Muscle stiffness

LizB10184

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Joined
Nov 6, 2020
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4
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DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
01/2017
Country
US
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CA
Help please. I have searched days and days. I have been dealing with this pain for over 10 years. Lots of tests. I have yet to ask a doctor to feel how tight my muscles are. Everyone.... Literally everyone...tells me how tight my muscles are like it is out of the ordinary. Why can't I find an aswer to this. I guess Fibro is... But I really don't know what to do.
 

sunkacola

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Hi Liz, welcome to the forum. You are not specific about what you have been searching for for days. I assume it is an answer to why your muscles are tight? The thing is none of us here are doctors and even if we were we couldn't answer that question without physically examining you. Fibromyalgia is a set of symptoms rather than just one thing like muscle tightness, and the diagnosis only comes after all of the tests for everything else that could be causing the wide range of symptoms have ruled out everything else. It's usually a fairly lengthy process.

I would advise you to see a doctor. You say you have yet to see one, so that should be the first thing you do, rather than assuming anything or trying to self-diagnose. There could be many reasons for this, and you cannot know the answer until you see a doctor, or possibly more than one. It's possible that all you need is massage and relaxation to loosen them up.
Best of luck to you.
 

LizB10184

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Joined
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DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
01/2017
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US
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CA
I have. But the stiffness is what I have come to understand on my own as I have been dealing with this for so long. I have been seeing my doctor for this for almost 7 years. I have a prescription for flexiril and then gapentin up to 3600mg a day. It just doesn't solve the problem. I also take Cymbalta to manage depression and they thought this would help with pain too. I had massage membership before COVID. I also roll on a ball and foam roller. I am still told my muscles are stiff. Thanks though 😉
 

JayCS

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My stiffness is the only thing that other people can see. (Apart from the Ache, which my wife can see in my eyes.)
I long believed if the Ache is in all muscles and the pains in all big joints, then the stiffness when I move after staying in a position for >10' is (in) the muscles & joints. I've studied it, tho, by feeling them & moving at the same time. And I've come to realize it is not in the muscles (or joints) themselves, it's mainly the tendons of the muscles, above and below the big joints and in the (mainly lower) back and backside. My TCM/acupressurist is trying to work on this, but no success as yet. She also regularly finds stiff and other problems in my muscles, which I don't all directly notice, but some as a muscular pain. When she makes them supple, I feel better, probably need less energy to move. But it doesn't really make the stiffness better, at least not for long. But it's important for her to know that it's more the tendons to find something that may help.
This fits to the alternative diagnosis of my rheum. "polyinsertionstendomyopathy", which just means: pain in all the ends of the tendons of the muscles (pathy in poly insert(ion)s of tendo of the myo). Which is for me by far not an acceptable alternative, because it only describes the stiffness of fibro, nothing else.
So: Are you (and all these "people") sure it's your muscles? Just asking - but of course I'm still looking for a possible solution myself. If anyone will find it, then my acupressurist, because she looks & thinks closely and has lots of ideas and doesn't give up easily. Not too hopeful, tho. I can't remember having seen any studies which explain this and it doesn't fit well into most theories either. I keep getting my pains down; my Ache & feverishness I get down by pacing, up by overdoing; but stiffness and sleep are "stiff ones"... (You've perhaps seen the "similar threads" on this, and written one yourself which I've made suggestions to and you've "liked": so I hope this helps a little bit too - the theory behind what you could try?)
 

LizB10184

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DX FIBRO
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01/2017
Country
US
State
CA
Thank you I appreciate your post! My tendons hurt, but in the areas that you could point at for a fibro body map. The muscles on my back are painful in the same spots, but the reason I am thinking it is the muscle is because when I roll over them with a ball they are solid.... You are saying maybe the problem is with the tendon?
 

sunkacola

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Liz, have you had a good chiropractor look at this problem? I know most people think chiropractic is only about the spine, but mine (who is a truly excellent practitioner) helps me with muscle stiffness/soreness, damaged tendon (after a car wreck), and even the problems I have in my hands.

I thought you said you had yet to see a doctor, but what you actually said was " I have yet to ask a doctor to feel how tight my muscles are.",
so I recommend that you do ask the doctor to feel how tight they are.

I think Jay makes a good point that it might not actually be muscles.....and it could be worth really having someone take a good look at your body to determine for certain where the problem is.
 

