It really shouldn’t surprise us that fibromyalgia upper back pain is one of the most relentless of symptoms that fibro people experience. Although fibromyalgia affects the entire body, there are some areas of the fibro body that are more vulnerable to perpetuating factors. Chronic upper back pain is one of the major symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Upper back pain often radiates to the neck, shoulders, and can even wrap around the entire head affecting our ability to think and interact with the world around us. What starts in the mid back or trapezius area can soon spread to the face and sinus area, leaving a fibro person wondering what in the world just happened.
On the “Mind Body Science” page, I referred to what scientists called “nodes” or “hot spots” that lie along the main neural pathways. These are places where various types of nerve fibers, nerve cells, soft tissue, bone, and neurochemical pathways all come together in very close association. Mutation or damage to nerve cells associated with these areas can result in chronic fibromyalgia pain.
Fibromyalgia affects the entire body and multiple systems within the body. There are also many tender points and even more trigger points within the fibro body that create a greater vulnerability to perpetuating factors. Certain areas of the body are just more susceptible to everything from stress to activities of daily living.
One of these areas is the upper back region located around the neck, shoulders and scapula. The upper back scapula area is often a point of referral where both tender points and trigger points come into play…or maybe we should say.. “come out to play” resulting in fibromyalgia upper back pain.
Not that it feels like ‘play time’ to the fibro person, but it definitely does “play havoc” with our musculo-skeletal system and our nervous system as well.
When this area is tight, knotted and burning, the entire nervous system is affected. (Just like with chronic migraine.) This area of the body is naturally more prone to stress, over exertion, daily activities and lack of sleep and proper regeneration.
When trigger points are active within the fibro body, this can affect many activities of daily living. Reaching up to a high shelf or reaching down to the clothes dryer, dishwasher or to the floor can exacerbate the pain in the scapula, neck and shoulder areas.
TRP’s in the scapula and trapezius area can radiate and extend up to the neck, back of the skull and wrap around the entire head and even into the face and sinus area. If you are in a position where someone is asking for your assistance to pick up something heavy, stop and consider if this is a good idea for you. As I often say, it is not just the weight, but the “angle” at which you are lifting that can put extra strain on the upper body.
Back and chest pain often go together. It’s not unusual for the upper back pain to wrap around to the upper chest area which increases stress level due to concern about the heart. Any heart related conditions should always be assessed separately.
It can be helpful to assess your neck alignment by x-ray , and if needed, use a cervical device to help restore the natural curve. Many people spend so much time on devices or computers these days and this is disrupting that natural curve and causing straight neck or even what we call “cell phone neck”
Fibromyalgia Upper Back Pain Can Morph
Into A Migraine or Face Pain
So what starts as fibromyalgia upper back pain and burning can radiate and extend to the entire head causing a greater propensity to debilitation. You may remember me talking in videos on the facebook page about clothing. Yes, even the clothes we wear can affect pain and symptoms in the upper body; examples are collars on shirts or jackets, heavy coats, and scarves that wrap around the neck.
Yes, even scarves can create greater pain in the neck area unless they are wrapped loosely around the neck. What might feel like “light” clothing to a non-fibro, can feel heavy and painful to a fibro body. Some clothing can actually affect good posture as well. Be aware of anything that “pulls” on the neck and upper back.