gabapentin and muscle pain

Posted by nursegigi @nursegigi, Aug 16, 2016

Has anyone every experienced muscle and facia pain from gabapentin?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Chronic Pain group.

This Myofascial Pain, as my doctors call it, is interfering with my life; I can’t even make the bed anymore without the pain flaring up. I take Gabapentin FOR Fascia/muscle pain. It seems like a paradox that some of us take Gabapentin to relieve pain, and others start having pain from the drug. Is it dose related? Just that people react in different ways to the drug?
I can’t say my pain is any worse w/ Gabapentin, but it sure isn’t any better. After reading some of the side effects others experienced, I’m reluctant to take a higher dose than now – 900 MG/day. I’m considering tapering off; why should I take medication that isn’t helping? Another thing – I don’t think my doctors take this ‘condition’ seriously.
P.S. I submitted a post Oct 4 to introduce myself to the group; it explains how/when this started up to the present. It’s sort of lengthy; I was trying to report my own experience to the group, but I didn’t receive any responses.
Thanks, Susan

REPLY
@coolnacart1892

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

REPLY
@coolnacart1892

This Myofascial Pain, as my doctors call it, is interfering with my life; I can’t even make the bed anymore without the pain flaring up. I take Gabapentin FOR Fascia/muscle pain. It seems like a paradox that some of us take Gabapentin to relieve pain, and others start having pain from the drug. Is it dose related? Just that people react in different ways to the drug?
I can’t say my pain is any worse w/ Gabapentin, but it sure isn’t any better. After reading some of the side effects others experienced, I’m reluctant to take a higher dose than now – 900 MG/day. I’m considering tapering off; why should I take medication that isn’t helping? Another thing – I don’t think my doctors take this ‘condition’ seriously.
P.S. I submitted a post Oct 4 to introduce myself to the group; it explains how/when this started up to the present. It’s sort of lengthy; I was trying to report my own experience to the group, but I didn’t receive any responses.
Thanks, Susan

Jump to this post

Sorry I didn’t respond. I see a lady with myofacial pain release experience. She also has training in acupressure. It worked wonders. I also switched to lyrica

REPLY
@coolnacart1892

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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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?

REPLY
@coolnacart1892

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.

Jump to this post

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?

REPLY
@coolnacart1892

This Myofascial Pain, as my doctors call it, is interfering with my life; I can’t even make the bed anymore without the pain flaring up. I take Gabapentin FOR Fascia/muscle pain. It seems like a paradox that some of us take Gabapentin to relieve pain, and others start having pain from the drug. Is it dose related? Just that people react in different ways to the drug?
I can’t say my pain is any worse w/ Gabapentin, but it sure isn’t any better. After reading some of the side effects others experienced, I’m reluctant to take a higher dose than now – 900 MG/day. I’m considering tapering off; why should I take medication that isn’t helping? Another thing – I don’t think my doctors take this ‘condition’ seriously.
P.S. I submitted a post Oct 4 to introduce myself to the group; it explains how/when this started up to the present. It’s sort of lengthy; I was trying to report my own experience to the group, but I didn’t receive any responses.
Thanks, Susan

Jump to this post

Thanks for responding. I saw a Myofascial Release therapist too. I felt better for a short time; it always came back, & it was getting awfully expensive, so I’ve been trying to get relief from therapy covered by my medical insurance. I’ll have to look up acupressure; don’t know anything about it. I fear side effects if I start Lyrica.

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@juliawillc

I have been taking gabapetin for pain in my feet. I have to take a fairly high dosage (1200). I have developed pain in my muscles. I’m beginning to think the gabapetin is causing pain in my calves and other muscles. I really need something for the neuropathy. I took Lyrica and it was great at first but stopped working after a couple of months. I feel like I can’t win for losing. I take one thing for pain and it causes pain somewhere else.

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Justin – What is myofascial pain? It would be good, I think, to describe pain/symptoms, etc.. in terms new people can relate to a little easier. The same goes for medical acronyms. Believe me I do understand the need for a bit of shorthand in dealing with medical terminology but I guess I’m not medically savvy enough to get my license just yet. When seeing my dr. I ask him/her to explain specifics of a diagnosis using terms I could more easily understand and in that regard, I could then answer his questions more accurately. I don’t think my illness has ever been “named” anything but has been treated like neuropathy so I guess that’s what it is. Maybe charting people’s explanations of symptoms, diagnosis, likely cause, prescribed medications, home and homeopathic remedies, and a column for effective, non-effective – side effects etc. and then see which category we all might best fit. Just a suggestion but honestly, there’s so much information, it’s difficult to see what applies and what doesn’t.

