Hip, rib and pelvic pain

WorryWart

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Aug 23, 2021
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I am new to this board but not new to Fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed about 6 years ago. My pain has gotten worse over the years and so has my stress. I think stress makes Fibro worse. Do you guys think that too? Anyway, my question is, anyone have chronic hip pain that travels to the pelvic area and then rib pain that is all the way around? Meaning my ribs are tender to the touch front, back and on the sides. It's horrible. So is my hip and pelvis pain......which of course travels to the lower back. Any of you have the same symptoms? If so, has anything helped you? THANK YOU!!
 

Jemima

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Jul 30, 2020
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DX FIBRO
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11/2019
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Hi WorryWart,

Yes, I have these exact pains when I'm in a bad flare! They combo with a selection of others too, but the hip pain can be agonising, and the rib pain scary. You're not alone!

That said, be aware that many of us with fibro don't realise when we have something else going on because we're so used to discomfort - if the nature of your pain feels different, it might be worth getting checked out to rule out disc issues in your spine or any other health issue.

Back to fibro... Yes, stress absolutely does exacerbate fibromyalgia! It's just about the most vital thing to get a handle on in managing the condition. This doesn't mean avoiding stress all together - sadly not something any of us can do - but rather reducing it where possible, learning how to draw ourselves out of a stress response, and get better at interrupting that response at an earlier stage. It's very easy to get stuck in a vicious cycle of stress triggering symptoms, and symptoms triggering more stress. Learning how to break this pattern can be very powerful for dialing down the pain!

There are countless tools to use, from breath work to yoga, meditation, or simply listening to relaxing music or going for a walk. I suggest reading up on the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system - so that you can understand the chemistry and triggers behind what you're feeling. Checking out psychologist Paul Gilbert's theory of three emotional systems is also very useful for learning how to self-soothe.

Adding more to the equation, getting on top of things like sleep hygiene, diet, and exercise are also important. Many of us have found certain supplements helpful too. Have you already checked out Sunkacola's pinned post at the top of the general discussion section of the forum? If not, I recommend having a read!

I hope you find the right way to ease what you're experiencing soon. Lots of great folks here in the forum to advise and listen if you want to vent!
 

WorryWart

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Aug 23, 2021
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Hi Jemima, thank you so much for response! YES.....the rib pain is scary, and I actually get spasms in my hip and pelvic area. It's the worst. For sure like you said, it's a vicious cycle. The pain is stressful, so I start getting anxiety, and the worse the pain gets, especially the spasms, my anxiety goes up. I am going to the Rheumatologist, but not until October. It's terrible I have to wait, but I am switching doctors and that was the soonest they could get me in.

Thank you for the tools to use, I will look up the things you mentioned, including Paul Gilbert's theory and Sunkacola's post. So glad I found this forum.

Thank you so very much for you understanding and helpful response!!
 

timkav

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Oct 9, 2021
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Hello,

I have not been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. But I have been suffering with hip, rib and flank pain for five months on both sides of my body. I also have pain in my left arm, shoulder and leg that started ten months ago. My left arm, shoulder and leg are much better now. However, my rib,
Hip and flank pain has not let up. It feels like a burning sensation in my flank and rib area and it can be very Sensitive to the touch. I cut out gluten for a while and my pain level is better, but it’s still there every day. I have been to a primary care doctor, a neurologist and a rheumatologist. But I still have not received any diagnosis. I am also seeing a holistic doctor who found that the Epstein bar virus has been triggered again based on my blood work.
I am also under a tremendous amount of stress. Does this sound similar to anyone’s symptoms?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
 

Auriel

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Jun 8, 2021
Messages
288
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
08/2006
Country
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State
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Hi worrywart I get that too (minus the rib one) the back used to be a nightmare, I’d be putting ibuprofen gels just anything , I made ice compress seemed to help a bit, i used to put water in one them thin plastic bags, shape it out while it was in the freezer, till I found a really good cream from the healthy back institute in Texas it’s got arnica, bosewellia and peppermint in it, best thing I ever bought! I get pelvic pain too gets worse at ‘certain times’ like today 🙄
 

Jemima

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Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
508
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DX FIBRO
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11/2019
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PT
Hi timkav,

Welcome to the forum - it's great to have you here. I'm not a doctor, but I can share some of what I've read and understood over my fibro journey so far!

Interestingly, reactivated Epstein-Barr has been connected with fibromyalgia several times in research. Some theorise that fibro is a virus-triggered condition. However, because about 90% of people carry Epstein-Barr, I think the water tends to get a bit muddied, and research so far has not established a concrete and conclusive tie-in. I've often thought about getting tested when in a flare to see if it is reactivated in my body, and it's something we've discussed here in the forum quite a few times.

The symptoms you describe do sound quite a bit like fibro pain - we each tend to see it manifest a little differently, but hip and flank pain is pretty common. My hips are one of my worst areas in a flare, alongside my knees and neck. Some people find that a particular area kicks in first as their fibro fully manifests, and then other body parts join in the chorus over time (depressing, I know, but may give you an idea of what to look out for!) or that pain moves around the body over time. Fibromylagia flares are very definitely triggered by stress.

It's great that you've seen so many specialists - it sounds like you're being very proactive - but I'm sorry you haven't come away with a diagnosis. Did anyone explain to you why they didn't think it could be fibro? I'm assuming that they ran tests to rule out anything else?

One thing I'd also say is that because my pain was much worse in certain areas when my fibro first started, it took me a while to fully recognise that other places hurt too - a dull ache can get drowned out by a deep or sharp pain. Trying to tune into your body can help you get to understand what's going on. BUT, it's really important to work on managing the way you respond to pain. If the sensations are triggering a stress response, then you need to work on that, because you'll get stuck in a re-triggering cycle. Fibro pain is horrible, but it's not a threat, so we have to train ourselves to recognise its presence, but then let it come and go with as little worry as we can muster.

