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Validating Post-Traumatic Fibromyalgia ~ The Connection Between Physical Trauma and FMS

Do the effects of physical trauma cause the onset of Fibromyalgia in some individuals?

Validating Post-Traumatic Fibromyalgia is an ongoing debate in the medical community. As with most issues concerning Fibromyalgia, there are differing opinions on what causes the condition, and whether or not it even is an authentic disease. Even the general population questions the legitimacy of Fibromyalgia.

Whole articles have been vehemently written discrediting Fibromyalgia, and those who suffer from it. I went to look up ‘percentage of doctors who do not believe Fibromyalgia is real‘, and page 1 of the Google search listed several nasty articles written by people (mostly male…intersting) who chose to spend their energies on writing extremely offensive diatribes ripping the Fibromyalgia community apart.

..articles have been vehemently written discrediting Fibromyalgia & those who suffer from it... Click To Tweet

Low and behold, guess whose article (published by The Mighty), “To The Person Who Thinks My Fibromyalgia Isn’t Real”, stood bravely among the ‘stone throwers’ in the list? That’d be your’s truly! The irony is, it was my reading those posts earlier in the year that prompted me to write that ‘open letter to unbelievers’. NOW it’s on PAGE 1 of the Google search right smack in the middle of those ‘Bitter Online-Trolls’!….I love it. ‘Poetic justice’ is a beautiful thing to behold.

 

Doubters aside, there are thousands of people who unequivocally state that their FMS symptoms began shortly after enduring a physical trauma of some type; car accident, major surgical operation, serious physical injury, ect. Coincidence? Well, unless thousands of people are deluded, lying, or insane…I think not. I had FMS symptoms years prior to my full hysterectomy 3 years ago, but I know for a FACT (uh, because I’M the one living in this body), that my FMS flares have increased in intensity and frequency since that time.

Please remember, I am only addressing the ‘physical trauma’ connection with FMS here. There are many other possible factors that appear to lead to the onset of Fibromyalgia; emotional trauma, PTSD, certain latent viral infections, sexual abuse, war experience, and even a study showing a child’s separation from a mother for a period of over 6 mo. as a possible catalyst to the condition.

...there are conflicting studies that clearly show a connection of physical trauma to FMS... Click To Tweet

One word: ‘Central Nervous System‘. Look, I’m no scientist. But, is it not obvious that these events all have a severe effect on the CNS and the major nerves involved? Yet, under the same roof of a large research giant, there are conflicting studies that clearly show a connection of physical trauma to FMS, and studies that condescendingly dismiss it as a myth and a ‘scam’.

Validating post-traumatic fibromyalgia The connection between physical trauma and the onset of FMS

I think it’s clear to see that ‘validating post-traumatic Fibromyalgia‘ is a battle that will continue to rage on for the forseeable future.

Until that war is won, we continue on, fighting our personal battles with FMS, while encouraging our ‘brothers’ on the field with our support and understanding.

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” ~ Leo Tolstoy 

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62 Comments

  • Reply
    carla bradford
    May 23 at 7:01 am

    In 2002 I got an infection in my eyes that after 10 months of trauma resulted in being blind in my right eye. Shortly therafter I developed fibro myalgia. I believe this was a direct result of all that I went through during the infection period. Pain has become a way of life for me.

    • Reply
      kristine
      May 23 at 4:41 pm

      So sorry to hear that Carla 🙁 Long periods of trauma and pain can definitely bring on FMS.

    • Reply
      Lorissa
      September 16 at 10:01 am

      I had a sledding accident when I was 9 that broke my tail bone. My body developed a benign tumor at the end of my spine, as a means of protecting it. Typically these “blister” type tumors go away on their own but 21 years later and each physical trauma has brought about more symptoms. When I became pregnant for the first time I started to have migraines. I was in a minor car accident some years later and that started for physical pain. After my second son my migraines and skin problems wouldn’t stop. Two years later I went into the doctor to find solutions for my pain, migraines, skin issues and intestinal issues. After some blood work to rule out anything serious I met with a specialist who told me it was probably all in my head. After telling him about my tail bone and how it still hurts all these years later he ordered an xray. Sure enough there was a small tumor wrapped intricately around my spine , gently squeezing it. The pressure around my spine sensitized my cns to a point that I live in a dark, trigger free home. Even with this proof I was treated poorly by the specialist and I dropped him. I’ve decided to work only with doctors and providers that actually believe me and know fibro is a real thing. I can’t waste time trying to convince someone of something they can’t see or understand. Because fibro is so complex and doesn’t have one cause or any kind of cure, doctors claim it to be a “housewife illness” (exact words specialist said to me”. I have found some great relief in sensory devirpvation float tanks, cbd oils, marjuna (vaporizer and edibles), yoga (low intensity), all natural products (synthetics are a real irritant to the body inside and out), comfortable shoes ( I wear birkenstocks for a falling arch and Nike’s or sketchers), electric blanket in winter, no alcohol or red meat. Of course some days there is nothing I can do but I wish all of you luck on this long invisible road.

