Fibromyalgia neck and shoulder pain

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome (group of symptoms) that is characterized mostly by pain.

The pain may occur as both pain experienced in certain locations called tender points as well as more widespread, generalized pain. The pain of fibromyalgia is described as:

•Tender point pain occuring in local sites, usually in the neck and shoulders.

•The experience of widespread pain is described as stiffness, burning, radiating, and aching. Most patients report feeling some pain constantly. It is often described as "exhausting." The pain can vary, depending on the time of day, weather changes, physical activity, and the presence of stress.

The location of the pain often is in the neck and shoulder area. Many patients with fibromyalgia also will have cervical spondylosis (osteoarthritis) which further aggravates the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Another major complaint is fatigue, which some patients report as being more debilitating than the pain. Sleep disturbances, including restless leg syndrome, are also very common.

Other symptoms that occur more often than average in fibromyalgia patients are the following:

•Depression, and disturbances in mood and concentration.
•Tension or migraine headaches.
•Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.
•Gastrointestinal problems, including irritable bowel syndrome with gas and alternating diarrhea and constipation.
•Urinary frequency caused by bladder spasms.
•Painful menstrual periods in women.

Criteria for Classifying Fibromyalgia (American College of Rheumatology)

Criteria for fibromyalgia have been established to enable researchers to study patients with similar symptoms and to help diagnose individuals.

A. There are at least 11 of 18 specific areas called tender points on the body. The pain experienced when pressing on a tender point is very localized and intensely painful (not just tender). Tender points are found in the following areas:

• The left or right side of the back of the neck, directly below the hairline.
• The left or right side of the front of the neck, above the collar bone (clavicle).
• The left or right side of the chest, right below the collar bone.
• The left or right side of the upper back, near where the neck and shoulder join.
• The left or right side of the spine in the upper back between the shoulder blades (scapula).
• The inside of either arm, where it bends at the elbow.
• The left or right side of the lower back, right below the waist.
• Either side of the buttocks right under the hip bones.
• Either knee cap.
(Some people also experience tender points at the bottom of their feet.)

B. Widespread pain, which is experienced in upper and lower and left and right parts of the body and in the spine, must persist for at least three months. This pain must appear in all of the following locations:

• Pain on both sides of the body.
• Pain above and below the waist.
• Pain along the length of the spine.

The criteria were not intended for use in diagnosing specific individuals, since they are not completely reliable and miss about 10% of patients. Some experts believe that fibromyalgia is likely to be present if only eight to 10 tender points are identified but the patient also has at least three other relevant symptoms, including:

• morning stiffness,
• fatigue,
• sleep disturbance,
• numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, and• headache.

Concomitant osteoarthritis of the neck may be a confounding factor in separating the cause of neck and shoulder pain.

Modalities that seem to help are ultra high frequency (more than 20,000 megahertz),cold laser, and gentle massage.

Get more information about fibromyalgia neck and shoulder pain and related conditions as well as...

• Insider arthritis tips that help you erase the pain and fatigue of rheumatoid arthritis almost overnight!

• Devastating ammunition against low back pain... discover 9 secrets!

• Ignored remedies that eliminate fibromyalgia symptoms quickly!

• Obsolete treatments for knee osteoarthritis that still are used... and may still work for you!

• The stiff penalties you face if you ignore this type of hip pain...

• 7 easy-to-implement neck pain remedies that work like a charm!

• And much more...

Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

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