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Hello,

I can't really say anything about RA, however, I've had many of your symptoms. Mind you, I was seeing a Rheum and developed worsening low back pain, all kinds of nerve pains, etc. Turned out I had spinal stenosis with spinal OA, DDD, disc herniations, blah blah. But then it started in my neck area. On and off as well, I would sometimes get severe pain in a certain area of the back of my neck; I had spasms all the time, which also spread. My face even spasmed to the point that my cheeks & mouth corners were being pulled . My left shoulder was so bad & painful, it seeemed like it was out of place. I would cramps & spasms in my throat, esphogas, it would feel like someone was wringing my neck trying to choke me. My spasms even spread to my hands, my hands wouldn't even stay open. I've had bouts of what I now know was (and I still get it) nerve pains in my fingers and sometimes in my arms. Many times I would wake up from sleep with both arms completely numb. Now...even though my Rheum KNEW what was wrong with my lower spine, or at least partly knew (he had suspected some other conditions as well, but never mentioned those again), he was of the thought of "one thing at a time". So it was like, because I had low back problems, I wasn't supposed to have my upper back and/or neck investigated??? Well, anyway, he kept mentioning Fibromyalgia to me, referrring to my neck & other upper body symptoms. Then every time I went to his office, he would inject me with lidocaine all up & down and around my spine into all my back & neck muscles. You know when you're in severe spasms, you can feel tender there. I guess to him, I couldn't possibly have something wrong with my neck, it just had to be Fibro. Mind you also, he would give me up to 12 of these injections in one visit. Each injection was considered a "surgical procedure" as per my health insurer at the time, and it was over $300 for just ONE injection!!! SO there you go. THe more I think about this, the more I think it was perhaps a cover to to get my doc more insurance money. Well, now a few yrs later and I've still been getting the neck problems on and off except it's gotten more chronic and more painful at times. Come to find out...YES I do also have stenosis, DDD, and herniations in my neck. My neck has also changed shape and completely straightened....which I'm not told could have been due to my severe spasms. Ohhh, but no....my prior Rheum always said it was Fibro. I never knew just how much damage "Fibro" could do.

I do just want to say, though, I am certainly NOT dismissing Fibromyalgia as a disease or anything. Maybe I do have it, but....all those symptoms I had (and still do get) in my neck and spine (deep inside my spine also, not just my muscles) was not caused by Fibro. THat Rheum had prescribed me Lyrica, which I know is a Fibro med, but the only thing it did was slightly help my nerve pains, it did nothing else. I've also read in medical literature that meds for autoimmune disease and other arthritis do not help with Fibro. I've read steroids do nothing for Fibro, but yet steroids are truly my miracle drug...well, at least out of the meds I've taken. So anyway, my point is that your symptoms could be due to many other things, not just Fibro. With your spasms and arm & finger numbness, the first thing I thought of was some sort of spinal compression, not Fibro. However, spinal compression can be caused by different things as well, such as all kinds of different types of arthritis, disc hernniations, cysts, stenosis, etc.

At least your PM is trying to investigate it further for you. What type of doctor was it that diagnosed you with the Fibro?





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