Fibromyalgia Action UK
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I would like to find out if the pain I have is due to fibro or something else help!

I have been diagnosed as having fibromyalgia & osteoarthritis of my knees and ankles. I also have hashimotos,s and have recently become gluten intolerant after having loads of stomach problems. What I would like to find out is the pain and weakness in my legs down to fibro or arthritis? After a full on weekend trying to catch up on things in my small garden I have to virtually crawl upstairs as my legs are so painful ,stiff and weak. I had a very bad night last night shivering and sweating at the same time & have been plagued with stress headaches ( I take bp meds) can any one make any sense of this? Thankyou so much for reading this.

7 Replies

Hi Castlepoint

I am so sorry to read that you are suffering so much at this time, and I genuinely hope that you can find some resolution and relief to this problem. It is very difficult to answer your question, and i think that you may have to look at the different types of pain that you are feeling at any given time?

I have arthritis in my neck, spine and knees, and the pain feels different to my Fibro, as the arthritis comes accompanied with red patches and a deeper pain than my Fibro. Whereby my Fibro comes on very quickly and is that sharp on occasions that I could keel over.

I have pasted you three NHS Choices links for the conditions that you suffer from, as you may be able to compare the types of pain you are suffering and see what you think they are?

I think a discussion with your GP would be very useful on this matter also, as they may be able to advise on the different pain and places of pain.

All my hopes and dreams for you



Hi there castle point, I do feel it's more the fibro, it happens the same to me, I also have spondylosis of the spine which is a form of arthritis and I have osteoarthritis, but I think fibro beats them two hands down, like you I done some gardening last weekend and I felt so rough by the time the night time came then all thru the night and am still suffering, its hanging on, I think we strain to bend step over plants ect and really upset and over work our muscles, and I think this causes the sweat and really ill feeling like flue...hope you start to feel better soon, ..gentle hugs and handful of lovely sunshine .....Dee xx


Hi I have Fibro and have had 1 & 1/2 new knees because of the other. I also have PBC. I agree telling the difference is really hard at times. My specialists have said I will learn the difference as time goes by but it's not easy. Specially as taking pain killers with PBC is difficult as they irritate things.


Ken's answer is best with the links. I get times when I know the difference and times when I don't. Arthritis is in the joints and fibro is where it suggests, in fibres - muscle and tendon - wherever there's nerves. I've no trouble distinguishing the two in the knees but I do over the shoulder blade, and as Ken says they often present very differently. Maybe it's time to re think the way you do things, but be honest - is that what A&E call Easter Back? You've overdone it on the first weekend out there?

I've had an artificial knee and had to scale down BUT there's ways of making life easier without stopping altogether. Change your routines, the way you store tools even. Not knowing your exact circumstances I cant give detailed ideas. If you're trying to grow vegetables you do not need to turn over the soil every year, neither do shrubs need a short back and sides. Spread out the work. Do a bit when you're feeling good and it won't matter as much when you can't get out there.

When I had my knee done I planned for the recovery time (12 weeks off work) and I live alone, so I moved the most frequently used things close to the work tops whether in garden or kitchen so that the regular movements were easy and I didn't have to stretch or bend so often. I put my laptop on a trolley table with printer below and rigged a multi socket so I can move it anywhere, plugging in only once. It's so good I kept the arrangement - and there's still room for a cuppa.

I have hypertension too ,and I agree it's not so easy but given time you should be able to pace things to reduce flares - I'm sorry there's no single simple cure and I also found that different painkillers work different ways, being generally resistant to opioids..


Thank you so much for your response, it was really good to know that there is someone else with the same things going on as me. I think you must be amazing having your knee replaced & being on your own. I live with my son who is 25, but he doesn't help at all. I think it is worse when you have been extremely active all your life- I feel that the knees together with fibro is hard as it restricts stamina strength and energy. Which in turn you can't do things which you always did. Then no-one thinks there is much wrong with you. I will take your advice and thank you again for responding.


I've got arthritis in hips, knees, shoulder, hands, had a THR 2 years ago at age 55. For me the Fibro pain is nothing like arthritis which I've had since age 7. Its just felt in the those area as well, exercise is a key therapy for both conditions, aerobic if possible, or just simply walking. Its 3 months since my Fibro diagnosis and I'm able to walk about 3 to 3.5 miles, feeling much better for it. It was agony at first tho. xx


hi there

sorry to hear what you are going though, i have the same prob and get the same pains in knee ankle and legs some can just be wear and tear on the joints but fibro does tend to manifest its way like you discribe but if your not shure allways raise your concerns with your doctor he may not be able to do anything about it but at lest it will put your mind at rest

good luck hope you do not suffer to much



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