  • Reply
    Deb Pomeroy
    May 23 at 5:43 pm

    I absolutely believe that physical trauma can bring on fibromyalgia. In my case however, it was emotional trauma. My 17 ur old daughter began exhibiting bizarre Psychotic behaviors. I couldn’t figure out what was happening to my baby girl. It was very traumatic. She eventually was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

    • Reply
      kristine
      May 24 at 10:30 am

      So sorry to hear that Deb, I hope you and your daughter are well. ♥

  • Reply
    Mari Adkins
    May 24 at 12:52 am

    I totally believe my FMS symptoms flared and became a Very Big Deal after my full hysterectomy four years ago. Like you, I had symptoms prior to that, but afterward — boy howdy!! Thankfully, I have a very caring doctor, and we discussed it, and she ruled out everything else. She gave me my diagnosis Nov 2015. But in the ensuing time, everything has been so much different. And over the last year, things have gotten worse. You were discussing trauma; I think psychological trauma adds to it — as it can and often does for other things as well. I lost my mother in law last year after spending the last six months of her life with her at her home. I looked to her and her late husband (who we lost June 2013) as my parents, and they called me daughter. Loosing them has been very difficult to say the least. Losing my mother in law was like the last nail, you know? Just when I think I’ve recovered (as much as we ever do), another piece of junk mail comes in the mail or something. It’s always something. Anyway, thanks for writing this article. I’ve pinned it as well as shared it around.

    • Reply
      kristine
      May 24 at 10:34 am

      I’m so sorry for your loss Mari. I completely agree with you that phsychological distress worsens our physical state. Your hyst. and diagnosis story sound like mine! I was diagnosed in Dec of 2015. So glad to see you here, I hope you continue to come back and we’ll try to figure all this out together! 🙂 ♥

  • Reply
    Diana
    May 24 at 1:22 pm

    35 years ago, when I was in 6th grade, I was hit by a car. I had a fractured skull and was in and out of a coma for days. I remember when we were settling the law suit way back then that the doctors said “There is no way for us to know what affects these injuries will have later in life.” I truly believe that now, at 47, the Fibromyalgia that I suffer from was caused by the head trauma that I endured. I’ve found that drinking turmeric/ginger tea on a daily basis does help with inflammation and pain. (recipe here: http://nifyhealth.com/how-to-make-turmeric-tea-for-pain-relief-2/ ) I’ve also found that eating a cleaner diet helps reduce the amount of flares that I have. Thank you for your article!!

    • Reply
      kristine
      May 24 at 1:54 pm

      I would bet you are correct Diana! Physical trauma is a dominating factor in people with Fibromyalgia. Thank you so much for the ‘tea’ recipe! I keep hearing how great tumeric is, I will have to try this! 😉

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    May 25 at 8:21 am

    I have had symptoms for years and thought this was what I had. As a child I was sexually molested by a babysitter then as a teenager raped. I thought I had a grip on things but diagnosed as bipolar 1&2 at 14 years old. When I was 25 I worked for a man who sexually harassed me and then my symptoms became daily. I continued working until 31 and finally diagnosed with FMA, RA and possibly MS (they’re watching that), PTSD and severe depression. Now to add to the already daily pain I have been diagnosed with Costocondritis and Raynaud’s disorder. I truly believe he emotional stress as well as the physical aspects had everything to do with the FMA. It was so bad I could not walk for almost 4 months. Thankfully through my wonderful dr, psychiatrist and therapist the medication regimen they have put together I can walk and have good days also. I used to be so active. But now I’m afraid to really do much because lifting more than 20 lbs sets off a chest attack which sets off a back attack and then the whole body is down. The Raynaud’s is so bad that my feet and hands feel like frostbite the majority of the time. And I am convinced if it weren’t for all of the trauma this wouldn’t have happened. Now the RA and MS. I don’t know about those. It could be hereditary. But the others are not.

    • Reply
      kristine
      May 25 at 9:04 am

      Jennifer, my heart aches for all you have been forced to endure. Yes, I agree with you completely, such emotional trauma has to have immense effect on your physical well-being. It amazes me when ‘experts’ conclude that there is no correlation between the two. All I can say is that they must never have had to experience the deep emotional trauma that comes from abuse and other experiences that stretch the human spirit to it’s breaking point. Thank you so much for sharing your comment here. Love to you…♥

  • Reply
    Sabrina Maurer
    May 25 at 11:07 am

    I wish they would conduct a study based on facts from fibromyalgia sufferers. My report would state that my symptoms began after I went to a chiropractor to help with my lower back/hips which were out of alignment. I could not walk standing straight up. The alignment did not help. Actually it made it worse. I believe with all my heart that somehow a nerve was “caught” and affected by that adjustment. It has been downhill ever since. Doctors won’t even listen when I state that fact. “Fibromyalgia has nothing to do with the issues with your back. Loose weight and you back issues will be resolved.” (Quote from every doctor I see). My response is always, “My back only hurts sometimes while my fat is with me all the time.” About 75% of the people I speak to that suffer from fibromyalgia have had some kind of back trauma. I really think there is a connection there.

