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358304 tn?1409709492

Fibromyalgia or just tension and knots?

I'm 32 male. Have suffered with Generalized Anxiety Disorder on and off for about 8 years now. I don't always feel anxious, but my Dr. thinks I'm always a TAD anxious without realizing it. I'm also a worry wart, and I worry about having fibromyalgia.

Everything started about 1.5 years ago. August of 2014. After doing a lot of exercise and running, out of nowhere, I noticed one night, that when having intercourse with my wife, my erections would sometimes HURT. It was bizarre. I just thought maybe I strained something, and thought nothing of it.

Then after about 2 weeks of erectile pain, I went to the Dr., and he was not concerned and said to give it time. Then a day or 2 later, I started noticing I felt like I had to pee all the time. My bladder would hurt SO BAD, as if I was holding my pee for an hour, and it was about to explode. But when I'd go pee, there'd be nothing but a few drops. I'd also leak a lot in my boxers, like big dribbles after peeing. It was embarrassing and scary.

I went BACK to my doctor, and he tested me for a UTI, and it was NEGATIVE. He then though I COULD have a bladder infection (which is rare in men) and he put me on antibiotics for 2 weeks. IT DID NOTHING FOR ME. I was in AGONY. Could not even sleep at night.

After calling him and going back to him he was STUMPED. He said "does your lower back happen to be hurting? I said, YES!!! I keep stretching it."

I didnt noticed the back pain before, because the bladder pain was over-powering the back pain. He then said, "sounds like you have a pinched nerve in your lower back causing false signals to your bladder."

He said to just stretch, get massages etc. THIS FINALLY GOT BETTER. However, I still had some minor erection pain.

Then my lower back would cycle, it would come back, and one time even made my legs WEAK and JELLO LIKE when walking down stairs. They would literally jiggle like they were going to give out. My Dr. explained that was NORMAL with a lower back pinched nerve. But said to continue massage and stretching. I went to a Chiropractor who helped fix this issue!! THANK GOD.

I still get lower back issues from time to time, but my Chiro can usually fix me up.

Now... last Summer, August of 2015, I noticed my upper back muscles were having issues. They hurt bad. My shoulder blade muscles hurt... then it would spread to my neck, and then head. I felt like my head was TOO HEAVY to stay on my neck. I had constant tension headaches, felt dizzy sometimes, it was TRULY awful. I was also going through a very stressful time.

My brother who is a massage therapist, massaged me and said I had lots of knots in my shoulder blades that can cause referred pain and further spasms. While his deep tissue massages felt good, it was only temporary, but between him and a few visits to my chiropractor, I was feeling better again.

Now I just keep cycling with these 2 issues. RIGHT NOW, it's my shoulder blades again. I can get on a hard rubber ball against a wall and feel hard bumps (knots) and apply pressure, but they do not release.

I work on a computer every day, as I am a videographer and editor.

I'm SCARED I have fibromyalgia or something. Maybe even Mayofacial pain syndrome.

My chiropractor and my brother the massage therapist say "You don't have fibromyalgia, just muscle imbalance and knots."

My doctor also doesnt think I have fibro, or anything serious, but he doesnt do any tests, or hasnt referred me to a specialist b/c he doesnt feel it's necessary.

While I DO get relief from my chiropractor and my brother, it's only for a couple to 3 months, and it's usually back.

My wife did a "at home" tender point test (according to charts online), and I feel NO PAIN when she presses hard on them.

My aunt has fibro, and she said that I would not be able to roll on hard rubber ball on a wall (working on knots) if I fibromyalgia. She said that I would be in SO MUCH PAIN.

Do you think this is all just muscle knots from years on a computer and filmmaking? Could it be a mix of that and having Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Thanks for reading. Sorry so long! :)
15 Responses
Avatar universal
C, if you had fibro, you'd know it.  It's debilitating, not just a little painful.  It comes with fatigue, depression, and all sorts of problems.  You don't have it.  As for what you do have, you've complained often about pain, and I can only tell you what I've told you before -- at 63 now, I have pain everywhere.  Mostly, it's apparently a lack of sleep and a lot of anxiety from my permanent Paxil withdrawal, which of course you don't have, that has intensified pain that probably comes from a real problem, which is deteriorating discs in my lower and especially cervical spine.  Probably from an old auto accident and a lot of basketball and martial arts.  I've told you before, if you don't do things correctly, and I didn't, this is what happens as you age.  But the only way you'll ever find out causes is to get MRIs through an orthopedist, who can give you a diagnosis.  After that you can decide what to do about it, but at least you'll have pictures that will tell you if there's something going on.  Here's an example:  for the last few years I've had recurring pain in the upper part of my mouth.  My dentist kept saying he couldn't find anything, but as he turned out to have done some pretty bad stuff to me I got a different dentist, who took it more seriously (meaning, I guess, he believed me) and sent me to an endodontist for a CT scan.  The endo found an old root canal done through the gum that had gone bad in two places, and now I need it pulled probably.  Which is to say, if you feel pain, it's good to get pictures.  Peace.
358304 tn?1409709492
Thanks for responding my man!

