I recently started observing people with fibromyalgia talking about “frozen shoulder,” and other shoulder and joint issues. I wondered if there could be a connection. As such, I asked in a few FM Facebook groups if anyone else had issues with their shoulders and joints. I received more than 75 affirmative answers in one day!
Frozen shoulder, formally called adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain that dramatically limits your range of motion. I’ve had frozen shoulder on my right side for more than a year, and now my left side is starting to be symptomatic. It’s incredibly painful and makes simple activities like reaching for something, or getting dressed, seem like an Olympic event … a very painful one. Do you also struggle with this?
Another issue many appear to struggle with is TMJ. The temporomandibular joint connects your jaw with your skull. TMJ can cause difficulty with chewing, and produce headaches, jaw and facial pain. I recently had my dentist make me a mouth guard to wear at night. It keeps me from grinding my teeth, and it helps to calm my jaw pain.
Bursitis of the shoulder, elbow, and hip also are common issues for those of us with FM. The bursa is a small fluid-filled sac lined by synovial membrane. Its purpose is to provide a cushion between the muscles, tendons, and the bones around a joint. Bursitis occurs when that small sac becomes inflamed. Of course, for those of us who are older, we are more susceptible to bursitis, especially if we’ve been involved in a profession that uses repetitive movements, like a painter, for example. Our body is much less forgiving. Sometimes getting a shot of cortisone can bring temporary relief of several months or more.
It’s hard enough dealing with the pain and fatigue of FM, but adding in my shoulder issues makes it so much harder. It’s difficult because I’m a side sleeper, so no matter what side I lay on it’s painful. My husband has to help me out of my coat, and pull up my pants in the back, as it’s really painful trying to reach behind my back. He has to open and close the car doors for me. It’s just another unexpected, and unwanted symptom of this dreadful disease.
What kind of joint issues do you struggle with? How do you find relief?
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.