    • Reply
      kristine
      May 25 at 12:34 pm

      That’s interesting Sabrina. It would be wonderful to see a study based on people’s personal experiences. It would definitely give a more rounded picture of the disease I believe. Thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate everyone’s feedback! It’s becoming an excellent discussion in the FMS community! 🙂

  • Reply
    Brandi Clevinger
    May 26 at 7:19 am

    Love your bluntness about this topic! You made me chuckle throughout the article. I agree with you – physical trauma can add to the onset of fibromyalgia. My mom has believed for a long time that I was suffering from fibro much longer than I displayed symptoms. I’ve always had digestive issues, frequent illnesses, and other symptoms – all unexplained and mysterious – from the time I was a child. Onset of shingles breaking out on my back at the age of 11 added to the suspicion. However, back then my mom was getting the run around about her fibro, much less for a child. It was unthinkable.

    The symptoms were aggravated by my time in the military. Between the physical demands and the weapons I carried, my pain worsened which led to becoming a disabled veteran. Just like the illness itself, there are many factors that pour into the onset of the illness.

    I’m off to read that article “A Letter to Someone…”!
    Brandi Clevinger recently posted…Can We Find Closure in the WorldWide Web?My Profile

    • Reply
      kristine
      May 26 at 7:34 am

      Thanks Brandi, and the concept of children having FMS is relatively new to me. Really interesting, I need to explore this topic maybe do a future post on it. Have a great day 😉

  • Reply
    Tina
    May 28 at 7:04 pm

    Total believer of FMS onset of injury!! I had a work related injury 10/27/11. I had my 1st back surgery 2/19/12….due to a reaction of some sort…I ended up vomiting 3 days later in which reversed the surgery and caused further damage. On 3/18/13 I had my 2nd surgery…it was all downhill from there. I’ve never been the same since. On 10/21/14 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia…looking back now, I can see some of the symptoms from years past…but the onset really did me in. I’ve been unable to return to work and we’re talking a person who has never worked less than 2 jobs at a time, down to SSD, a handicap parking permit, and a complete kick to the pride….who has to convince some egotistical arrogant j@ck@ss that “yes there’s really something wrong with me” and have others glare at me when I park in a handicap section because I’m on 42 and I don’t “Look” like I belong there. I’m sure everyone has had these emotions at one point in time or another. I’ve actually been approached before by someone who thought I was using someone else’s tag for parking…let’s just say I RIPPED THEM A NEW ONE!!! I asked them if they wanted my issues in the order they started or in alphabetical order…they look at me like I kicked their dog and ate their lunch by the time I was done….and I told them next time you want to approach someone you might want to know what you’re talking about…and the police had arrived in the mean time(because they called before they confronted me)…and I knew the officer which was a friend of mine…and they just let me continue. Anyhow….I have rambled enough….but indeed…FMS absolutely is onset from injuries!!

    • Reply
      kristine
      May 29 at 9:24 am

      I CANNOT believe they called the POLICE on you! Oh my gosh, what is WRONG with some people? ‘Justice Warriors’ who can’t mind their own business. There are far greater travisties and horrors happening all around that need action, and someone parking in a handicap spot who ‘you’ think should not be there is not one of them! I LOVE that the police officer was a friend of yours, and I LOL at the line, “…kicked their dog, and ate their lunch…” ! Oh man, I bet to this day that person has never been the same! 😉 Thank you so much for your comment Tina, the further I go with this, the more I realize just how much FMS legitimacy has to be fought for. Keep fighting, and hang in there! 🙂

      • Reply
        Lisa Ransom
        July 23 at 12:56 pm

        Well done to you, Tina. I wish I had seen that and great that the police just stood by and let you speak your piece. You sound like my kind of friend
        😸😸😸😸
        Lisa

  • Reply
    Deborah Davis
    May 29 at 3:11 pm

    The probability of a link between physical trauma and FMS is not very surprising. Trauma and stress are connected to many health problems. Thank you so much for sharing The Connection Between Physical Trauma and FMS with us on the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I’m pinning and sharing.
    Deborah Davis recently posted…8 Ideas for Decorating with Green and Natural ElementsMy Profile

    • Reply
      kristine
      May 29 at 5:32 pm

      So true Deborah! Thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    Bren
    May 31 at 9:16 pm

    My Fibro was diagnosed 6 months after I had a uterine ablation, but symptoms started within a month of the surgery. Ironically enough I had the ablation to decrease my long periods that were causing my Lupus to flare. I ended up trading one beast for another. Now I have Fibro flares. Thankfully my Lupus is quiet due to my meds. I haven’t tamed Fibro yet.

