Old 10-13-2013, 01:51 PM #1
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Default Car accident and fibromyalgia

Hi, this might be a little long but i was hoping to get some opinions from those who have been through the diagnosis of fibro.

A little medical background: I have always been an active, healthy person and grew up going to the gym with my family. In college, I am 24 and married now, I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy and almost two years ago 3 months before my wedding I was diagnosed with mono. Ever since then my energy level has never been the same but my primary care physician told me it can reactivate at times. I also now take 25mg of Zoloft for generalized anxiety and mild depression which has really helped me. That, along with Vitamin D. are all I take and I seem to live normally and happily as long as I get enough sleep.

A month and a half ago, however, I was in a car accident where I was stopped at a stoplight and someone slammed into the back of me and pushed me into the car in front of me causing a four car chain reaction. So both the front and back of my car were smashed. I had me belt on and my airbags didn't deploy so I was able to drive to the ER after (no fracture in neck) after but as soon as he hit me I felt a tremendous pain in my upper neck at the base of my skull so I have been seeing a chiropractor 3x week paid for by the guy's ins. My PCP gave me 50mg Tramadol for pain but said symptoms should go away in 15 or so days at the max which we are way past. Instead, for about the last three weeks, I have had widespread muscle and joint pain that accompany my neck pain. My hip joints and ankles hurt, and my muscle pain is everywhere from my mid back to my thighs, butt and feet. It just hurts. Sometimes I go to bed and just bunch my down comforter like a body pillow and hug it til I fall asleep. It is during these times I don't want to be touched or hugged since it feels sensitive. Yesterday I did not even want to go out and get groceries since I didn't feel like lifting and grabbing things let along walk around the store. And as the day goes on I get stiffer and stiffer in my hip joints so I walk like a old grandma lol.

My chiropractor said if these symptoms remain this following week to talk to my dr about it. The last time I had a full blood work done (I was in for fatigue since I felt my mono was coming back) my ANA was positive and white blood cell count was down but apparently the WBC count came back up the second time. Maybe this is all from the accident and I do not want to be a self diagnoser but I also want to be informed. Again, I apologize this was long but hopefully someone reads the whole thing and responds! thanks
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:42 PM #2
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

Not long at all, you're a great writer.

There's anecdotal evidence of many others describing a specific accident/incident that triggered their fibromyalgia.

I had surgery that they then determined wasn't necessary. I was suppose to leave the hospital in a day or so and ended up staying the weak, because they couldn't figure out what was wrong. I left, ended up getting worse, and 5 months later, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:53 PM #3
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

Thanks for the compliment about my writing, I was always better at English than Math . I can see how that surgery was a direct trigger for you since 5 months after you were diagnosed. I won't rule out fibromyalgia then. I guess the only way to know for sure would be to see my Doctor but would a Doctor not take me seriously since I haven't had the widespread muscle pain but going on three weeks? My chiropractor, at least, seemed concerned enough to tell me I might need to see a Doctor. I think I'm afraid to even say the word "fibromyalgia" to my Doctor for fear he's one of "those" that don't really believe in it's diagnosis. I go to a Naval Health Clinic since my husband is in the Navy so sometimes their Doctors are a little too by the book to think of a diagnosis that can't be seen with a blood test.

Thanks for the response though, sorry you had to go through an unecessary surgery!
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:31 PM #4
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

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Originally Posted by savvychic52 View Post
Hi, this might be a little long but i was hoping to get some opinions from those who have been through the diagnosis of fibro.

