What My Worst Fibromyalgia Flare Symptoms Feel Like

worst fibromyalgia flare symptoms

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The generic description of fibromyalgia is widespread musculoskeletal pain. Some sites list a few symptoms, while others list hundreds. What I am sharing today are MY worst fibromyalgia flare symptoms. The ones that disrupt my life and hold me captive. Symptoms that are debilitating and come on without warning.

The Disabled Diva shares her worst fibromyalgia flare symptoms. Discover what they are and the impact they have on her life here!
The Disabled Diva shares what her worst fibromyalgia flare symptoms feel like from head to toe. Plus how each flare-up varies.
The Disabled Diva shares her worst fibromyalgia flare symptoms

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied with caffeine. It’s a win for everyone. I am not a medical professional, and nothing stated in this article should be mistaken for medical advice…

Common Fibromyalgia Flare Symptoms

Fibromyalgia symptoms may present themselves one at a time, in various combinations, or all at once. The following are the most common fibromyalgia symptoms:

  • Pain and stiffness all over the body
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration
  • Headaches, including migraines

To look over the list, one might think that we should be thankful that it is not worse! However, if they had to live with the pain and unpredictability of fibromyalgia, they would understand just how severe this chronic condition is.

Fibromyalgia Muscle Pain Flare

I experience various forms of muscle pain flares. There is the dull ache that feels like my body is one giant bruise. At times this form of pain will only affect one area or limb, but it is often a head-to-toe achiness.

Sometimes fatigue accompanies my muscle aches. When this occurs, I feel like I am walking underwater with arms and legs that have been chained to cement blocks. Every movement is painful and difficult.

There are times when muscle tension in my neck extends through my shoulders. It feels like somebody has one foot on either side of my head between my neck and shoulders. At times it feels like they are pressing down with all their weight. And at other times, it may feel like someone is jumping on the area.

The muscle pain I despise the most is the kind where it feels like someone is shredding them with a meat shredder! It is like my muscles and tendons are being pulled from my body.

Believe it or not, depending on the location of the muscles, spasms can be extremely debilitating. I cannot drive or sit up if my back and abdomen muscles are spasming. Forget typing or writing when my hands twitch. And we cannot forget the money lost on having to replace phones, glasses, and remotes that my hands have flung across the room.

Nerve Pain Flare Up

Some people assume that all my nerve pain stems from the surgical error that occurred in 2008, but I was experiencing other forms of nerve pain from fibromyalgia long before.

The first of my worst fibromyalgia nerve pain is topical, also known as allodynia. This is nerve pain that is caused by things that do not typically inflict pain.

Things like:

  • wearing glasses
  • brushing hair
  • shaving
  • a light caress
  • clothing moving across the skin
  • a summer breeze
  • exposure to heat or cold

Fibromyalgia even hurts my hair!

When experiencing this type of fibromyalgia flare symptom, my skin may feel raw. There are times when the sensation is centralized in one or two locations. Other times, I feel like my entire body has been set on fire or electrocuted.

Other forms of unwelcome nerve pain are the result of inflamed muscles and tendons trapping nerves. Depending on which nerves are being squeezed, I may experience what I can only describe as electrical shocks throughout my skull, arms, hands, legs, and feet.

Fibromyalgia Joint Pain Flares

Like my other fibromyalgia flare symptoms, the joints and severity of the pain I experience varies. Some days every joint in my body is inflamed. Other days are limited to one or several areas.

I always know when a major storm is headed my way! My shoulder joints feel like someone is trying to pry them open with a crowbar!

Thanks to psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia, my knees are a hot mess and rely on inflammation to hold them in place. However, when the humidity drops, so does the inflammation that keeps my knee caps in place.


Brain pain

I have titled this section brain pain because that is what the following fibromyalgia symptoms create.

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration
  • Headaches, including migraines

While some are truly painful, others just make my life harder than it needs to be.

Cognitive issues create a whole other kind of a mess. I cannot make important decisions quickly when my brain is misfiring. On the plus side, I recognize when this is happening. I begin speaking like Yoda or saying the opposite of what I actually meant. The downside is that there is nothing I can do but wait for it to end. During that time, I must give myself the time I need to fully comprehend what I am reading or listening to and when crafting my reply.

Mental Health

My mental health takes a hit when I am slammed with fibromyalgia flare symptoms that debilitate me to the extent of not having a choice but to lie practically comatose in bed. While most of these types of flares typically pass for me within a day or two, I have had others last for months! Wondering how long my body plans to torture me sends my anxiety through the roof.

Long-lasting and reoccurring fibro flare-ups feed my depression. Although I have modified my life in ways that allow me to do more than I could with this chronic condition in my early years, extreme flares still imprison me. There is no having joyful chats on the phone or texting silly GIFs to friends. There is only me, trapped in a body, with a mind too tired to think, staring at a wall. I turn the television on, but I have no idea what I am watching. This is the worst. Thankfully, I do not experience it as often as I did during my first 14 years of living with fibromyalgia symptoms.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that fibromyalgia is not my only chronic illness. Within three years, I was diagnosed with psoriasis, fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, and endometriosis. A year later, I would experience my first surgical error. You can read that story here.

With that said, having a basket of illnesses and injuries does not make my fibromyalgia diagnosis any worse or better than someone else’s. How this wretched condition affects each person differs for many reasons. While it is good to share, we shouldn’t compare our pain.

What are some of your worst fibromyalgia flare symptoms?

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Published by Cynthia Covert

Diagnosed in 2001 with psoriasis, followed by fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, endometriosis, and later a botched hysterectomy turned her world upside down. Cynthia shares her experience, advice, and tips for how to make life with chronic pain easier and less painful.

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