    • Reply
      kristine
      June 1 at 2:22 pm

      Wow Bren, what a ‘catch 22’. I would say the circumstantial evidence points to a definate coorelation between physical trauma and FMS onset. Thank you Bren!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Hipps
    June 8 at 3:31 pm

    If I could only explain to all the doubters my fibro experience. In 2012 I was in a very traumatic horseback riding accident. My horse reared and I slid back onto the ground, after which she lost her balance and fell back onto me! All 1,000 pounds of her directly on my pelvic area! Thank God it wasn’t directly on my abdomen or I would quite probably be dead! Both hips were broken as well as my lower back. Recovery was hell, and having already dealt with, at that point undiagnosed chronic pancreatitis ( I don’t drink) my life was a moment, to dreaded moment existence. I was living from narcotic dose to narcotic dose. Obviously I was grateful to not need surgery, and I hoped for a full recovery. My bones healed, and I began walking on my own again without the aid of a walker or cane, but I began to feel pain in my joints that I had never ever felt. Before long I was diagnosed with arthritis and needed a brace on my left hand to keep my thumb in place because the deterioration was so severe. But the arthritic pain was quickly overshadowed by pain and stiffness throughout my entire body, along with crazy symptoms that I could not have imagined. I had trouble thinking, I would experience numbness and sleep became a nightly struggle. During one visit my doctor reviewed the growing number of complaints and asked if he could put pressure on some specific places like my neck, knees and hips. The pain from the lightest touch made me lurch in terrible stabbing pain. Every pressure point produced immense pain. He diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, and I’m thankful that he clearly understood it as a true diagnosis and was willing to start treating it. I’ve been through countless medications and currently rely heavily on pain medication, which has been complicated by my pancreatitis causing tolerance to most pain meds.

    The stark cause and effect between my accident and the onset of fibromyalgia symptoms is undeniable, and any doctor that could try to explain it any other way would be proving themselves to be incompetent! There is simply no valid way to argue or deny my diagnosis and what caused it. I wish things had gone differently, but the facts in my case help to support the effects of trauma on the body and how it can initiate fibromyalgia.

    I continue to try new ways of coping, and hope for newer and better medications, not just for me, but for all who are suffering. Continue to work for your quality of life and maintain a positive attitude. It may not be the life we wished for, but it is still one worth fighting for!

    • Reply
      kristine
      June 8 at 6:16 pm

      Wow Kimberly. I just read this comment out loud to my daughter in law who has been riding since she was little. I am so unbelievably sorry that happened to you. Just one of those freak accidents that alter the course of your entire life. I can’t imagine the amount of pain and suffering you live with on a day to day basis. You are right, it is undeniable there is a direct correlation between physical trauma and the onset of FMS. So happy for you that you have a good physician too! Best of luck and all my best wishes to you Kimberly ♥♥♥

    • Reply
      Kathy Harris
      November 13 at 7:30 am

      Kristine, I just finished reading your story and know that trauma brought on my FM. I too had a traumatic horse accident in 2004 that brought it on. My horse broke my neck at the C2, two vertebrae in my lower back, broke my shoulder blade in half, ribs and crushed my clavicle. I refused the diagnosis of FM for years, out of pride and dealt with the pain and symptoms using muscle relaxers and lots of Ibuprofin. Since then, I found that Lyrica was the best meds for me, but I developed an allergy to it. Cymbalta, Savella, or LDN did nothing for me. So, back to Muscle relaxers, Ibuprofen, Tumeric, Clonozapam (migraine attacks), and essential oils. My worst symptoms being chronic vestibular migraine, pain, insomnia and fatigue, etc. I take Belsomra for sleep and find that restful sleep helps me more than anything and try to alleviate all stress. I have returned to riding recently (a very calm and safe horse). It is painful and challenging, but I’m determined to overcome this and my fear. Exercise and Yoga truly helps too, if and when you can push through the pain. This is a disease most have to suffer in silence. Since a spouse and family members get tired of hearing every day about pain and symptoms, when they are helpless to help you. We have to take care of our relationships too…..so we suffer in silence. The truth is, pushing through and making ourselves live life (if possible), is the best medicine. I’m in no way back to normal, but I’m working to have more good days than bad. I hope the best for all my FM friends.

      • Reply
        kristine
        November 13 at 2:27 pm

        Thank you for this Kathy! So sorry about your accident, YIKES!, sounds absolutely PAINFUL!! Glad you are finding meds to help you. Good luck 😉

  • Reply
    Mandi
    June 9 at 9:38 pm

    Well hell! This is a great article and starting a conversation about this connection just adds to the data and confirms what we already know! Anyway, I believe the final straw of five years of one drama after another, I was victim of systemic bullying and self neglect by the time I just fell over. Resigned from my job, told my husband I was broken and I needed hospitalisation and I checked myself into a private mental health centre where they heard my pain complaints and increased my andtisepressant (Cymbalta) and increased my Lyrica!

    And within four days of my pain being managed I was able to talk to people and be polite!!!!!! So I have yet to be formally diagnosed which I am exploring at the moment by seeing a rheumatologist . I’m hoping for another kind earnest doctor to hear me and acknowledge my pain….yeah, I’ve had trauma since I was six months old, molested by my father…I have dos a huge an punt of personal work to get through that and I exercise, eat really week and I’m still able to work….although recently cut back hours….but I’m blessed…..I have a roof, food and I’m lying on my comfy bed writing this…..I’m hurting but I’m just trying to be philosophical about it…..there are people hurting more than me……but I do enjoy hearing everyone and sorry this is sooo long….cheers from ‘down under ‘ Mandi’

    • Reply
      kristine
      June 9 at 11:04 pm

      Thank you Mandi! You have a great attitued, and I hope you find a good doctor too! It is so very important. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ginger Turner
    June 20 at 1:44 pm

    My question for you is this: are you in pain 24/7? Or just flare ups of pain often? Also, have you heard about CRPS/RSD? The reason I ask is because my daughter has CRPS and it is triggered by trauma. Just trying to learn more. CRPS and Fibro are similar but the CRPS has a higher pain scale and the pain never stops. It can get low but it’s always there.