...
A month and a half ago, however, I was in a car accident where I was stopped at a stoplight and someone slammed into the back of me and pushed me into the car in front of me causing a four car chain reaction. So both the front and back of my car were smashed. I had me belt on and my airbags didn't deploy so I was able to drive to the ER after (no fracture in neck) after but as soon as he hit me I felt a tremendous pain in my upper neck at the base of my skull so I have been seeing a chiropractor 3x week paid for by the guy's ins. My PCP gave me 50mg Tramadol for pain but said symptoms should go away in 15 or so days at the max which we are way past. Instead, for about the last three weeks, I have had widespread muscle and joint pain that accompany my neck pain. My hip joints and ankles hurt, and my muscle pain is everywhere from my mid back to my thighs, butt and feet. It just hurts. Sometimes I go to bed and just bunch my down comforter like a body pillow and hug it til I fall asleep. It is during these times I don't want to be touched or hugged since it feels sensitive. Yesterday I did not even want to go out and get groceries since I didn't feel like lifting and grabbing things let along walk around the store. And as the day goes on I get stiffer and stiffer in my hip joints so I walk like a old grandma lol.

My chiropractor said if these symptoms remain this following week to talk to my dr about it. The last time I had a full blood work done (I was in for fatigue since I felt my mono was coming back) my ANA was positive and white blood cell count was down but apparently the WBC count came back up the second time. Maybe this is all from the accident and I do not want to be a self diagnoser but I also want to be informed. Again, I apologize this was long but hopefully someone reads the whole thing and responds! thanks
You are discovering something that doctors like to keep to themselves.

Do not rely on the assessment performed right after a car accident. Assess your condition. Evaluate it after the first 24 hours has past.

That's not to say that you should not go to the ER after an accident, but don't buy into their saying you are fine, and don't think you are completely fine just because they send you home!

My husband had a cracked vertebra in his back. The first ER doctor he saw took an xray of the painful area. Fortunately, another doctor looked at the image the next day and had my husband return for another xray higher up his spine.

Turns out there was a fractured vertebra above the spot where the first images were taken. The first doctor took shots of the area bearing the referred pain, and completely missed the disc where the pain actually originated.

I hope your chiropractor looked at any images the hospital generated. If not, I hope he at least did an xray before doing your first adjustment.

The pain you describe sounds like radiculopathy, indicating you have injured your neck and possibly a couple of discs. MRI's show the soft tissues around the spine a little better than xrays, so you might ask your doctor to order an MRI for you.

I'd stop visiting the chiropractor, though.

One of the layers in my pain package is radiculopathy. Don't wait for a few more weeks to ask your doctor about this pain. Ask ASAP! The loner pain remains under managed, poorly managed, or ignored the more likely it will become a permanent feature of your life.
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:31 PM #5
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

I myself was rear ended twice within a 19 month period.... I hurt from the first accident, but the second accident made my pain worse... Way worse. The first accident was just over 3 years ago and the second (worse) accident was almost 2 years ago.... I'm still working with Dr's to figure out what's wrong. Fibro has been mentioned and thought to be what is wrong, but no official diagnosis as of yet. I also have herniated and bulging disc's in my neck and lower back as well as degenerative disc's... Nerve damage... Also a separated actually joint that healed incorrectly.. They've told me I still have whiplash...... Who would ever think whiplash could last for multiple years...

It's definitely possible you could have fibro but you will probably have a long road ahead of you.... Good luck!
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:05 PM #6
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

Hm, it's a little disheartening to hear after 3 years they don't have a diagnosis for you! But then again, I understand how that can happen. I'm sorry you had to go through two accidents, one was one too many for me as it is so I can't imagine! Would the only reason they haven't formally diagnosed you with fibromyalgia be that you didn't have "11 of the 18" tender points?
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:52 PM #7
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

Hi there! I agree you should have more testing done, by a Neurologist or a Rheumatologist, or both. These doctors deal in muscles and bones, and nerve conditions. Whiplash can and does have lasting effects that need to be treated. My aunt was in a bad car wreck when she was young and had lasting results of bad pain in her back and neck, which lasted many years until the day she died. She had X-Rays and MRI's done to diagnosis the problem and then had to have treatments to help correct and then manage the problems that arose from the accident and whiplash.

