Stiffness after physical activity

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LCargill

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I work a job “supervising” janitorial work but I’m much more hands-on than I probably should be and tend to work just as hard as my staff. Some nights I’m vacuuming, others I’m sweeping and mopping and there are times when I’m hauling heavy garbage. When I get home, every night without fail, I sit in my recliner and prop my feet up, and when I go to get up I’m stiff as a board from the waist down. It physically hurts to stand up. It’s like my lower body is a piece of cardboard that’s been crumpled and bent and someone’s trying to unfold it. If that’s even makes sense. I just wonder if anyone else experiences this. I never really have stiffness in the mornings at all but I never have stiffness really any time other than after I’m pnysically active. They say “moving more is good for fibromyalgia” but I feel so much more pain when I do physical activity as opposed to when I’m relaxing and taking it easy all day. Does anyone else experience the things I am experiencing? Is there a way to combat this? I take 60mg of Cymbalta (Duloxetine) every day as well as gabapentin. I am supposed to take gabapentin 3 times a day but with my busy lifestyle I never remember to take all 3 so I usually end up just taking 1. Not sure if that makes a difference.
 

medicmurphy

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Whether you have Fibro or not, stiffness is common. With Fibro you may be more so. Exercise is good for Fibro and when performed properly will help with pain....believe it or not. One way to help with this stiffness is to stretch after activity. Look into Yoga. Again, this is key with or without Fibromyalgia. The type of activity you're describing is pretty tough on anyone. Mopping, sweeping, lugging garbage around is usually done with poor body mechanics. This isn't anything you're doing, it's the nature of the work. Keep mindful of your posture while performing these tasks. Lift with your legs, not your back. If you can, assign the heavier work to your staff.

You can google proper stretches on line. This should be done preferably when your muscles are warm. Look into Biofreeze. It's a cream that can be applied to sore muscles. Also, I find a heating pad provides relief as well. I think some patients with Fibro shy away from physical activity not only because of a fear of pain but they think it may make them worse. In actuality, a sedentary lifestyle contributes to worsening symptoms. Depending on the severity of your FM, keep as active as tolerated.
 
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Lubkos way

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I agree,some pain is normal and expected.I do a lot of physical work,and the strategy that works for me is the same,except the order.I do yoga and resistance training,using only my own body weight,in the morning,before I go to work.

You might say,I prime my muscles in advance of the constantly changing demands on my body during the workday.It has proven to keep away injuries for me.

Also,I find that a hot shower in the evening,say about two hours before bed,really helps with morning stiffness and pain.I also sleep measurably better.

You now have two similar and somewhat different strategies at the same time,to try out.Lots of luck!
 

medicmurphy

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I agree with Lubkos Way. I also strength train. Maintaining muscle mass is essential. Try an epsom bath as well. Epson salt is great for muscle stiffness and pain.
 

diamond

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I always wake up feeling like have turned to stone....some days i can make it ease out for a while with hot showers and movement, some days not.

Overall the more i do the stiffer i get until my muscles go rigid like rigamortis has set in and my joints seize up....but keeping still too long creates pain too ....it's quite a balancing act.

We all respond differently....but definitely its important to keep as active as possible while listening to your body at the same time so that as much overall fitness can be retained.

Your heavy activities Lcargill are pretty full on for a fibro body and repetitive movements do build pain.

So change up which parts of you are using to give other muscles a rest in between where possible...not easy i know when you have a job to complete.

I agree delegate those heavy tasks and take care of yourself..your body will thank you for it long term
 
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LCargill

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Thank you all for your responses! I will definitely try some stretches, I’ve tried yoga in the past and think I could work some into my routine. Some days I do so well where the heavy job duties don’t bother me too much but there are other days that I just feel so stiff and out of whack. A friend of mine highly suggested seeing a chiropractor, thinking maybe that will help with the stiffness in my lower back that leads to a lot of pain in my hips and pelvis. Has anyone else had any luck with chiropractic? I take hot showers daily before work (I work into the night, sleep, wake and do it all again) and use muscle rub and the heating pad usually when I get home from work and right before bed which does provide some relief. Unfortunately it doesn’t always help loosen up the stiffness but I will definitely do more stretches and see how that helps :)
 

Tipnatee N

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I used to lots if stiffness, one of the things I often found to be quite useful when I need keep on moving regaurdless of all the pains I'm experiencing, are those posture training gears. The shoulder brace , back brace , etc, can actually comes in handy while wearing them during the day of movement . It can save lots of trouble later on.

Extra minerals takes and joint lubricator supplements including extra vitamins that fibro sufferer lost it faster than most normal people can help making your day goes by a little more smoother.

Breathing exercise is also help boost oxygen in your blood , which also mean less other types of stiffness that may have caused by it.