    • Reply
      kristine
      June 20 at 2:24 pm

      Hi Ginger, thank you for the questions! First, I am so sorry your daughter deals with CRPS. You are right, FMS and CRPS are very similar. For me, I would say that there is always some degree of pain present, but it will ‘flare’ in intensity during different times depending on certain trigger events (or even for no paticular reason I know of!). Here are a couple of links to two blogs that focus mainly on CRPS if you would like to check them out : Don’t Punish Pain and FibroCircle . Hope those help with the information you are looking for 🙂

  • Reply
    Dale
    June 21 at 12:06 am

    I thought I would jump in here just for fun and because it is well past my bed time but as usual I can’t get to sleep. I am a guy with FM. I was first diagnosed with Ankylosing spondylitis and I believe in the trauma based roots of FM too. I was hit by a car when I was five which didn’t do me any good, but at 19 years old I contacted Meningitis.That is when all hell let loose. So on the one hand I am lucky to be alive but on the other hand …………..not so much
    Great site Kristine
    enjoy
    Dale

    • Reply
      kristine
      June 21 at 9:28 am

      Thank you Dale! It does seem that in some people FMS is a result of several things combined that take their toll on the nervous system. Although, it can take just one! Thank you for the comment, hope you got to sleep eventually 🙂

  • Reply
    Jo
    July 6 at 12:31 am

    I’ve just recently stumbled across this article whilst researching my own symptoms after years and years of suffering. The only pattern I could see in relation to flare ups were stressful events or illness. I too had a hysterectomy back in Feb this year and since then I’ve had my worst time with it all to date. I could literally cry that I may have found the answer after reading your account that I could have written myself!

    • Reply
      kristine
      July 6 at 10:26 am

      Thank you Jo, that means so much to me too! I am so glad that a little peace of mind was given to you through my post. I know exactly what you mean, it may not change anything, but many times just having an answer to the question ‘why’ can make a huge difference. Have a wonderful day Jo 🙂

  • Reply
    Amy Gillenwater
    July 25 at 6:19 pm

    Wow! Reading all of these has brought some comfort to me, I fell from a second story balcony that collapsed…13ft, flat on my back…long story short, took almost a year before someone (Dr) would take me seriously enough to order an MRI…1st one said DDD…physical therapy…12 weeks…left with severe lower back and leg pain…along with headache and numb fingers…ANOTHER 6 months goes by…playing guinea pig to multiple “non narcotic” pain relievers….2nd MRI ordered, revealed a life sentence to chronic pain. Everything from fractured vertebraes, ruptured-herniated disks..3 in lower lumber sacral area…cervical lordosis…bone spurs throught…and NOW 7 YEARS LATER….EVERY SYMPTOM OF FIBRO, BUT do ya think Ive found ANY DOCTOR to listen to my symtoms as Im begging for help, for relief…..? Nope, still fighting, at 43 years old…Im beat down by the system. Im tired, worn out….Im not sayin I want this diagnosis…who would? But typically with a diagnosis you can have a plan…some help…thanks for listening!

    • Reply
      kristine
      July 25 at 9:12 pm

      So sorry Amy! I completely understand. For some reason there is comfort in a diagnosis, in someone to validate your personal experience. Keep looking! Not sure where you are, but Google for ‘Fibro Doctors’ in your area, or do a nation wide search. They are out there, and more so as this disease gets recognized. Don’t give up! Keep me updated with any progress you make in finding someone, I’d love to hear you found someone to help (or just listen!) 🙂 Love to you Amy! ♥♥♥

  • Reply
    Carrie Melin
    August 19 at 1:50 am

    I loved your article! It’s so hard to find decent info on fibro – or hearts that listen. I was diagnosed last xmas. It was Costochondritis that led to my diagnosis. For me there was no physical trauma. Im wondering though maybe there was. I was a letter carrier for 8 yrs. It was a very physical job and by the time I left that job i was exhausted emotionally and mentally, and very run down physically. I was in a disastrous relationship at the time full of emotional abuse, some physical at the end and stayed with him for three more yrs before i could find a way to leave him and get me and the kids (not his) home. During all of this my ‘wicked’ stepmother of 35 yrs passed away from cancer and my pedophile first husband was fighting for visitstion. Lol i needed a holiday! Ok i needed a counselor, but a holiday would have been marvelous! So, i moved the kids and I home, quit my bad habits, went to school and became an RMT, im still in counselling and started my own business. Life these 4 years later is much different! I am much happier! However, now im plagued with Fibro and its merry band of symptoms (Throw hands up here). This is not acceptable to me – i didnt come this far to lose to this sh** now. Im aware of the mental /CNS link but how does a person heal a lifetime of emotional trauma??? Sigh. When do i get to live? Carrie.