The rheumatologist is the type of doctor needed to find out if you have fibro. This might be your next step. Until you know for sure, it will do you some good to read through the forum topics on pain management and be sure to read back posts as well. I hope you feel better soon.
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:37 PM #8
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

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Hm, it's a little disheartening to hear after 3 years they don't have a diagnosis for you! But then again, I understand how that can happen. I'm sorry you had to go through two accidents, one was one too many for me as it is so I can't imagine! Would the only reason they haven't formally diagnosed you with fibromyalgia be that you didn't have "11 of the 18" tender points?

No I've got more than 11 tender points...
Good doctors are hard to come by in my area. When I say good Dr's I mean ones who genuinely care and want to help... Most of the Dr's in this area are money hungry jerk offs.... Blunt but true. I actually had to report a Dr for fraud basically.... Some of them try to tell you you're crazy. Some say they they can't help..
Also none of them are willing to be the one to give the initial diagnosis to be honest. They want my rheumatologist to diagnose me but he is taking his sweet old time..... I've seen more than a couple handfuls of drs..... I feel like a cash cow to most of them.
I've had 3 different Dr's say it's likely that I have fibro but won't put it in ink basically...And they have all said they think I have arthritis in my neck as well..
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:54 AM #9
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

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Originally Posted by MercyL View Post
You are discovering something that doctors like to keep to themselves.

Do not rely on the assessment performed right after a car accident. Assess your condition. Evaluate it after the first 24 hours has past.

That's not to say that you should not go to the ER after an accident, but don't buy into their saying you are fine, and don't think you are completely fine just because they send you home!

My husband had a cracked vertebra in his back. The first ER doctor he saw took an xray of the painful area. Fortunately, another doctor looked at the image the next day and had my husband return for another xray higher up his spine.

Turns out there was a fractured vertebra above the spot where the first images were taken. The first doctor took shots of the area bearing the referred pain, and completely missed the disc where the pain actually originated.

I hope your chiropractor looked at any images the hospital generated. If not, I hope he at least did an xray before doing your first adjustment.

The pain you describe sounds like radiculopathy, indicating you have injured your neck and possibly a couple of discs. MRI's show the soft tissues around the spine a little better than xrays, so you might ask your doctor to order an MRI for you.

I'd stop visiting the chiropractor, though.

One of the layers in my pain package is radiculopathy. Don't wait for a few more weeks to ask your doctor about this pain. Ask ASAP! The loner pain remains under managed, poorly managed, or ignored the more likely it will become a permanent feature of your life.
Yeah my chiropractor took his own X-ray images before doing any adjustments as well as very long, thorough physical test where he touched all parts of my neck and spine, lifted my legs, arms to see what was weak and what not. I have always been up in the air about chiropractic since years ago I had one adjust my neck and caused nerve pain which i had never had before! But in this case, my Doctor said it would be a good option to do.

That is incredibly interesting about what happened to your husband, I can see how if the pain radiated to a different spot they could easily miss it. And I, too, think it is something with the soft tissue since in between adjustments, when nothing has "cracked" or gotten out of place, my neck just at the base of my skull will hurt and in overexertion will burn like intense muscle pain. I will go ahead and just make an appointment with my Dr. then, hearing you say waiting longer could cause it to become permanent is enough for me to be like, okay enough waiting it out.

May I ask why you say don't go to the chiropractor?
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:58 AM #10
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

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Hi there! I agree you should have more testing done, by a Neurologist or a Rheumatologist, or both. These doctors deal in muscles and bones, and nerve conditions. Whiplash can and does have lasting effects that need to be treated. My aunt was in a bad car wreck when she was young and had lasting results of bad pain in her back and neck, which lasted many years until the day she died. She had X-Rays and MRI's done to diagnosis the problem and then had to have treatments to help correct and then manage the problems that arose from the accident and whiplash.

