Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Bumps or nodules under skin
    rowan73 posted:
    Howdy all!
    Fighting the FM dragon today, Big time. I seem to have a continuous flare up for almost two years.
    anyway...I was in pt for awhile and they would do ultrasound on my arms for the carpal. One thing they noticed were bumps or nodules under my skin. They're all over the place. I noticed them awhile ago, but figured everyone had them.
    Sometimes the bumps hurt, especially near tender points. I looked up what they might be, but it still seemed vague.
    Does anyone else have these? If so do you know anything about them?
    Smile you're never alone, and laughter is the best medicine. As Bobby McFerrin said Don't worry, be anthem for me...remember stress makes it worse ;)

    Take the Poll

    Do you have little bumps under your skin??
    or are your muscles smooth?
    • yes, I have bumps under my skin.
    • no, I don't have bumps under my skin.
    • I don't understand the question.
    • yes, I have bumps but they don't hurt.
    • yes, I have bumps but they do hurt.
    View Poll Results
    lisrie responded:
    I have the same thing. It drives me nuts. I don't know what to do about it.
    booch007 responded:

    I think you should look into the trigger point diagnosis and you might fit the specs.

    I have trigger point syndrome (though it is a disease) I have been diagnosed and under care for >15years now.

    My tender zones are these knots of dysfunctional muscle fiber. I receive trigger point injections every two weeks for all this time. I missed once. Treatment is not for the faint in heart but it works so well.

    Google the whole thing and see how it goes.

    I use a book called FM and Chronic Myofascial Pain as a resource for the trigger points as well as the Doctors medical book. But the book written by Dr Devin Starlanyl gives you really great home treatments for issues.

    I get them even on my jaw line at my cheek, forearms are tough as they radiate to the hands and the hands give me trouble.

    It is something when the body "breaks down" in some way. We are resilient though, and I am better this year than ever. Still have set backs and I have a huge toolbox to fix a flare or bad day. It takes time, patience and determination to get the most out of the situation we find ourselves in.

    Good luck.

    P.S: 2013 was a big year as they just now found that scanning can find and delineate these points in the muscles. "validated us" They are working on this part under the FM umbrella.

    Hugs to you. Look to the right for the Memebrs Toolbox and pick up some tricks we have shared to help.
    Nancy B
    bette_kaffitz responded:

    How big are your bumps? My myofascial trigger points are the size of a mosquito bite or a little smaller. Mine are usually at the attachment points of a muscle, although others have them in the fat "belly" of the muscle. If you press on a trigger point, it will hurt THERE, but it will also hurt in a wider area either adjacent to the TP or in some other part of the body where the pain is "referred." Many TP's are in the 24 "tender point" areas that they used to go by to diagnose FM.

    Beg, borrow, or steal a trigger point manual. Try your library first. Dr. Starlanyl's books explain so much. I think her most recent is the best of all, because of all the recent breakthroughs in FM research that she has incorporated into this edition.

    Oops. My abandoned cat Fritz just jumped onto the keyboard! No one has brought up the healing power of pets her--at least I don't think so. Just holding or stroking that little furry body brings such peace. Studies show that pets lower blood pressure. I think they can ward off fibro flares, too. At least sometimes.

    booch007 replied to bette_kaffitz's response:

    I always describe my sites as bee stings..Hmm I would love a mosquito bite...Lol.

    I just have a question, I have been taight that the attachment zones that hurt are really tendonitis issues fromt he belly trigger point causing the muscle tension against the tendon and it inflames.
    (tetany cam be a BIT_H)

    If for some reason I didn't get my shots on time I can (especially the shoulder) get a big problen with the tendon holding the trapezius to the shoulder. That was when I learned it.

    She is always able to tell when I have delayed arrival. I don't have this too often, but that was what my neurologist taught me. Dr D injected cartisone the few times when I was in trouble. The neuro I have now doesn't ever differentiate them. but I know the cause and effect from the great doc I had first.

    So just saying.....I read too in the new book she doesn't go with injecting the belly of the muscle now. Wherever my doc hits me if it really hurts I know I am going to get function afterwards.

    Tough treatment. 30-60 injections depending on my status. The neck scalenes and trap insertions to the skull are the ones I need the most help with.

    Her palpations hurt more than the shots. Like she activates them before kiling them. The ones around the scapulaes often refer to the neck or ear. It is weird.

    But I have the diagnosis and a plan......hoping a fix is in the future. .

    Just wanted to share what I have in my teaching.
    bette_kaffitz replied to booch007's response:

    I too miss my best ever doc. He moved on to work for a drug company for a lot more money. His affiliation had been with Roswell Park Memorial Cancer Institute along with SUNY Buffalo's medical school.

    Sometimes I have to be quite assertive to get my TP injections in the exact spot that they do the most good. One of the pain clinic's nurse practicioners argues that it doesn't matter where in a muscle the medication goes just as long as it is somewhere in that muscle. Maybe for some people, but not for me.

    Did you ever try using a tennis ball or other pressure on a TP after your injections? I know that's supposed to help release them, but all it does is make my TP's hurt a lot more--and for a long time.