I've tried chropractic before , if done correctly by professtional it can help for a little while . If not it may not and some might become problem so you need to inform your chropractor about your fibro before starting any treatments. There are many more chropractors that getting good at handling fibro patients these days you might gets lucky finding the right one for you.
 
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vickythecat

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First of all I want to applaud you for being a good janitor. During my university years, being a very shy person, I worked as an office cleaner in the evenings. Our supervisor would just give us orders, criticize us endlessly, but he himself would drink tea all evening. So know that the people you are working with are really lucky and should be thankful that they have you as their supervisor! Just had to mention that!

Stiffness is sadly often a common issue with fibro. Like everyone else mentioned here, the work you do is quite intense work even for a healthy body. So try to see whether you can make little adjustments at your work (pacing, using your whole body to carry stuff, take breaks especially during repetitive movements etc.)

After a hard day's work, focus on relaxation. So yes stretching is great, try to do some after your work, but also when you get up in the morning. Hot packs have always been my best friends and I find using them for longer periods works better. I also believe building muscle strength is equally important as physical activity. Nothing fancy, a filled water bottle to strengthen muscles in your arms while watching TV, some lunges, some sit-ups etc. Or if you can handle it, you can pamper yourself to regular massages (or do basic massages with a tennis ball). Moving is good for everyone, but it is important to know and accept that we have limits.

I've been to a chiropractor once - that one time was enough. But I know my friend swears by them, so it really differs from body to body. Giving it a try won't do no harm :)
 

lyrin

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The only chiropractor I saw wasn't worth the paper the degree he did not have was not printed on. Some people swear by them. Mine was worthless. I loved PT though.

I would suggest building core strength. If your core is strong you take the burden off of your lower back/hips. I have a degenerated, herniated disk and I was (FINALLY) told by a doctor that I could do any exercise I want but get the weight off and get moving. (as opposed to being on exercise restriction like I have been for 2 years) He highly stressed core strength to keep my vertebra from moving around and irritating nerves and muscles. I also have issues with my lower back, legs, and feet. Yoga will do it, Pilates will do it, exercise balls will do it. Just get that core strength.

Also as everyone else has already said stretching helps too. But can be somewhat awkward/painful to start. Those muscles *really* do not want to let go.
 

vickythecat

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The only chiropractor I saw wasn't worth the paper the degree he did not have was not printed on. Some people swear by them. Mine was worthless. I loved PT though.

I would suggest building core strength.
My experience with the chiropractor was exactly the same. He was recommended by at least 4 different colleague's. Beyond the experience, I also have a hard time with the disappointment. 'Why does it work for them, and not for me' - kind of useless self pity!

And yes, core strength is vital for the whole body. I have chronic issues in my upper back and shoulders related to repetitive movements (too much data input work during my uni years, with horrible desks/chairs, no breaks, and a perfectionist attitude - bad combination), and thanks to my PT, I also found out first hand how important it is to have strong abs and strong back muscles. And to engage them as much as possible during the day - say while doing work around the house, carrying things around, even sitting down.
 

LCargill

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NY
Thank you! That means a lot. I used to be a lot more physical at work but after a recent inguinal hernia and being out of work for a month for surgery to repair it I no longer do the work I used to do...as often. There are night's when I'm short staffed, like last night I had 3 people, so I filled in on the number 4 spot doing sweeping and mopping at all locations. By the end of the night my lower back was sore and my hips were too and I was definitely stiff when I got home regardless of the stretches I was doing throughout my shift and after work. My go-to is always my heating pad and some muscle rub. I take my hot showers in the late morning before I go to work which helps loosen me up a little more and feel more limber. I do need to look into core strength training and working with my back muscles. I will admit I'm a heavier girl and have chronic problems with my sacrum and pelvis after a fall I took when I was 17. Seven years later and I still need my sacrum re-aligned by my doctor. I've never even considered massage due to how sensitive my back is, any direct pressure (even a poke) hurts tremendously and the pain lingers and radiates for a while. My fiance can't even touch my back because of the nerve sensitivity.

Thank you again for your kind words.

First of all I want to applaud you for being a good janitor. During my university years, being a very shy person, I worked as an office cleaner in the evenings. Our supervisor would just give us orders, criticize us endlessly, but he himself would drink tea all evening. So know that the people you are working with are really lucky and should be thankful that they have you as their supervisor! Just had to mention that!

Stiffness is sadly often a common issue with fibro. Like everyone else mentioned here, the work you do is quite intense work even for a healthy body. So try to see whether you can make little adjustments at your work (pacing, using your whole body to carry stuff, take breaks especially during repetitive movements etc.)

