Muscle Aches, Yoga, Exercise, and Using Gabapentin

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Muscle Aches, Yoga, Exercise, and Using Gabapentin

Postby laynei » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:32 pm

I have muscle aches all over my body. The shoulders and arms seem most effected. I started doing Yoga 4 weeks ago and its is helping to cut down on the aches. I have went to the doctor in the past and he has tried everything from Zoloft to Cymbalta. I hoped I spelling that correctly. He has also gave me muscle relaxers. Recently I went back to him and suggested Gabapentin and he let me try this. I am taking 300 mg twice a day right now, but he says that he can up the dosage if needed. I am feeling better than before. The yoga helped and this is helping, but I want this pain to go away all together. It feels like I have the flu all the time. If I sit for long periods of time, hour or more, I get up to major body stiffness. Can I ask for advice as it relates to the muscle soreness and what has worked for everyone else? Once I have taken the Gabapentin for 1 week, I can increase the dosage. I also have a pain in my heart area that does not go away. I even had a heart cath and the doctor told me that for a 47 year old, it doesn't get any cleaner (heart arteries) than that. I am leaning fibromyalgia on this. The way I understand what I am hearing from various places on the web is that the years of spending large parts of the night without oxygen, causes neurological damage to your body. Question is can this be undone if this is the case. I believe this to be true since it certainly feels like I have some neurological damage. Does anyone have experienc with the drug Gabapentin? Any help would be really great!!!!!!
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Postby TerriG1221 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:09 pm

It sure does sound like fibromyalgia.
Happycat has fibromyalgia. Maybe
she'll respond.
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Postby Vicki » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:05 pm

laynei,

Are you using a CPAP and if so for how long? Do you use it every time you sleep, even when you nap? NAP with your PAP we say.

Before I was diagnosed and treated with CPAP, I developed severe Fibromyalgia symptoms. In fact, they became so severe that I collapsed and was taken to an urgent care. Besides the classic Fibromyalgia trigger point symptoms, I also developed an unusual arthritis (Reiter’s Syndrome) in which my toes and fingers would randomly swell up like little sausages.

Alpha intrusion is seen in both Fibromyalgia and in patients who are in chronic pain. Alpha intrusion also disrupts sleep. Sleep deprivation increases pain sensitivity. I might be missing something, but it has never been clear to me whether the pain of Fibromyalgia causes Alpha intrusion or Alpha intrusion, which disrupts sleep, causes the pain of Fibromyalgia.

Anyway, once my apnea was treated, my Fibromyalgia symptoms went away and they have never returned ten years later. Interestingly, my arthritis (as diagnosed by the painful and swollen toes and lab results indicating an autoimmune response) has gone away as well. The symptoms of my arthritis returned once when my apnea was out of control.

So I hypothesis that some cases of Fibromyalgia are caused by untreated apnea and the reason these symptoms occur is because of hypoxia at peripheral sites and/or increased pain sensitivity because of disrupted sleep. I have heard similar stories from forum members whose “fibromyalgia” symptoms decreased or disappeared when their OSA was successfully treated. And, in a discussion with my rheumatologist she agreed that many cases of "fibromyalgia" may be due to untreated OSA.

Even if you have true Fibromyalgia, when your OSA is under control and your sleep less disrupted, your pain sensitivity will decrease.

BTW, Gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) is an anti-epileptic drug which is also used for chronic pain.

Vicki
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
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Friedrich must of had apnea.
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Postby sherlynn9 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:25 pm

While my body aches and pains don't sound as extreme as yours, I do identify with feeling stiff when getting up from sitting for a lengthy timeframe. I was attributing my aches to getting older, being overweight, and having diabetes. Friends got my family on a nutritional supplement and after almost 3 weeks, the aches were almost gone (only thing I was doing differently). If I don't use the supplement, the aches start coming back. The product is Reliv Classic. If you would like more information, PM me.

While I've been on CPAP and APAP for almost 1.5 years, that did nothing for the aches. However, I was still not getting sufficient oxygen and am hoping that now being on a bipap at 22/18 is going to correct that. And am hoping that will also be corrected.

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Postby laynei » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:46 pm

Vicki - I do sometimes nap without it, but its only 2 or less times per week( 1 hour naps) and usually by accident. I have been using mine for about a year. I have been wearing it all night long for about six months. I sometimes will wake up with it off, but rarely now... like mabye once every 2-3 weeks. Do you think this is the reason? I would be willing to try napping only with it on and doing my best to not wake up without it on my face that once every 3 weeks, if it might help. If I do wake up without it on, it has usually only been off for a couple of hours. Since my apnea was classified as severe (it runs in my family as I am only 30 pounds over weight) and my pressure is set to 18, could even the smallest of accidental naps cause this. I know your not a doctor, but after reading your posts, I have come to listen to what you have to say. Thanks.
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Postby Vicki » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:44 am

laynei,

I don't think anyone, physician or not, can answer that. Many people have true Fibromyalgia in addition to OSA. Here is what I do know:

1. The only way to see if 100% CPAP compliance will help your symptoms is to do the experiment. Never sleep without your CPAP.