    To me, it makes sense that a TP should be at a muscle's end where the fibrous tissue is so dense rather than in the belly where the fibers are mainly the covering for fat bundles of muscle. (I think of them as being like the casing on sausage.) At the insertion (or origin), the fibers are so concentrated and so is any substance that has built up within the fibers.

    But then, how, where, when, and why this great big question of what fibro is seems to differ from who (FMer) to who. Lots and lots of questions.

    Here's to answers!

    booch007 replied to bette_kaffitz's response:
    Bette this is why Dr Travelle did all the biopsy and research.

    I have my husband examine me and find the trigger points , except the scalene and other neck muscles (don't want him choking me)......anyway, he markes them with a pen and then she uses that as a mark to, from the side of the get the site.

    Her palpation is like my old trigger point massage therapist (I would be sick afterwards) bad for me, it did little and just made those that were latent --active.

    I find that DH can also make me sick the night before shots from the assessment. But I am ready for a good session when I go in.

    Some are standard sites and her first injection is the trap on the shoulder, she grabs it and in goes the needle often giving me a twitch and release. With the neck as she goes around the muscles drop and I can then feel the finer muscles to be done. In the end I do ROM turns and if something is holding me back I point it out and we get that too.

    Often loopy from the amt of lidocaine injected near large vessels, but it settles quickly. If I didn't work in the same building i would sit in her office waiting room before driving.

    So grateful to have the therapy and it works for me. I am now 3 weeks behind injections and entering week 4 (I go on wed). It is not easy now to settle myself down and muscle will go into spasm on their own above the tetany. The fatigue of the neck is apparent by days end. They are beat from the tension that is constant.

    I asked of repeating the BOTOX again as I am in a different place now, but she is looking like she fears a third exposure.

    Just trying to get better than where I am. But I am in a much better place after all this time. To think I was leaving....and had a plan, as this was so overwhelming and the pain so high and to where I am now. How can you know? So many struggle and go no where....I am blessed in many ways that all I have done has brought me to a better place. I wish i had the magic for everyone. I have not forgotten how it was.........It changed about 4 years ago. And the adding of the savella helped alot to.

    OK, just wanted to share.

    Nancy B
    rowan73 replied to booch007's response:
    I'm sorry about the delay in reply. Thanks! This has given me a direction I had never considered. But was always commented on when I was getting massage therapy. That they could see and feel the "firing/muscle spasms) under their hands.
    Smile you're never alone, and laughter is the best medicine. As Bobby McFerrin said Don't worry, be anthem for me...remember stress makes it worse ;)
    rowan73 replied to bette_kaffitz's response:
    Question: who helped you find this out? From what it sounds, I may have this with fibro as well. And no one has noticed/caught it. These nodules are in the "belly" and at the ends. The size depends on how much I've done and self treatment. Massage. Tried ultrasound. Helped for awhile but now I can't stand it. Blah! I'm soooo tired! I don't know how much I. Can take!(wailing..sorry for the pity party).
    where I live I have to wait a month at least for spots. And they are very linear thinkers. I didn't give up..but with my sons' going through a hard time right now.....blah blah blah...I just need a hope for a course of action. Thanks for listening..and input.
    Smile you're never alone, and laughter is the best medicine. As Bobby McFerrin said Don't worry, be anthem for me...remember stress makes it worse ;)
    missist replied to rowan73's response:
    Also very curious about this--I have little knots that are painful if I press on them all over my thighs and butt. both legs. this started about a year and half ago all in one day. rather suddenly actually --i can remember the moment. I had thought I had a slipped disc it happened so suddenly--but in the past I had areas like this that would come and go-- maybe 8 mos of pain somewhere. I believe I have the same issue that flares up in neck/scalene (sister the massage therapist called it that)
    Now I also do have disc issues--so dunno but I don't think those cause lumps in tissue.

    I see neuro for epilepsy is it normal for a neuro to treat this? If I asked her would she help me or do i need a referral? I see her tuesday.
    missist replied to missist's response:
    Nancy/bette--do you have injections in EVERY sore spot? cuz i have a lot of them.
    rowan73 replied to missist's response:
    What's weird is I have always figured that these bumps were either from having kids((stretch marks) or just fat. But it's like you described. All along my legs. The outer part of the thigh on both sides are untouchable. In a band running from just above the knee to the connections at the rear. I also have disc ruptures at the neck. Lower spine, too. I don't feel in my case that it does anything but confuse the docs. Make them choose that as the problem and ignore the rest. ** puff, uff*** blow bangs off forehead.

    my bumps and lumps range in size from a small bb to about the size of a pencil eraser.

    Smile you're never alone, and laughter is the best medicine. As Bobby McFerrin said Don't worry, be anthem for me...remember stress makes it worse ;)
    booch007 replied to rowan73's response:
    Oh My all of this sounds like me.....of my many symptoms I had , it was the neck that was the big issue. If I lay down the muscles would just get an underlying of spasm....choke me, swallowing was a problem too. I would medicate and carefully lay down, I had a pillow that I adjusted its height to help. IT WAS TRIGGERPOINTS IN THE NECK MUSCLES.