The thing is, I DO indeed get fatigue a lot. But I've always gotten fatigue a lot with just anxiety years ago, not with muscle pain.

So it's hard to tell.

Id THINK if I truly had fibromyalgia, I wouldnt be able to get up against a wall like I did last night and rub SUPER SUPER HARD on knots in my shoulders. Yes it hurt, but I can manage.

I hear if you have fibro, you'd NOT be able to do that.

Also, I get so confused about fibro... my wife saw a chart on tender points and tried to roughly push them on me last night, NO SYMPTOMS.

I just feel like at age 32, I'm too young to be in this much chronic pain.

Can I get it to leave for the most part for a couple of months at a time? YES. With the help of a chiro and massage.

However, it always seems to creep itself back in.

I'm just confused on why it's usually in my shoulder blades/upper back and just lower back/glutes.

It's the strangest thing. It's been going on for 1.5 years.

I may get tested just for "PEACE OF MIND".

However, part of me is afraid they'll go ahead and diagnose me just so they can make some big $$$ from big pharma. lol.
358304 tn?1409709492
I told a lady at my office today "I think I'm going to go ahead and get tested for fibromyalgia".

Her response was gold. She said "Fibromyalgia is widespread pain EVERYWHERE, not just your shoulders and lower back giving you issues. It's from head to toe, consistently, non stop."

She then said "if you had fibro, you wouldnt be able to get up against that wall like you do with a HARD @SS SOFTBALL and rub it on your shoulder blades like you do."

She probably has a point. lol.
358304 tn?1409709492
Well... I just got back from my chiropractor appointment. And it was a blessing.

I see him about once every few months. I told him about my fears again about having fibromyalgia.

He said "do you want me to do the tender point test?"

I said "YOU CAN DO THAT!??"

He said "Sit down."

He then tested 11 tender points, NO PAIN. I PASSED. :)

He cracked my back, massaged knots out, and had me to some strengthening exercises.


He just said "Body mechanics, posture etc."
Avatar universal
C, generally, orthopedists are pretty conservative, and you're not describing anything that needs long-term meds or surgery.  What they're likely to do is send you to physical therapy, which is a significant time commitment and might help and might not.  You have to be pretty bad off for them to do surgery and you're not going to get pain meds for what you're describing.  What it might do is find a source of the pain so you can work on it; right now you're flying blind, and it's been going on for a while.  Chiropractors are an odd bunch -- seems they help more with rib pain and odd pains than the back, which is what they're supposed to be able to help.  My latest brush with one left me with a worse neck.  But they really need to work on you regularly for it to work best, and that gets expensive, too.  All medical care is just too expensive, and practitioners not as good as advertised usually.  So my point is to get the diagnosis, not necessarily to do what doctors tell you to do.  That part is up to you entirely.  
358304 tn?1409709492
Hey Paxiled. Thanks for responding.

So yesterday I caught myself going into the obsessive compulsive stage. I was researching fibromyalgia and mayofacial pain syndrome NON-STOP! It got me SO worked up and scared, which created unnecessary anxiety.

My anxiety has been under control (with no meds thankfully) for quite some time. I have not had to see my Dr. in almost 8 months, which is great.

I paged my Dr. last night (he's super cool like that) and he told me to calm down. He said the pain I have could be mayofacial pain syndrome because of my trigger points (not to be confused with tender points in fibro). But the good news, is he told me it's NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. He explained (which I already know) that anxiety does nothing more than exacerbate the symptoms and add nothing but negative energy (anxiety).

He told me to make an appt. with him tomorrow (which was today).

I got in to his office this morning first thing, which was awesome.

I showed him an article I found last night that I COULD HAVE WRITTEN MYSELF. It was a lady who wrote about how her symptom started with "BLADDER PAIN, then it moved to her LOWER BACK and BUTTOCKS."