REPLY
@coolnacart1892

This Myofascial Pain, as my doctors call it, is interfering with my life; I can’t even make the bed anymore without the pain flaring up. I take Gabapentin FOR Fascia/muscle pain. It seems like a paradox that some of us take Gabapentin to relieve pain, and others start having pain from the drug. Is it dose related? Just that people react in different ways to the drug?
I can’t say my pain is any worse w/ Gabapentin, but it sure isn’t any better. After reading some of the side effects others experienced, I’m reluctant to take a higher dose than now – 900 MG/day. I’m considering tapering off; why should I take medication that isn’t helping? Another thing – I don’t think my doctors take this ‘condition’ seriously.
P.S. I submitted a post Oct 4 to introduce myself to the group; it explains how/when this started up to the present. It’s sort of lengthy; I was trying to report my own experience to the group, but I didn’t receive any responses.
Thanks, Susan

Jump to this post

My myofacial pain is in my hand, but I think this could work anywhere on the body. I roll a golf ball in my hand. There are some great you tube videos of how to do myofacial release on your own.

REPLY
@lauriedr

I have not. Gabapentin made me a zombie for two years; I barely remember
that time period. I hope you find some relief with muscle pain. Have you
tried Cymbalta? I take it for depression and pain, although I don’t think
for me it helps with pain. I know others who have had better results. Good
luck to you!

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Cymbalta put me in the emergency room. Pain so bad. How is it that we are all wired so Differently?

REPLY
@juliawillc

I have been taking gabapetin for pain in my feet. I have to take a fairly high dosage (1200). I have developed pain in my muscles. I’m beginning to think the gabapetin is causing pain in my calves and other muscles. I really need something for the neuropathy. I took Lyrica and it was great at first but stopped working after a couple of months. I feel like I can’t win for losing. I take one thing for pain and it causes pain somewhere else.

Jump to this post

Great observation mfobrien36. I, like you, also get lost in all of the medical terminology and acronyms. When I come across something that I am not sure of or haven’t heard a lot about I always defer to mayoclinic.org as my first resource for information. A definition of myofascial pain from the experts can be found here http://mayocl.in/2e09pIn. Like you mentioned, there is a lot of information out there, and Connect is a place where patients share their experiences and knowledge on various topics, but I do agree that it is hard to know what applies and what doesn’t with such a wide range of topics being discussed. Input and further discussion is always welcome, thank you.

REPLY

I asked my nurse practicineer about the possibility that the gabapetin was causing my muscle pain. She looked it up in her little computer and said it was about two percent so I guess something else must be going on here. Whatever it is I’m sure it’s hereditary. My mother had this and my grandmother. I remember the ridicule my grandmother had to endure because they couldn’t find the cause of her pain. I won’t go on and on, but it was bad. Things haven’t really changed that much.

REPLY
@juliawillc

I have been taking gabapetin for pain in my feet. I have to take a fairly high dosage (1200). I have developed pain in my muscles. I’m beginning to think the gabapetin is causing pain in my calves and other muscles. I really need something for the neuropathy. I took Lyrica and it was great at first but stopped working after a couple of months. I feel like I can’t win for losing. I take one thing for pain and it causes pain somewhere else.

Jump to this post

@mfobrien36 and @JustinMcClanahan – THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION -‘WHAT IS MYOFASCIAL PAIN?’ AND FOR THE RECOMMENDATION TO READ THE MAYO CLINIC ARTICLE ON MYOFASCIAL PAIN SYNDROME http://mayocl.in/2e09pIn . I’ve printed it out & will take to the PT next visit. There are some recommendations that we haven’t explored in Physical Therapy.

Below is MY OWN – not anyone else’s – description of MY Myofascial Pain-what I experience & what the diagnosing physician described to me. Because we’re all unique, others experience this in a uniquely different manner.

{The pain originates in the Latissimus Dorsi muscle (the large muscles in your back), & 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.}

I’m starting to see some of the factors that make this Syndrome so frustrating; it’s not something each patient experiences the same way; it affects different parts of the body; there isn’t any one specific treatment for Myofascial Pain Syndrome. I guess that’s why it’s called a Syndrome. Not all doctors are well-versed re this condition, so you might have to visit more than one physician before obtaining a correct diagnosis. I’ve mentioned before that mine was initially MISDIAGNOSED as Shingles Neuralgia by a Board-Certified Rheumatologist. She handed me off to a Neurologist who figured it out.

Here’s something else I haven’t seen in this discussion re Myofascial Pain. The reason I was referred to a Rheumatologist was abnormal results in the RHEUMATOID FACTOR TEST in my blood workup.

Has anyone else had this show up in their blood work? I’m trying to come up w/ something those of us who have this condition might have in common.

Any thoughts? Susan
username @sistergoldenhair

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