Includes Expert Content
To Dr. Abaci
An_252188 posted:
I have been with a lot of pain since 1995. First started with wrists swelling, hurting, and eventually my arms, shoulders and neck. I do show a slight degernetive neck disorder. But the rest of the body areas above are ongoing 24/7. I am always inflamed, and I have severe allergic reactions to pain medication. I use ibuprofen and the doctor gives me a Tordal shot ever so often. The winter season is unbearable. I have been told that I have fibromylgia, by my MD. What else can I do to help with pain. I've bought gadget, lotion, spray even acupuncture,m but most don't help and they are just temporary. What advise can you give me? I appreciate your expert opinion.
Peter Abaci, MD responded:
In my own practice, the most common cause of pain symptoms that spread up from the hands to the arms and then to the neck are repetitive strain injuries usually seen when folks work long hours in a fixed position doing things like repetitive keyboarding. There may be a number of factors that contribute to repetitive strain problems like workstation ergonomics, repetitive use of certain nerves and muscles, too much sitting, and stress either at work or elsewhere. That situation may not fit your own life circumstances, but there may be some parallels in how to approach managing the pain.

In general, I like to recommend a whole person approach for complex chronic pain problems so consulting with some different folks who can give you feedback about how your body is moving and functioning as well as a look inside about how you are dealing with things like stress or emotional challenges can be helpful in coming up with management strategies. Some of this information could come from consulting with a physical therapist or occupational therapist and with a pain psychologist, as examples.

Some alternative approaches to painful conditions like fibromyalgia that seem positive include mind/body approaches like tai chi and gentle yoga. Vitamin D deficiency can increase muscular pain and gets worse in the winter time, so consider having your levels checked if that hasn't been looked at yet. Another supplement for fibromyalgia symptoms that is being looked at is coenzyme Q10. Here is a link to a blog that I recently wrote on that subject: . If inflammation and allergies seem to be part of the problem, it may be helpful to consult with a nutritionist to talk about anti-inflammatory foods and foods that you maybe need to be avoided.

I hope this helps!