    • Reply
      kristine
      August 19 at 9:28 am

      Hello Carrie ~ Congratulations for the choices you have made! You are incredibly brave, and your children are blessed to have a mother who loves them enough to sacrafice for them.
      I am so encouraged to hear you made counseling part of your healing process. It can be so scary (I know) that many people skip this, but it is vital when making changes that will carry you through the rest of your life.
      Unfortunately, years of incredible stress on the nervous system takes its toll on our bodies, and FMS can be one of the results. It sounds to me that you are healing from your lifetime of emotional abuse. It may seem incremental, but you are progressing. Give yourself the permission of ‘time’. Patience and perseverance are part of the process as well.
      Love and my deepest heartfelt prayers for ‘health’ go out to you…♥♥♥

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    October 21 at 8:04 am

    Well I’m late to this party, but I wanted to add…..I was one of those people who did not believe in fibro. In fact I was insulted when I was diagnosed and said “I do not!” when the doctor said, “You have fibromyalgia”.

    Here is my story, as quick as I can tell: From 2008-2010 I started having different symptoms, starting with waking up with headaches (I have been a migraine sufferer since about age 21 when my oldest daughter was born). At age 26 I had a mini-stroke, and had an EEG which resulted in the diagnosis of migraines. I was a medical transcriptionist at the time for a local hospital (had been one for 30ish years at the time). I was seeing a doctor at a clinic associated with the hospital where I worked along with my own internist. I had heard he was good for pain and started seeing him when this headache pattern started. He was young and very nice and ordered an overnight sleep monitor in my home, which led to a full sleep study. This resulted in a diagnosis of mild sleep apnea and moderately severe restless leg syndrome. Within a few months of that I started having chest pain so severe I thought something was wrong with my heart. I saw my internist who pressed on my sternum and I nearly jumped off the table, costochondritis. Around that same time I was having such dry eyes I was having trouble wearing my contact lenses after 30+ years of wearing them. Went to the eye doctor…..dry eye syndrome.

    By early 2010 I started having shoulder pain, but I ignored it and continued with my job as a medical transcriptionist to the pathologist, which I really loved. Having transcribed for so long without any issues (even the 12 hours a day while my oldest daughter was in college), I just ignored my shoulder and continued working and enjoying life with my husband as an empty nester. Finally after probably a month or so, I could not even lift my arm to wash my hair and was using my migraine headache narcotic to get through my work day. I finally told my supervisor who immediately gave me the paperwork for a worker’s comp claim.

    I started to be seen by the local occupational heath clinic which was owned by the hospital. I was sent to physical therapy and was seen by a kind burly male physical therapist who tried lots of different things including traction (I was having neck pain also). The traction completely freaked me out and I could not do it. Finally at his wits end about my shoulder, he told me to premedicate with a pain pill and have my husband bring me to my next appointment, as his plan was to “unfreeze” my shoulder.. During this time I continued to work 4 hours a day transcribing. So at the appointment the therapist turned me on my good side and forced my right shoulder through a range of motion both forward and backward. It was extremely painful, but the good news is it worked! The bad news is I started having pain that seemed to start spreading through my entire body. Looking back, I had other physical traumas including my first daughter weighing 9 lbs 11 oz (I was 5’2-1/2″ and 100 pounds when I got pregnant), and my second daughter was 8 lbs 7 oz, but was a breech that I birthed. Both births caused major trauma to my lady parts and I had extensive stitching done. TMI I know!

    I was diagnosed quickly, but it took another year or more for me to actually accept the diagnosis. I knew something was wrong because I was a workaholic and a type A personality.

    • Reply
      kristine
      October 21 at 11:20 am

      Hi Cheryl! Thank you for sharing your story. Reading it just reinforces my belief that so much FMS can be traced back to the Central Nervous System. Physical/Emotional stress on the CNS for extended and repeated amounts of time have GOT to take their toll on the body. Hope you are doing well though 🙂 Glad you are here♥

  • Reply
    Nancy
    November 3 at 1:52 pm

    I truly believe there is a direct connection between the two whether it be emotional or physical. In my case it could have started with sexual abuse at the age of 8 by the next door neighbor, getting Reye Syndrome when I was in second grade and spending the first month of school in the hospital, being involved in a hit and run and having to learn how to walk again. All of that silently manifested in my body for years until 5 years ago at the age of 38 I lost my best friend and brother to liver cancer. Taking care of him and watching him die was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I was diagnosed about 8 months or so after he passed away, that been 5 years ago. I feel as if my symptoms just get worse as the days go by. I’ve since been diagnosed with Colitis and glaucoma. I have now have bulging disc in my back, my joints kill me I hurt each and every day. It’s so hard to explain that to people who don’t understand.

    • Reply
      kristine
      November 3 at 7:34 pm

      Oh my goodness Nancy, I am so sorry for all you have been through…absolutely heart breaking. Yes, I believe there is little doubt as to a connection. All my best to you my friend♥♥♥

  • Reply
    Cherrie
    November 11 at 3:07 am

    Hi. I just came here from Pinterest. I’m investigating HEDS for my family and have read that in some cases it is wrongly diagnosed as fibromyalgia. Anyway it also seems to accelerate from trauma. HEDS ia worse to get diagnosed so I won’t wish it on you. Gentle hugs.