There's quite a bit of info around online about lifestyle changes for managing viral infections. Certain supplements can supposedly help too - I tried a few, and didn't get anywhere with those, but we're all different! One thing that's for sure is that optimising self care will help your body wrestle Epstein Barr back into its place. When you're chronically stressed and run down, that's the moment when your immune system might falter and a virus like EBV is more likely to get a foothold.

As for fibromyalgia, the exact same can be said. Self care is an absolute must for getting the condition under control. Our wonderful forum moderator Sunkacola put together a fantastic guide to self-management for fibro, which is pinned to the top of the General Discussion section of the forum. I really recommend reading through and implementing those things - being diligent in these areas can make a huge difference, and will always benefit your wellbeing.

As far as whether you have fibro or not, I'd say come at this from the approach of trying to support your body as it deals with the virus, and see where that leaves you. If your recent stress has left your body vulnerable, then figuring out how to offset that stress using the tools Sunkacola suggested, and anything else you come across, will hopefully help you get back to a baseline. If, over time, you find that your chronic pain continues, then it seems plausible to me that fibro is what you're dealing with. At that point, it would be up to you to decide whether your doctors had done a thorough enough job in ruling out any other possible conditions, and whether you wanted to pursue a proper diagnosis. Ruling out anything else that needs treatment is very important, and you might feel that a diagnosis can help with peace of mind. Some people find certain prescription medications helpful, but for a lot of us - me included - drugs were a disaster, and self-management and supplementation have helped a lot more!

As you figure out what to do, you might find some of the info in the forum handy. This place is a goldmine for insights into managing fibromyalgia. You can use the search function to find previous discussions about EBV too. Wherever you land, I hope you feel better soon. If it is fibro, don't feel too disheartened - while there's sadly no cure, with time and experimentation this is a condition that we can learn to manage pretty well, and in doing so we become part of a community of people who support each other with incredible heart!

I wish you luck figuring things out!
 

timkav

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Oct 9, 2021
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Thanks so much for your reply. It helps to know that my symptoms could be fibromyalgia. It’s difficult when even a rheumatologist won’t consider that diagnosis. I have been taking gabapentin and for several months because I also had tingling with the onset of shoulder, are and leg pain last December. I would like to discontinue the gabapentin but it is the only think that seems to offer relief, especially at night when the pain really flares. I also just started to experience tailbone pain this week. It’s frustrating since I feel like the pain continues to move around to different parts of my body. Thanks again for your reply.
 

Jemima

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Joined
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DX FIBRO
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11/2019
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Thanks so much for your reply. It helps to know that my symptoms could be fibromyalgia. It’s difficult when even a rheumatologist won’t consider that diagnosis. I have been taking gabapentin and for several months because I also had tingling with the onset of shoulder, are and leg pain last December. I would like to discontinue the gabapentin but it is the only think that seems to offer relief, especially at night when the pain really flares. I also just started to experience tailbone pain this week. It’s frustrating since I feel like the pain continues to move around to different parts of my body. Thanks again for your reply.
I can imagine your frustration! If you want to come off the gabapentin, even if it meant at least a temporary increase in discomfort, perhaps it might allow you to get a clearer overview of your symptoms? I also wonder if you could get yourself infront of another rheumatologist who is a bit more fibro aware - although I know that game is a whole other can of worms!

Whatever you decide to do, I'm sending strength for the road.
 
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Charlie77

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Sep 26, 2021
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I only recently been diagnosed although suffered with pain for a while but I do get the pain in the groin and hips I also have eds hypermobility and it awful and uncomfortable and it spreads to back rips to I have same symptoms ect also new to forum and stress definitely don’t help me with my pain but with three young children and family who don’t understand it don’t ever feel non stressful
 

Jemima

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Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
508
Reason
DX FIBRO
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11/2019
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PT
I only recently been diagnosed although suffered with pain for a while but I do get the pain in the groin and hips I also have eds hypermobility and it awful and uncomfortable and it spreads to back rips to I have same symptoms ect also new to forum and stress definitely don’t help me with my pain but with three young children and family who don’t understand it don’t ever feel non stressful
Hey Charlie,

It sounds like you're doing great, juggling such a big family with fibromyalgia on top. I hope you give yourself credit for that 💪 I'm not surprised at all that you feel like things are always going to be stressful - unfortunately, we can't always change our lives in a way that would be ideal - but I really believe in our strength to adapt, overcome, and develop new skills to control how we react to the things around us, even when the things themselves are totally uncontrollable!

As you continue on your journey, know that there are people out here who are rooting for you, and come vent whenever you feel like it. Whenever your family don't get what you're dealing with, try to remember that their lack of understanding doesn't reflect on you. For that part of my own fibro journey, I found it really helpful to find some really informative articles and some pretty in-your-face fibromyalgia memes to show to my loved ones, to help the penny really drop! I think it's worth pushing people to understand, because when they don't, we wind up carrying that gap on our own shoulders. Your wellbeing is so important with this condition, so don't be afraid to put your needs first.

This forum is loaded with great ideas for both overall fibromyalgia, and more specific stress management strategies. I recommend having a read through some of the threads. My friend has Ehlers Danlos syndrome and fibro - it sounds as if it makes things all the more complicated, which again highlights how strong you are. Now that you've got your diagnosis, I hope you keep finding new tactics to try, some of which will help, and that you start to feel better and more in control soon 🌻
 
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