to yoga that can be beneficial to a chronic pain sufferer.
- Medical marijuana is another method people are progressively using to treat their fibromyalgia-related pain symptoms. While somewhat controversial, it may be worth exploring if you had limited success treating her shoulder pain with other health interventions.
- If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it’s likely that you are on a medication for the illness. You may want to revisit your medication regimen with your dermatologist if the shoulder pain you’re experiencing is particularly debilitating.
- Otherwise, it makes sense to investigate more natural and side-effect free interventions.
Fibromyalgia shoulder pain final thoughts
Fibromyalgia is incredibly frustrating illness to deal with. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, there are some natural interventions that may work for you.
Unfortunately with this chronic illness, shoulder pain is just one symptom- it makes sense to craft an overall treatment strategy to integratively address fibromyalgia.