    • Reply
      kristine
      November 12 at 4:18 pm

      Thank you Cherrie! And good luck 😉

  • Reply
    Rae Harward
    November 16 at 2:57 am

    I had an adrenal tumor and developed Cushing Syndrome. It took two years to diagnose, and then I had a major surgery to remove the adrenal. I developed Fibromyalgia within six months of the surgery, and always wondered if there was a connection.

    • Reply
      kristine
      November 16 at 5:35 pm

      So sorry to hear that Rae! Yep, its a common tale. ♥

  • Reply
    Sonja Montgomery
    December 6 at 5:39 pm

    I had a full hysterectomy in Feb. of 1993. That same year I had to put my father in a nursing home. Honestly I think I was not admitting how much pain I was in prior to my surgery. I was having non stop periods. By Nov. I was diagnosed with fibro. Unfortunately, at that time it was still a non condition. Many people still don’t believe it is really a true medical condition. As Fall turns into Winter my pain level becomes more intense. I am so tired of pretending nothing is wrong. At 65 I still don’t want to disappoint my friend or my family so I keep moving forward. I read about new treatments etc. but it doesn’t seem like much changes.

    • Reply
      kristine
      December 6 at 7:21 pm

      Hi Sonja! Sounds so familiar! You are right though, change is very slow and many new treatments often prove to be ineffectual at best. I would encourage you to check with your doctor about LDN. I have written several articles on it, and am currently using it to great success. It is not a miracle drug, and can take many months to build up in your system and turn your immune system around. Check it out, and if your Dr. is unwilling to prescribe it, call the number I have listed in the first article here: and Good Luck Sonja! ♥

  • Reply
    Gabby
    January 30 at 5:28 am

    My mum swears that her third pregnancy was when her fibro kicked in. She was so unwell, presenting with all the classic fibro symptoms and at the time she got tested for things like anaemia and cancer but they couldn’t find a thing. This is going back about 40 years ago now. I don’t even know that “fibromyalgia” was even a word back then 🙁

    • Reply
      kristine
      January 30 at 9:48 am

      Hi Gabby! Good to see you here! Yes, I think its very possible that was when your mom developed FMS. I truly believe that trauma and stress on the nervous system can bring about FMS. Hope she is well!♥

  • Reply
    Donna Koehler
    February 17 at 1:39 pm

    I truly believe this theory because in 2001 I lost both of my parents within 1 mo of each other. This put me in a very stressful, depressed state. In 2002 about 6 mos later I was diagnosed with celiac disease and had my appendix removed. Also I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I also have a thyroid disease so I think this combination is definitely the cause of my pain & fatigue everyday. I have not found anything to help me.

    • Reply
      kristine
      February 17 at 7:53 pm

      I am so sorry to hear of all your pain Donna. Stress can cause so much pain, both physically and emotionally. What a truly hard road you’ve been asked to travel down.
      I would encourage you to look into and speak with your physician about Low Dose Naltrexone. It could help with your FMS symptoms, it definitely works for me. Good luck and all my very best wishes my friend ♥

  • Reply
    Suzanne Davis
    April 5 at 10:40 pm

    Thank you for Validating what my Dr suspected. PTSD from Child abuse, kidney surgeries, knee surgery, molestation and rape.
    I’ve been recently diagnosed and am trying to soak up as much information as possible. The more I lean about Fibro and the symptoms recollections come back as to when certain symptoms began. As far back as well I was a Tween. I’ve been struggling with doctors for years with many complaints about this and that. It wasn’t until I described how it felt when my husband gently massaged across my shoulders, like he was clawing it. Finally something click and off to the Rheumatologist I went. Best day ever.
    Thank you for writing this article and helping bridge the gap. Thank you for the connection.
    And thanks to all of you who left replys, I learned so much from you as well, thank you.

    • Reply
      kristine
      April 6 at 9:09 pm

      What an encouraging comment Suzanne, thank you SO much. I am so deeply sorry for all you have endured, and I am glad you are finding the help you want and need. Love to you ‘Brave One’ ♥♥♥

  • Reply
    Jaymie
    May 5 at 9:00 pm

    I was diagnosed with fibro after my second c-section. My upper back would lock and the pain from carrying a newborn was terrible. Took about 4 months for pain to subside. My internest after delivery due to pregnancy complications (high blood pressure, major weight gain, eye stroke in left eye, early delivery ) was the one who diagnosed me in 1999. At that time antidepressants were the only avenue. Took prescription and threw in trash.