The rheumatologist is the type of doctor needed to find out if you have fibro. This might be your next step. Until you know for sure, it will do you some good to read through the forum topics on pain management and be sure to read back posts as well. I hope you feel better soon.
I'm so sorry your grandma had to live with that pain and I really hope that doesn't end up being me! I will definitely make an appointment with my Dr. and I have been reading a lot of this forum, it is all very helpful. I ended up going to bed early last night since my legs were in so much pain and my hip joints hurt. Thank you for the reply!
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:01 AM #11
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

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No I've got more than 11 tender points...
Good doctors are hard to come by in my area. When I say good Dr's I mean ones who genuinely care and want to help... Most of the Dr's in this area are money hungry jerk offs.... Blunt but true. I actually had to report a Dr for fraud basically.... Some of them try to tell you you're crazy. Some say they they can't help..
Also none of them are willing to be the one to give the initial diagnosis to be honest. They want my rheumatologist to diagnose me but he is taking his sweet old time..... I've seen more than a couple handfuls of drs..... I feel like a cash cow to most of them.
I've had 3 different Dr's say it's likely that I have fibro but won't put it in ink basically...And they have all said they think I have arthritis in my neck as well..
Eeek. I've had my share of trying to find good Doctors but that seems like hell for someone with widespread and chronic pain, not having anyone listen to you or give you a proper diagnosis. Going to the military health clinics has its fair share of "I dont care" Dr's or simply those who are so military-like they don't EVER think outside the box or take into account something that isn't by the book. Luckily, I found a civilian Dr. that works there who I absolutely love. That is crazy that you have more than the 11 points yet no diagnosis in ink!
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:51 PM #12
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

Just an update since I went to see my doctor since my pain was getting more severe more frequently and get this..he told me to stretch more. He literally told me to touch my toes and moved my legs and said that more stretches would make my muscles not as tight. I have never been that flexible to begin with but, even though I told him I've been DOING stretches for my hips and it doesn't help, he gave me a look like he didn't believe me and the appointment was awkward. I am so frustrated
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:40 PM #13
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

I would say at this point go see a neurologist. the injury could be in your neck or anywhere in your back, and if it is getting worse then you need a specialist. It sounds like pinched nerves or damage to your spine. It is always important to go to the ER after a bad accident. Lots of times we feel okay so we figure we are okay, until later on we are rushed in by family members or end up in severe pain. This is the type of injury (whiplash) that only a neurologist can help find the problem.

I would avoid the chiropractor until after seeing another doctor due to the fact his treatments could be making the injury worse. Avoid doing stretching until you get it checked out. As for this other doctor I am not sure I would trust his judgement if he acts like he does not believe you.

The only stretching exercises my aunt did was using a special neck brace that was hung on her closet door that she had to do everyday. But this was carried out under the care of her neurologist.
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Old 12-26-2013, 11:54 PM #14
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

Yeah it is believed that fibromyalgia and auto accidents are connected. In a five year study conducted from 1990 to 1995, the records of two thousand fibromyalgia patients were examined. Of these two thousand people, sixty-five percent of the instances were due to a traumatic incident. Of this percentage, fifty-two percent suffer from fibromyalgia because of an automobile accident...!
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:58 PM #15
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Default Re: Car accident and fibromyalgia

Similar happened to me as well. Car accident six years ago, FMS diagnosis three years ago. I STILL have horrid pain from herniated discs, IT band syndrome, costochondritis, and so on. The pain has not improved but has recently become worse. Just diagnosed with arthritis in my hips and pelvis, too, so I feel a mess. I have seen neurologists, chronic pain doctors, orthopedic surgeons, chiros, acupuncturists, massage therapists, laser specialists, physical therapists...and the only thing that helps me is gentle massage. The first two years were very difficult as my coping skills were less than stellar. Now I am used to lying on the living room floor when we have company, lying down in the vehicle when we are driving somewhere, standing up on flights, taking my gel seat and lumbar support to restaurants...seems like second nature. I am not surprised there is a correlation between FMS and car accidents. It makes sense to have a trigger.

I also have celiac disease so cannot eat any gluten. That diagnosis came three years ago as well. Today is Day 2 of a low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet in hopes of alleviating some of this pain due to inflammation caused by sugars. I have hope! The key is to never give up.
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