After a hard day's work, focus on relaxation. So yes stretching is great, try to do some after your work, but also when you get up in the morning. Hot packs have always been my best friends and I find using them for longer periods works better. I also believe building muscle strength is equally important as physical activity. Nothing fancy, a filled water bottle to strengthen muscles in your arms while watching TV, some lunges, some sit-ups etc. Or if you can handle it, you can pamper yourself to regular massages (or do basic massages with a tennis ball). Moving is good for everyone, but it is important to know and accept that we have limits.

I've been to a chiropractor once - that one time was enough. But I know my friend swears by them, so it really differs from body to body. Giving it a try won't do no harm :)
 

1sweed

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1,956
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Welcome to the forum LCargill, I read that your into doing janitor work. Well that is what I do and even doing the lighter side and letting others do the heavier work is hard work. I am not able to lift heavy items or mop big areas of floor, but I still do lots of stuff.

I help keep a gym clean with vac sweeping and broom pushing, washing equipment and cleaning restrooms and doing laundry. So even though it is part time at 15 hours a week I am pretty tired when I get home. If I get home and sit down if any length of time my hips get stiff and I can hardly move.

I do mild stretching exercises and keep my heating pad close by. If I have more to do that day I don't sit for very long but keep moving until my chores are completely done.
 

trenee

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Dec 5, 2017
Messages
14
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DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
07/2009
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us
State
arkansas
I work a job “supervising” janitorial work but I’m much more hands-on than I probably should be and tend to work just as hard as my staff. Some nights I’m vacuuming, others I’m sweeping and mopping and there are times when I’m hauling heavy garbage. When I get home, every night without fail, I sit in my recliner and prop my feet up, and when I go to get up I’m stiff as a board from the waist down. It physically hurts to stand up. It’s like my lower body is a piece of cardboard that’s been crumpled and bent and someone’s trying to unfold it. If that’s even makes sense. I just wonder if anyone else experiences this. I never really have stiffness in the mornings at all but I never have stiffness really any time other than after I’m pnysically active. They say “moving more is good for fibromyalgia” but I feel so much more pain when I do physical activity as opposed to when I’m relaxing and taking it easy all day. Does anyone else experience the things I am experiencing? Is there a way to combat this? I take 60mg of Cymbalta (Duloxetine) every day as well as gabapentin. I am supposed to take gabapentin 3 times a day but with my busy lifestyle I never remember to take all 3 so I usually end up just taking 1. Not sure if that makes a difference.
Hi,I'm new here.i have just been dealing with the same thing.ive recently been going to physical therapy,and afterwards on Friday i lost muscle control and fell down some stairs.i have also been having unbearable feet and leg cramps that hinder my sleep and i cant get comfortable to sleep.the nurse i saw acted like no big deal,keep exercising to feel better.i think thats a load of you know what.i told them i need to be scheduled with the dr. From now on.it got me all upset and tense from the frustration i felt from her lack of empathy and lack of solution.i want to go to a specialist.today i also felt like a dingbat from lack of sleep i bet.but im very forgetful especially with numbers.i just had an excruciating cramp in both feet and i cry the pain is so bad.going to the dr. Again next wed.
 
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1sweed

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trenee, Hello and welcome to the forum. Sounds like the fibro pain is causing you a lot of grief. Here are a few ideas to help you feel better. For your feet wear socks to bed and lay a blanket over your feet and leg to over knee area to help keep that area warm and prevent cramps. Also eat bananas to reduce cramps. If your home throw a warm light blanket in the dryer until it gets warm then snuggle under it to ease muscle pain. Take a warm bath with epsom salts in the water to ease muscle pain soaking in an Epsom salt bath for 20-30 minutes.

Known for its premium quality and many therapeutic uses, Epsom Salt dissolves easily in warm water to help soothe muscle pain, relieve aching feet, cleanse pores, and detoxify the skin

Also look to your bed if it is not comfortable buy a cotton fiber mattress topper or a thick foam pad to provide cushioning for your shoulders and hips.

Try to relax more and watch funny movies or go for a walk and enjoy nature. Try not to include to many chores in one day. Pace yourself so you don't over do, that is something most of us do, the over do part. lol

Try to manage each symptom and don't fall into the trap that every problem stems from fibro. So if your mouth or teeth are hurting go to your dentist or if your eyes are bothering you see your eye doctor, etc... Not everything is caused by fibro.

The fact you fell down a flight of stairs could have caused back issues or even sprains or broken bones. Stay active in managing your health problems and try hard not to become too depressed, but if you do go see a counselor it truly does help. And keep coming back here to ask questions and be a part of our community. Be sure to read the back posts as many older posts have great information that is very helpful.

I am sure other members will share some tips with you as well as in how they manage their symptoms.
 
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