Fibromyalgia Action UK
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FM or referred pain from cervical OA?

I have OA everywhere!! and also FM and now can't use my left arm due to excruciating pain, its been like it a couple of months now, I thought I had pulled a muscle but my GP has sent me for a shoulder X-ray as she thinks its referred pain from the OA in my neck (I also have OA in my spine, knees, feet, hands and hips etc), and I am already on maxed out painkillers - I can't take/tolerate NSAID's, so how on earth is this going to be managed/treated if this is what it is?

5 Replies

Hi Cellbar

Sorry to hear you are in so much pain and discomfort. Have you tried changing your pain relief? Sometimes our bodies develope tolerance to a drug which then isn't as affective as it once was. Have you tried hydrotherapy? When I had my back op I had this. The water is lovely and warm and allows you to exercise joints gently to get them mobile again, or physiotherapy.

I think you need to go back and discuss your options with her.

Gentle Piggy hugs xxxxxx


A good suggestion there Cellbar, thanks Piggie! :)

I am so sorry Cellbar that you are in so much pain and that you are naturally worrying about managing this. I would suggest that you see either your GP or Consultant if you have one to review your current medications because you need more help to manage your pain with suitable meds that you can tolerate. Perhaps you need prescribing different pain relief to the brands you are taking at the moment.

You may also consider having Physiotherapy. This is often suggested for Fibroymalgia, if you are interested in this please speak to your GP to see if this is suitable in their opinion and also so they can refer you.

Here is some information on Physiotherapy and Fibromyalgia, I hope you find it helpful -


Please know that we are here for you at all times and we will always do our best to help and support you to the best of our ability.

Take care and please let us know how you get on. :)

(((hug))) xxx



Aww gentle hugs .. I've had the same problem

For 5months , was referred to a neurosurgeon

Who sent me for a MRI scan . It showed protruding

Disc C5/C6 in my cervical and possible nerve damage

.. Was then referred to the pain clinic

because the fibro was superimposing the pain

I was in with my cervical . The doctor has advised me to

Have a epidural steroid injection in my neck , although

He did tell me its got a 50/50 chance of it giving

Me any relieve and the downside is that it could cause

More nerve damage ...... I'm due to go tomorrow afternoon

To have it done under a local ;0( I've heard

So many bad story's about people being left in agony

And it left me in a ponder has whether to go ahead

But the pains been that bad recently I feel

Like it can't surely get any worse fingers crossed

It gives me some relieve !!! My advice to you is to ask for

A scan if possible because too many GPS put

Aches and pains down to OA instead of

Investigating it thorough . Hope you get it sorted xxxx


Hopefully the rheumy and pain management teams will be able to come up with some new options if this is the case. In Pain Management, targeted treatment is absolutely key and the opioids are often not the most effective way to relieve specific types of pain. Neuropathic pain is one of these.


They wanted to give me the injections and I said no as I don't like injections and have heard there is no major benefit, they offered me the epidural but I honestly cannot stand the thought of all that in my spine, i have enough problems as it is thanks very much, and in most caes, for very little benefit anyway! I cannot tolerate opiods of any sort let alone any NSAID's so I am well and truly stuck, and the painkillers I take now have no effect at all. My GP wants me to take Gabapentin now and even wanted to start me on 600mg a day!!!!!!!! What am I? An elephant?! I even have major reservations about these meds, I haven't taken any yet - I am already on topiramate as a migraine prophylaxis.

I have had two lumbar/sacral spine MRI's and several cervical spine x-rays showing OA, inflammation, disc damage, (no discs in the lower back and nerve damage because of this), a narrowed spinal canal at the base of the spine and the sacrum is fusing together with the spine at the base. Neck wise its much the same - bulging discs and nerve damage but this 'referred pain' is something new and hell to cope with as its constantly gnawing 24/7 and a new one to contend with.

What am I to do? :-(


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