    Yes I get injections in MOST of mine. The session used to be longer but it is 30 minutes now and I get from 30-60 injections. I don't inject my legs or lower body I use massage for them. If it is resistant to heat and massage I will ask her to inject it.

    Using TrP injections as a therapy is uncomfortable but it is faster than using TrP massage for the fix. I am sore the next day and in a better/ best place the next. I have used this therapy for >10 years and I go every 2 weeks. I work full time and am in the best place yet this year.

    I am grateful to have a neurologist that allows me the appointment every two weeks, nothing has changed to my body with these as they are a fine needle (24G) long though to reach the muscle correct in different areas of the body.

    There was a conference presented in Canada and they had me as part of the conference because my improvement was useful and no side effects. I did receive BOTOX twice for the theory that it destroys the endplate of the muscle which is what tells it to contract, and the new regrowth was to be healthier. Didn't work for me. .

    The book "FM and Chronic Myofascial Pain" by Dr Devin Starlanyl gives a great explanation to using this as a help for TrP's. She also states the people with FM often have TrP's but people with CMP and TrP's don't necessarily have FM (that's me) I walk the road of symptoms everyone has here except fog......and CFS. I use and have learned tools here to help myself.

    This has been the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with. Hope it is all I have to deal with in the future. I share it all with you, because I was so alone when this all started and before I found this site.

    The thing with trigger points is they return. Some do go away, I don't have as many now but I need to go every 2 weeks or my harder symptoms return.

    I am 4 weeks post injections now and I am in numb hands, headache and feeling 90 territory. After meds and a shower I can get younger and more mobile but I can feel the tension in the muscles and the motion ability is changed. I still stretch, but you cannot stretch out a muscle with a trigger point in it (as the book says) and this is what I treid to tell all those PT people.

    I was always worse after their sessions.

    The other important thing with this terapy is that the practioner is skilled at injecting. For me if the hit is not in the congested zone and it hurts...there is not going to be a release for me. I have had this, where she missed and I carried the issue for 2 more weeks. This is how I started having my husband find them and mark them.

    TrP's are often symmetrical (well they say that and it is true for me) DH does one side and then looks to the other.....on palpation wa-la there is the cousin sitting there. Some are active and I know they are there and some are latent (quiet til touched). Darnest medical problem this.....

    I was told never to stop this therapy (as I wanted a few times due to the discomfort it was)(early on) She said I will seize up and just be a mess. So I continue to what I was told.

    I hope this helped with any more questions. This is what i do to fight this mess we are in. Soma, tramadol and savella are with me as well. Mg, Vit B complex, calcium and CoQ10 join in too.

    That's me, Nancy B
    missist replied to booch007's response:
    Nancy--I am interested in this--but I am sure my neuro would never have that much time, I 'll ask her though.

    I'm sure I have at least that number of these spots too, and nobody is here to to mark my neck/shoulder area. But I wonder would acupuncture be useful?

    I watched a video of trigger injections and I'm not sure I could endure it. I felt nauseous watching it. Still wouldn't it be amazing to have the neck loosen up? and the legs not feel like you've been to the gym too long.

    This illness we have is so obviously NOT 'just depression' I just get angry sometimes when I know how people are treated with this. Ah well.. I feel odd too, that I spend as much $ on it as I do--although insurance pays it--still I don't earn what I spend. It makes me feel sort of like a waste of space sometimes if I think of it.

    I don't tolerate drugs well either--so it seems like the future may be really bad, I guess we shouldn't think that way. At 55 though I think about my mom and my aunt spending the last of their lives in a room or a wheel chair--and I know fibro had to be the bigger chunk of their problems. Perhaps I should suck it up and make myself look for more options even if they are looking like some major pain/expense.

    Well anyhow gotta hand it to you--you sure are a tough cookie.
    booch007 replied to missist's response:
    Mary, I believe you can get used to anything. Struggling though is not something I want to handle everyday. I had to find something to lower this down a notch or two.

    When I went to a different MD in their team she asked me to hold on to the stretcher before injecting me. I asked "why" she said "well people jump".....well not me. A good hit means I am off and running.

    Accupuncture may do it for you. I was already in the beginning of this therapy and the accupuncturist said it was more what i needed. Maybe you don't need to do the whole session at once. Do a little at a time. If I don't do all the connected muscles (and it seems they are all connected) they start pulling against eachother and I am not right. So I try for a full session each time.

    Still wonder with my knowledge and all, how this really works for me? I have read so much and still wonder the physiology down at the muscle fiber level. It kills me to be stuck in this.

    Good luck. Hoping that your doctor is myofascial trained. Ours learned it from the MD who came from Boston who was my first MD. Glad she came.

    Mention to the neurologist Dr Travelle and Simmons work with MPS. They will know exactly what you are looking for.

    Good luck, Nancy B

    Helpful Tips

    Living Well with Fibromyalgia
    Greetings! I have learned patience and a positive attitude is key to my pain management. I developed Fibromyalgia after a hysterectomy in ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    205 of 222 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.