That was ME!! That's how mine started over a year ago. She saw NUMEROUS Dr.'s and she was finally diagnosed with Mayofacial pain Syndrome, which is KNOTS that build up in muscle fiber, and are very hard to release. Depending on where these knots build up, they can cause referred pain, or even pinch on nerves to HEALTHY ORGANS, like the bladder etc.

After I read this article to my Dr. this morning, he replied with the following:

""What I know about YOU, is, is that YOU have a history with anxiety, I've been treating you for that for 8 years now. You are doing significantly better! You should be very proud of yourself. People with anxiety, like yourself, carry stress in different places in the body. Anxiety can manifest itself in many ways. Could your muscle knots be caused by anxiety? Maybe. Maybe not. Regardless,  your anxiety makes things worse. You have nothing to fear. You are extremely healthy. Do you know what fibromyalgia is? All it means is muslce fiber pain. I'm not saying it's not real, but, people who have it wanted a diagnoses... so a while back, a Dr. just made up a name for it and called if fibromyalgia. We still don't understand it, just like we still don't understand ANXIETY. I don't think you have fibromyalgia. I think you have anxiety, muscle pain, spasms and knots. That's it. And it's not uncommon for people with a history of anxiety to have these symptoms. Do you know what Dr.'s prescribe to people who have fibromyalgia or other pain syndromes? ANTI-DEPRESSANTS. Which is what you don't want to take. Correct? So, since you are extremely healthy, I would just continue to do what makes you feel better. If seeing your chiropractor and getting a deep tissue massage helps, then keep doing that."

And that was it!

I felt BETTER.

The point is, a diagnosis or a "label" is not necessary. I'll just continue to do what makes me feel less pain, and that is seeing my chiro/sports Dr. and getting massages from my brother.

Thanks for always listening Paxiled. :)
Avatar universal
Something else to try that worked for me for awhile is foam rolling and using a lacrosse ball or tennis ball to work out knots.  The only reason I said to get a diagnosis is just in case you have disc problems, which I do.  Just because you're anxious doesn't mean you can't also have the same problems most Americans get from over-exercising while being sedentary most of the time.  But disc problems also don't cause most people pain, it comes and goes, but it helps your chiropractor or massage therapist target the right places and avoid the wrong ones.  But in the long run it probably doesn't really matter -- physical therapy works for awhile, then doesn't, and if you can't sleep or relax like me, it just gets worse.  You're in way better shape than I am, more like I was before the drug reaction killed me.  With me, I have real stuff wrong, but it should get better and doesn't, which is no fun.  But this is what old guys who did a lot of exercise complain about when we get old, and more than anything I'm just saying to you, anxiety or not, aging gets to you if you don't perform your exercise correctly and take good care of your body as best you can now.  Not that you have to see a doctor.  Peace.
Avatar universal
Sorry, forgot to add, I do have a lot of experience with people suffering from fibromyalgia.  I managed health foods stores, and a lot of people with this came to us for help after they gave up on docs, who at that time were denying the existence of the disease.  My sister-in-law also has it.  Your doc is wrong -- it's a lot more than just a little pain, and the antidepressant treatment is relatively new because Cymbalta, an snri (not a great drug to get stuck on) got FDA approval to treat it.  All it does is make a person not hurt so much but doesn't do anything about the cause of the disease, which is unknown.  But it's a whole lot more involved than just a little pain -- these people are pretty disabled, they don't just hurt, they are in great pain, suffer depression, and end up on disability usually.  It's a major problem, and you clearly clearly clearly do not have this.
358304 tn?1409709492
Paxiled, bro... my man... my main man.

You are so awesome. Thank you again for the reassurance of me NOT having fibromyalgia.

I worked out last night and it felt good. I'm still a little sore today in my normal spots, both shoulder blades and lower back, but I KNOW how to get it feeling better, and that is the chiropractor and massage.

My brother (a massage therapist) and my friend Zach (who is a sports Dr. and chiropractor) thinks I have mayofascial pain.

Zach told me to NOT DWELL on the terminology. While yes indeed it CAN be a syndrome that lasts a long time and keeps coming back, IT DOESNT MEAN IT HAS TO BE FOREVER.

He recognizes lots of TIGHT muscles in my back and many trigger points (not to be confused with tender points). My trigger points are basically KNOTS in the muscle fibers. When the knots are active and pressed on, they send referred pain to other parts of my body.

This is what was probably happening to my lower back a year and a half ago when my BLADDER was affected. Scared the daylights out of me.

The #1 thing I need to remember is that my PAIN CAN BE MANAGED with proper treatment. It just ***** that I have to keep getting treatment every 2-3 months.

