Fibro back and spine pain - what you should know

  • Fibromyalgia


Leva Clinic

First Published 5/17/2024

Last Updated 5/17/2024

Fibro back pain


This article has been reviewed by a Leva pain specialist clinician May 2024. Please remember that all herbal remedies should be checked with your GP due to interactions with other medication.

Back pain and fibromyalgia are among the most common persistent pain issues, often overlapping but with distinct characteristics. Understanding their differences is key to finding relief.

According to a recent study, 77-82% of people with fibromyalgia also experience a variety of back and spine discomfort, adding complexity to diagnosis [1].

In this article, we explore the connection between fibromyalgia and back pain, offering practical advice and exercises to help you manage your symptoms effectively.

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Does Fibromyalgia make your spine hurt?

Fibromyalgia is classified as a musculoskeletal (MSK) condition, so naturally intertwines with spine pain.

MSK relates to the muscles, skeleton and joints - parts of the body that help you move and stay strong.

This MSK association mostly relates to the widespread musculoskeletal tenderness and heightened sensitivity experienced by fibromyalgia sufferers.

Back pain and spine pain in fibro\

Where does your back hurt with Fibro?

Back pain with fibromyalgia isn't confined to one specific area but can be felt in different parts of the spine and back muscles, adding to the difficulties you experience with fibro.

Understanding the pain mechanisms specific to fibromyalgia sheds light on its impact on the back.

In fibro, increased sensitivity of the nervous system amplifies sensations, while changes in the way the brain processes pain leads to widespread discomfort. These mechanisms contribute to the scattered and often unpredictable nature of back pain in fibromyalgia.

How do I know if my back pain is Fibromyalgia?

Identifying fibromyalgia as the source of your back pain involves ruling out other potential causes first.

Conditions like osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis share symptoms with fibromyalgia, so it's essential to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Diagnosing fibro can feel like a puzzle or a game of deduction, similar to Guess Who? -eliminating possibilities until the best guess remains.

Living with fibro back pain can make everything feel harder, but there are ways to make life brighter. Here are some small, simple steps you can take to find joy again.

Think about things you love doing that aren't too tough on your back. Maybe it's taking a short walk or doing simple stretches. These little things can be the start of feeling better.

Start by adding these activities back into your day, even if it's just for a few minutes. Listen to your body and don't push too hard. It's fine to go slow.

As you do these activities more often, you might notice they get easier and more fun. Celebrate every little win, like walking a bit farther or stretching a bit longer.

In our pain management programme we talk about having ‘No Zero Days’ - that is, doing one thing to move towards your pain goal daily, no matter how small.

Find pain-life balance for your Fibromyalgia

We hope that you find your own pain-life balance that lets you do the activities you want to in life, despite the challenges of pain.

Finding the right mix of treatments, lifestyle changes and self-management can make a big difference. Remember, pain management is a journey and seeking support can help you along the way.



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