Muscle Spasms in Fibromyalgia


One of the symptoms that can cause more pain in Fibromyalgia is the muscle spasms. These spasms contract the muscles, and it is very difficult to relax them afterward. Places where the muscles usually contract are the neck, back, and thighs, but it is not limited to these parts of the body. Besides, it can generate muscle spasms at any time of the day, which considerably limits the physical activity of patients and prevents sleep.

Muscular man with back pain on a gray background

What is the cause of these muscle spasms in the body?

Like everything related to fibromyalgia, there is no clear answer and is still under investigation. So far, we only know that muscle spasms are related to “tender points”. Tender points are specific points throughout the body that are extremely sensitive to touch in patients with fibromyalgia and they may even be used to determine if a patient has this condition or not.

A total of 18 points, they are found in the neck, back, lower back, knees, elbows, and chest. Tender points can be defined as small areas of muscle tissue that are in constant movement, and when affected of Fibro may cause pain. It is important to emphasize that the pain generated by these tender points is not always in the place where the tender points are located and can be felt in another place, that is to say, sometimes the pain generated by a tender point in the neck can cause pain somewhere on the face or the lower back. This often causes confusion when going to the doctor because, when signaling the site of pain, the doctor simply does not see anything wrong and take it as mental pain.

Another possible cause of these muscle spasms is related to a malfunction of the nervous system and nerves, which may be sending the wrong signals to those areas due to the Fibro and thus creating spasms.

Treatment for muscle spasms

The most common treatment for muscle spasms is muscle relaxants. These will cause the muscles to relax and the make the spasm less strong and consistently decrease pain. Although it is a good solution, it is not permanent, because it only relieves temporarily and in cases of very strong spasms, they do not even work. Cyclobenzaprine is a good option to use as a muscle relaxant, but always consult your doctor before taking it.

Some doctors suggest taking some supplements that can ease the pain of spasms, such as Magnesium, Malic Acid, Calcium, Zinc, B Complex, and Creatine. Since the lack of energy caused by fibromyalgia causes the muscles to tighten, these supplements are associated with increased cellular energy that would relax the muscles of the body. In some patients, they cause a relief, but their effectiveness in research has not yet been proven, especially in cases of fibromyalgia. Consult your doctor for a good administration of some of these vitamin supplements or others more adapted to your particular case.

Another type of relief can come from non-traditional treatments like massages, injections in the tender points and physical therapy. In addition, you can try different things to improve the condition:

  • Apply heat with an electric blanket
  • Apply ice or cold in the area
  • Use massage devices
  • Stretch
  • Practice relaxing physical activities such as Tai Chi or Yoga
  • Apply muscle creams

If you think you have fibromyalgia or any of its symptoms, do not hesitate to go to the doctor to get the appropriate treatment. If you have already been diagnosed you can always follow these tips with the supervision of your doctor, testing what is better to relieve symptoms.