My Dr. explained that anxiety makes symptoms worse with people who have unknown muscle pain issues to begin with. It can be a vicious cycle.

My Dr. did to an X-ray of my lower back last Summer, and I have great spacing in my spine. However, I was born with an extra vertebrae on my lower lumbar connecting to my sacrum, but he said that is NOT likely the cause of my pain. No obvious signs of arthritis or anything.

So this is why my brother and chiro think it's just simply comlex mayofascial pain. And with having an anxiety disorder (not that I feel anxious all the time, I can literally go months and months without anxiety) it simply doesnt help.

I also think there could be a correlation with a Generalized Anxiety Disorder with unexplained muscle pain, tension, and trigger points as well.

Thanks again for writing. After my Dr's visit yesterday, my anxiety levels dropped. I no longer fear fibromyalgia or anything else like that.

Trust me, my aunt has fibro, but she doesnt take meds for it, as they made her felt weird and bizarre. So she just goes on with her life with it. You can literally just push on her lightly anywhere and she will go "OUCH!". So strange. lol. I do NOT have that. :)

I have constant spams/tightness and knots.
Avatar universal
C, do you have this?  I hurt all over, and the annoying thing now is a pain in my neck that travels to my right shoulder.  I've been walking lately, on a bad foot, because it was recommended after surgery (you think you have bladder problems!).  But it feels better when I do get to the gym and lift weights.  Odd.  Do you feel like that?  It's just so annoying that I can't find where it's coming from, so everything I do, stretches, rolling, the balls, I can't find the right spot and just make it worse.  I hate these annoyances!
Avatar universal
By the way, I do have probably the condition the docs are referring to -- it's called something like chronic pain syndrome, and a pain specialist thought I might have this because of what Paxil did to me and how long I've gone with this anxiety and lack of sleep.  It basically overstimulates the nerves and the signals that tell something to hurt, so I don't heal like I used to.  They want me to take Lyrica or Neurontin, but I'm so leery now after so much failure of taking more drugs that mask problems by playing with brain neurotransmitters.  Still, it might be the only thing I can do.  Peace.
358304 tn?1409709492
My pain is usually localized in the lower lumber. It can be pretty pain free for months, then come back.

My shoulder blades started last year. The same thing. Just an on and off thing.

I've been doing LOTS of stretches the past few days. I have TIGHT HAMSTRINGS. I can not touch my toes, and I'm a skinny dude.

I think this explains my lower back pain. Because, I was not a very active guy until about 3 years ago. I started running 3-4 miles a day with no proper stretching etc. afterwards.

Being non-active, b/c I sit at a computer all day for work and film also for work, this causes tight and shortened muscles. So jumping into running like that caused TIGHTER muscles and probably compressed my spine to pinch a nerve.

Now I'm habitually stretching every day. I think this could be my cure all for the low back.

As for the shoulder blade pain, I'm feeling better slowly. I believe it's KNOTS. I have TONS AND TONS of them. It's probably again due to years of desk job and poor posture. I'm practicing good posture again. Hopefully it helps.

Hope you get to feeling better.
358304 tn?1409709492
also chronic pain syndrome is just a terminology. It just means you have complex pain issues that they can't quite figure out.

I doubt it's from the Paxil. Lots of people get complex pain. It doesnt mean it has to be forever. :)
358304 tn?1409709492
Bro! I found the holy grail of relief!!!

I'm SO HAPPY. I no longer have the irrational fear of "fibro" or any other chronic pain syndromes.

I found a stretch on youtube the other evening, that showed a unique stretch that I'VE NEVER DONE BEFORE. My sports Dr. never showed me this either. He always focused on my hamstrings.

This video had be bend over, bend my left knee, then slowly reach to my right and look up at the cieling.


I can say I am now 100% back pain free!! I now know the fix for this issue! This muscle was compressing my lower lumbar. Amazing stretch!

As for my shoulder blade pain, it's obviously all from poor posture. I got a massage yesterday and the gal said I was super tight up in there.

I'm feeling 80% better today in my shoulder blades and am able to do more work at my desk!!
can u pls reply to me?thank u
Avatar universal
Hi!I am  a 15 yrs old girl who have muscle knots 24 hrs for two months now,and am depressed because i have it all over my body,even my knees hurt,and justlike u sim extremely scared of fibro.It all started when i had pneumonia 2 months ago,started feeling anxious until pains in my body appeared.Can u pls help me?I don't want this to be chronic pls
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