Forgetmenot

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I suffer really bad from stiffness .when I get up.And if I go for a walk I feel great.but give me an hour and I can hardly get home.then I’ve had it ,I go so stiff.all I can do is rest and believe it or not move.I’m on gabapentin.and did read somewhere that it can make your stiffness worse.But I have no idea if it really does.I think it’s just part of fibromyalgia.most of us have it xx
 

JayCS

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Messages
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DX FIBRO
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Ah, I'm getting it now, so it's not the stiffness of movements (as Forgetmenot has now also assumed), it's the solidness and tightness in your back, as you and sunkacola have explained. Then I agree with sunkacola: a good chiropractor, or osteopath or acupressurist, praps acupuncturist can help you with that more than just "any old" massage.
BTW, I think this asking back & trying to find out what we mean ourselves and what others mean and comparing the two is an important part of getting to know our bodies better and better, which ain't easy, no-one else is teaching us this, good docs may ask 1 or 2 specific questions, my acupressurist is the first of 15+ physios who asks very precisely, gives me time to think or get back to it which then helps her treat me (altho she of course senses more in my body than I do)...
 

JayCS

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Messages
404
Reason
DX FIBRO
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02/2020
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As the title is apt, I praps shd add here, that this thread was one of the reasons for focussing more on where my stiffness comes from and how to get it down quick. I've described my twist-stretch elsewhere in more detail, but the short current version of what I've developed is:
Every time I get up, and in between, I twist-stretch my legs outwards by putting each ankle to the other foot's toe ("5th ballet position"), which stretches exactly all leg-tendons causing my stiffness at once. Then for torso and arms I put my arms up and twist them with palms outwards, also as far as they will go, and lean back, eyes/head up, perhaps turning left and right as it feels good. Hold it for about 20 seconds or as long as it feels good and necessary. The stiffness is then gone for quite a few minutes, so I can get moving, if need be I repeat it immediately, or later, or in between while standing, sitting, even lying in bed face down, whether I need a short stretch or know I'll be wanting to get up soon. Like a cool cat! :cool:
 

djhsix

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Messages
34
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DX FIBRO
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Help please. I have searched days and days. I have been dealing with this pain for over 10 years. Lots of tests. I have yet to ask a doctor to feel how tight my muscles are. Everyone.... Literally everyone...tells me how tight my muscles are like it is out of the ordinary. Why can't I find an aswer to this. I guess Fibro is... But I really don't know what to do.
I've got the same problem. My massage therapists thought I had major trauma because my muscles are so tight. Unfortunately, massage only provides relief for a brief period. Sometimes only a few hours, sometimes a few days. But usually I only notice improvement if it's related to a muscle knot. Otherwise, my muscles are tight all the time. If I remember correctly from The Fibro Manual, I think it has to do with the fight or flight response and the inability to get deep sleep, so I've been focusing on improving those. I did find some relief with cyclobenzaprine, but the sluggishness was too much for me.
 

JayCS

Senior member
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
404
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
GE
After first successes with GABA for sleep and surprised that my stiffness has gone down in the process, I'm reading up and seeing that it reduces excitability and ... muscle tone...
 

djhsix

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Joined
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Messages
34
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
12/2020
Country
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State
WA
After first successes with GABA for sleep and surprised that my stiffness has gone down in the process, I'm reading up and seeing that it reduces excitability and ... muscle tone...
Interesting. How long have you been taking it, and how much per day? Thanks.
 

Affinity

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Messages
168
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
05/2014
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US
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TX
I have this issue, too, and my physical therapist really helps using s technique called dry needling. It is similar to acupuncture except that the needles are put directly into the spasming muscles which somehow encourage them to relax. Discovering this treatment has been a game changer for me. It takes time, I have been working with her since last August, and I joke that by the time we are done she will have needled every single muscle in my body (many more than once). For me the muscles are so tight because they are in a state of constant spasm and unable to relax. This might not be the case for everyone with these issues but this has really helped me a lot.
 

JayCS

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Messages
404
Reason
DX FIBRO
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Interesting. How long have you been taking it, and how much per day? Thanks.
Sorry I've taken so long. I've been taking 750mg once a night together with quite a bit of magnesium, passion flower and gluatmic acid. Not sure why the latter, cos it's 'the opposite', read it somewhere, but can't find where. Maybe it's good for the balance.
750mg seems a bit of a lot, I've read of a practitioner starting with 100mg sublingually, allowing to build it up more, cos of habituation.

It's definitely helping the muscle stiffness! I've written more about it here:
 

Forgetmenot

Extremely helpful member
Joined
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Messages
1,437
Reason
DX FIBRO
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70/2010
Country
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State
Hertfordshire
I have gabapentin 600 mg but my stiffness never eases .
 
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