    Fast forward 8 years; slip and fall on wet pavement in backyard. Landed on lower tailbone. Got up but each day after more and more pain until I was bedridden. Took doctors 7 weeks to get me to see a specialist . Tore all ligaments in back and wore a brace. First the chest pains, then flareups every time a stressful situation, lying in bed for days at a time. After 4 months of pain management enough was enough. Thoughts of suicide due to endless pain levels and norco. Put on Cymbalta really helped. Decided to visit an integrative doctor. What a big difference. Ran tests on me no other doc thought of. Full of lead, yeast (due to way too many antibiotics for cystitis…). After 5 years of detox, getting magnesium, vit d, folate, and probiotics life is much better. Serotonin level depleted and leaky gut probably due to all the pills, antibiotics… very few flare ups now and try to walk 20 miles a week. Can still have pain when overdoing things…learn to live with it. Also have a perminant nerve damage in lower back due to fall but much better than in the beginning 😀

    • Reply
      kristine
      May 6 at 8:17 am

      UGH! Jaymie! What a horrible ride you’ve been on! Yep, still makes sense to me that one of the biggest causes of FMS is damage to the CNS through various avenues of trauma. Glad its better than it was in the beginning! ♥ to you!

  • Reply
    Susan
    June 19 at 9:21 pm

    Hi, i’m kind of late to this post, but also have fibro and supposedly chronic pain syndrom. I started seeing my family doc who at that time prescribed vicodin 10/750 6 times a day. Then his office and the govt cracked down on strong pain meds. He referred me to a pain mgmt doc who was happy to prescribe the pain meds then treated me like a common drug abuser with all the urine test required me to pay and not insurance. I left him and was again referred to an ortho pain mgmt doc who made me jump thru hoops…mri’s exrays etc. i also had a major trauma with breaking my ankle both bones n dislocating my ankle. No cast just soft boot. Was unable to put weight on leg from thanksgiving to thr following april. I was very active before that. I am not a sit still person, or at least i never used to be. So then after a more recent curgery also suggested by ortho docs had all metal removed from ankle in feb last year. Unable to walk again for a couple of months. After which the fibro flares were getting worse, no sleep, no one to really listen. Went to see a physichatrist who said i needed mindfullness n referred me to someone else. She helped some of my anxiety n depression, i was daring for my mom in my home…very hard to do when u cant even care for yourself. Mom went into nursing home, still the stress of being her poa and a sister who is a heartless person didnt help. Again i just seen another pain mgmt doc who dismissed the use of controlled meds, which by the way at least gave me some normalcy of being able to at least do some of the household chores. He then referred me to a phschologist who now tells me they are referring me to a chronic pain rehab program. I lost my best friend two yrs ago, my mother in this past march, had all my teeth pulled 7 days after her burial. I am feeling like i am going crazy, dont want to leave house, because of pain. Pain mgmt tells me to take tylenol extra strength..two four times a day! I am and have been on cymbalta for about four years and neurontin for about three years. I hate going on, but there is no one i can talk to but baby sis who also has fibro. The sister that is the nurse just says quit complaining and is very harsh about it….anyway i am truly sorry for all of you who suffer and see no light at the end of the tunnel.

    • Reply
      kristine
      June 20 at 12:32 pm

      So sorry for all your heartache Susan. So miserable to have all of those major traumas come all at once! Have you looked into medical use of cannabis? Not sure what state your are in, but many people do very well managing pain with MMJ. Of course, you need to see a physician to discuss this and all options. Good luck and much ♥ with all your steps to improve your quality of life~

  • Reply
    Jackie
    November 4 at 4:00 pm

    I was diagnosed in 2010 and at first was prescribed pain medication. I have been to multiple doctors, on my second Rheumatologist referral, and although I have a great doctor now, most have dismissed my symptoms as being psychological. When I was 19 I was sitting in a parked car and was side swiped by another car, hitting my head in the side window. I had neck pain and I have a disc bluging out of my neck. That seems to be the first point of pain that slowly radiates throughout my body. I was told to manage my stress, eat right, exercise, keep active, and keep track of my triggers.
    I have been through every possible test done to test for every thing that is said to be in connection to fibromyalgia. All the blood tests, MRIs, and cat scans have come back normal. My organs are in great condition and I grateful that I do not have anything wrong with me other than fibromyalgia, which to me seems as if every thing is wrong with me.
    I have refused to take medication because it seems as if all they can do is mange the pain so I have done a lot of research on fibromyalgia. I believe the the connection with fibromyalgia is some sort of injurty. I started to believe that fibromyalgia was a psychological issue and my first round of therapy consisted of a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and MFT, and group counseling for 5 years. I am currently on my second round of therapy with a very good therapist that doesn’t dismiss my symptoms to me being emotionally damaged.
    There was a point in my life where I felt defeated and has no choice but to deal with it and then the pain became unbearable.
    I decided to take charge of my health and started to do more research. Most of my research was the same thing my former doctors advised but there have been some that have worked. I take walks on my good days, make sure I don’t over do it, manage my stress, I avoid anything with red dye, and try to eat as healthy as possible. At this moment I am taking apple cider vinegar in the mornings and it seems to be helping with the sensitivity. With the cold months ahead I am hoping that I does work for chronic pain.

    • Reply
      kristine
      November 4 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you so much Jackie! I’m so encouraged by all the hard work and initiative you’re taking. What a great inspiration! Keep me informed on how it’s going 🙂

  • Reply
    Jackie
    November 4 at 4:07 pm

    It is relieving to know that I am not alone on this painful journey.

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