2. If your OSA is severe, then you have at least 30 apneic events/hour since severe OSA is classed an AHI of > 30. That is a minimum of 1 event every 2 minutes, more if your AHI is over 30. So even if you go CPAPless for even an hour, havoc is being wrecked on your body, at the very least once every 2 minutes. During each event, your heart rate, blood pressure and CO2 levels go up and your body struggles to breathe. If you desaturate, then your O2 levels drop. I don’t think anyone could say if this is enough to keep your health from improving, but it can not be helping it.

3. We are all individual, but if I fall asleep for as little as 10 minutes (and I gotta say I do it way too much) without my CPAP, I wake up with an apnea headache, probably from my O2 desaturation and/or the increased levels of CO2. So it takes very little CPAPless sleep for me to feel the negative effects. I think it took 2-3 months of 100% compliant CPAP use for my Fibromyalgia and arthritis symptoms to go away.

4. The Neurontin might help in a couple of ways. It will decrease your pain level so maybe you will sleep better and more peacefully. Maybe you are pulling your mask off because of general discomfort and the Neurontin will help with that so you are not inclined to take your mask off.

So try the experiment the best you can, try to always sleep with your PAP, and let us know in a couple of months how you are feeling.

Vicki
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
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That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich must of had apnea.
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Postby ApneaKiwi » Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:19 am

Hi Vicki

I think your response sounds very sensible, and I'm going to try it too of course. you mention 'an apnea headache'...

Vicki wrote:...We are all individual, but if I fall asleep for as little as 10 minutes (and I gotta say I do it way too much) without my CPAP, I wake up with an apnea headache, probably from my O2 desaturation and/or the increased levels of CO2. So it takes very little CPAPless sleep for me to feel the negative effects. I think it took 2-3 months of 100% compliant CPAP use for my Fibromyalgia and arthritis symptoms to go away...


before CPAP, i would wake up with a nasty kind of headache on days, usually the weekend, when i had slept more than 8 hours in a stretch. of course, as my apnea worsened i stopped sleeping through the night so the headaches stopped. the headache would be at the top and front of my head, and was excruciating for several minutes until i had been sitting up for a while. i never did work out what was causing these headaches, i just tried to put up with them. does this sounds like the headache you refer to, or is that something different? i know not everyone will get 'apnea headaches' but knowing what one is like may help me help others. thanks.
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Postby Vicki » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:14 am

Well yes AK, that is exactly the feeling of my headache. I get sinus headaches close by as well, but my apnea headaches are distinctive from those. I don't know if this is why our heads hurt where they do, but studies have shown that the frontal lobe of the brain is the first part of the brain affected by hypoxia.

Vicki
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
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That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
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Postby HappyCat » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:54 pm

Laynei, I had only been on cpap for a few weeks when I developed fibromyalgia, Actually, looking back, I think I had been headed down that road a while, but severe stress triggered a full-fledged flare bad enough to get me to the doctor. After running every test in the book, ruling out such nastiness as RA, lupus and other autoimmune disorders, Doc settled on a fibromyalgia diagnosis. Which is what I expected, as my sister has had it for twelve years.

I believe that untreated sleep apnea is what caused this. I had problems for years before I finally was tested. I had severe oxygen desats, and God knows that years of oxygen deprivation coupled with lousy sleep has to take a toll on your body.

I get by with a muscle relaxer at bedtime and Xanax for stress/anxiety emergencies. Yoga is good. I find that I feel best when I get good rest, which isn't always possible when you're in pain. All you can do is take care of yourself to the best of your ability, enjoy the good days, and endure the bad (because it won't last forever). Good luck.
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Postby laynei » Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:09 pm

Thanks HappyCat. I do have muscle relaxers in the form of Skelaxin. I use it whenever I can. I wanted to ask you where this pain actually is located? My biggest pains are in my neck, shoulders, and my ankles. I also seem to have it in my chest and my arms. Does this match what you have experiencing. I am going to try Vicki's suggestion of not ever napping without the CPAP on. I have done that from time to time. I would just like to get rid of the muscle pain. It's horrible at times.
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Postby HappyCat » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:21 pm

Oops, I can't believe I forgot to mention my best friend, tramadol. The tramadol works great for my pain (so far) without making me sleepy or stupid. As far as where the pain is, that varies from day to day. One day I wake up stiff all over, and it gets better for a while then worsens as a I get tired. Some days I feel like I've been run over by a truck, other days I just have what I call "the weirdness," the creepy crawlies in my legs or the heated seat in my car makes me feel like I am sitting on a hot stove (but it was fine yesterday and will be fine tomorrow.) , I have had pain from my knees up to my chin (thank God I don't have the facial pain that many have). I do have plantar fasciitis, and have noticed the pain is worse than it used to be, some days. And when my (evil, but happy) cat bit me on the face last week, it hurt 50 times more than it should have. I had a really bad run over the holidays, but am doing much better now. Just remember, it stinks, but it's not gonna kill you! Hoping for the best (for all of us), HappyCat.
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