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nursegigi (@nursegigi)

gabapentin and muscle pain

Chronic Pain | Last Active: Apr 2, 2022 | Replies (260)

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Hello, everyone, I’m new here, & this is my first post. Was I supposed to start a new post, or reply to one? I think this is a reply. I’m Susan, username @sistergoldenhair.

I take Gabapentin, 900 mg/day, (300 mg x3/day FOR Myofascial Pain. Myofascial Pain was described to me as nerve pain. This is how It was explained to me: The Fascia is part of the muscle; the Fascia sometimes ‘binds’ up the muscle, & the nerves in the muscle & Fascia cause the pain. Is this close to being accurate?

This started 14 mos. ago, & came seemingly out of nowhere. Gabapentin helped initially, but not anymore. My doctor suggested a higher dosage, but I don’t want to do that, for the reasons described by some of you in this forum. With this dosage, (900 mg/day), I don’t experience the ‘zombie effect’, or the all over restlessness. Restless Legs is bad enough, AND the Gabapentin doesn’t seem to aggravate my restless legs. According to literature I’ve read, it’s sometimes prescribed FOR Restless Legs Syndrome. I also take Tramadol, which works well for my long-standing low back pain, but has no effect on this Myofascial pain.

Back to Myofascial Pain Syndrome: I take physical therapy; the therapist has minimal training in Myofascial Release, & spends little time with me. I also had several sessions with a massage therapist with extensive training in Myofascial Release. It helped, sort of. Between sessions, the pain returned, and at $125/visit not covered by medical insurance, I couldn’t afford to continue the sessions. Have any of you had Myofascial Release therapy?

I’m back to square one. The pain comes on with exertion, only affects a specific area, the Latissimus Dorsi (sp?), R side of my back. Wen I use that muscle, like reaching for or lifting something, e.g cooking, laundry, cleaning, the pain starts. Continuing to use the muscle aggravates it enough that I have to lie down, & the pain usually eases up after about 20-30 minutes. When I’ve got a crowd of people waiting for dinner, I don’t have time for rest breaks.

This is lengthy because I wanted to let you all know what’s going on, & what I’ve done for it. BTW, It took months of complaining before my Primary Physician referred me to a specialist. It was initially mis-diagnosed by a Rheumatologist as Shingles Neuropathy without rash, & re-diagnosed by a Neurologist as Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Thanks for reading, & I hope you’ll respond with your thoughts or recommendations.

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Replies to "Hello, everyone, I'm new here, & this is my first post. Was I supposed to start..."

I take lyrica now just 150 mg per day, and it is comparable to the 1800mg of gabapentin I was on.

Hello sistergoldenhair, thank you for sharing your experiences and frustrations associated with your myofascial pain, as well as gabapentin. I invite you to view this Myofascial pain syndrome discussion that took place in the past as it may offer some insight on other methods of treatment and therapy, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-pain-syndrome/.

I would also like to invite back @cork179, @aglassofsherry, and @almyalgia, who previously discussed symptoms very similar to yours and may be able to offer their thoughts on your experiences.

@sistergoldenhair, could you explain more about the physical therapy you received? You said that the therapist spent minimal time with you, but are the brief therapy sessions helpful in any way? Do you think with better direction that physical therapy may be helpful?

Hello, @JustinMcClanahan – I like you already with that Irish surname. Thanks for the link; I just read it. I was originally in PT for my shoulder, tendonitis. After about 7 mos. of Myofascial Pain, getting a diagnosis & RX of Gabapentin, the PT put emphasis on relief by using ultrasound, abt 5 min.; electrical stim, 10 min.; & soft tissue Myofascial Release – abt 5 min. I do shoulder strengthening exercises on my own at the PT facility & at home. The relief I get from all this is temporary; my insurance is about to run out for this year. I can continue exercise at home, & go to the Chiropractor for electrical stim and ultrasound. I think I’ll try for a referral for PT that will concentrate more on Myofascial Release next year when my insurance starts again, if this doesn’t resolve. That’s a question I’d like to throw out – has anyone ever had a spontaneous resolution of their Myofascial Pain? My Neurologist said it was a possibility.

I saw posts from members who said they had no relief from acupuncture, but I think I might give it a try anyway. My Chiropractor is certified to perform acupuncture. I see a lot of dissatisfaction from people taking Gabapentin, & I sure understand that. I’m serious about tapering off of it, & keeping a pain diary from now on. My Physician is offering Lyrica as an alternative, but I’m leery of side effects. Though it doesn’t help, at least the Gabapentin isn’t causing unpleasant side effects. I’d rather do without either of those meds.

I have arthritis involving my entire spine-worse in the low back. Tramadol takes care of that, but has no effect at all on the Myofascial Pain. One thing that helps is a muscle relaxant called Zanaflex (Tizanidine) that I take at bedtime. I take a half dose & it knocks me out, so I can’t take it during the day & function. I wouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car if I took it in daytime. I’ve received injections – no help.

I just want to be able to cook a meal, do household chores, and a little gardening without this pain, which comes on with exertion. The pain originates in the Latissimus Dorsi muscle, & radiates through my back, on the R side, extending around to my ribs. In fact, my initial complaint was Rib Pain. I’d never heard of Myofascial Pain until this year. Nothing showed up on an MRI. The Neurologist who diagnosed me said the muscle is ‘tight’ & ‘bound up’ by the Fascia, affecting the nerves & causing the pain. Are the others in this little group getting the same kind of explanation for their Myofascial Pain?

Sister golden hair. Glad to meet someone with myo fascia. I also have that. Makes your life miserable. I’m on oxycodone 15mg twice daily and endocette, two every four to six hours. Still doesn’t help. I’ve had trigger point injection. Didn’t help my legs but did help my hip. I started doing self hypnosis which I find is giving some relief. Also helps you sleep. I find also when the weather changes it gets worse. I go shopping,do two stores and I’m done in for two days. I also have two blockages in each leg so I imagine that adds to the flare ups. You are also right that if you rest it eases the pain. I apply the heating pad also. Another medication I’m on is pain cream diclofenac 10%. This eases the pain almost right away, but must be applied often for it to work. I want you to know that you are not alone with this. Not too much is known about this medical issue yet,so any information you can input is great. Nice to have you join the group

Myofasial Release does work to release the fibers that are”stuck”. My massage therapist has Myofasial release training and can work out most of the Myofasial pain. You can also look at the training videos on you tube and teach your significant other to release many of these fiber knots at home as they appear.

I have found that massage therapist that can do Myofasial Release works for me better than gabapentin. I know it can work for other people but I’m not one of them. I’m the same way with Lyrica.

I have been on gabapentin for a little over a week. On 900MG (300MG 3 x's a day) I have been getting intense pain in my hip and a gnawing pain in my lower left leg for over an hour in the morning. Don't know what to do.