The Crawling Sensation with Fibromyalgia

Those who suffer from fibromyalgia are going to find that there are several issues that come with this illness.

Fibromyalgia is one of those illnesses that are just now starting to be understood.

And even with our advances in the world of medicine, it is still one of those illnesses that we are just starting to understand. There are still many questions that are left unanswered.

Fibromyalgia is an illness that is often categorized as feeling extremely tired and having aches and pains throughout the body.

However, there are several other issues that can go right along with fibromyalgia that most people do not connect to be caused by this illness. And one of these issues is a crawling sensation throughout the body.

What is a Crawling Sensation?

For those who are not sure what the crawling sensation is, the formal name for this is Formication.

This is described as the sensation of small insects crawling on or under the skin, even though there are no insects there.

The person may alternatively have a tingling sensation that is also included in this definition.

Those who do have this often complaint of this crawling sensation accompanied by tingling, pins, and needs, burning and even pain.

Other terms for this crawling sensation is called paresthesia. This can come and go, and come only suddenly and even disappear all the sudden.

It is still the same sensation as described above as Formication. However, many people report more itching thus it is termed paresthesia.

Related: Understanding The Connection Of Paresthesia and Fibromyalgia

These symptoms go hand in hand with those that are reported by most fibromyalgia patients.

Those who do have this crawling sensation may scratch or rub their skin in order to get this to stop.

However, they only succeed in upsetting the skin to the point that they may break the skin open.

The Connection Between Fibromyalgia and the Crawling Sensation

Fibromyalgia is an illness that can cause odd nerve sensations throughout the body.

While this often radiates as pain for some people, there are just as many people who report having a crawling sensation over their entire body when this happens.

The symptom of having a crawling sensation has been well documented in fibromyalgia patients. So, what causes this?

Through the research that has been conducted, it has been found that there is damage to the peripheral nerves, those that are found in the arms and legs.

The arms and the legs are most often the areas that people with fibromyalgia report these crawling sensations. However, they can be reported to stem from anywhere including the face.

These nerves are highly sensitive due to the pain response that is coming from the brain, hence why fibromyalgia patients often report having this sensation.

Most patients feel that there is something else wrong aside from the fibromyalgia. IN fact, many people report that this sensation often makes them wonder if they are not having a stroke.

Going to a doctor can rule out other serious issues. In the majority of the cases, the crawling sensation is due to the fibromyalgia.

Treating the Crawling Sensation

Those who have a crawling sensation on their skin are looking for relief. While this sensation may not happen all the time, when it does it can be extremely uncomfortable.

It is not uncommon for patients to report that any clothes touching these areas become unbearable. So, what can be done?

There are several methods that people can utilize in order to treat this sensation and get back to a more normal life. These remedies include:

1- Stress and anxiety can make this sensation worse. Thus, it is important to get this under control.

Related: Does Emotional Stress Triggering Fibro Flare-Ups?

Many patients undertake yoga or meditation in order to handle their feelings better. Once these are under control, many people report that this sensation is rare.

2- Eating the right kinds of foods is important. You will find that B vitamins are essential for helping to control this sensation.

Related: Eating Right For Fibromyalgia

For those who are not eating right, it could be caused by nothing more than a lack of B vitamins in the body.

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Magnesium is also a vitamin that could be low causing this sensation to happen and should be tested to ensure the person has the right levels in their blood.

Related: Magnesium Deficiency a Possible Reason For Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

3- Alcohol and smoking can make this sensation worse. Thus, these activities should be avoided as much as possible.

4- Getting a full body massage can help tremendously. This can stimulate the nerves and release this crawling sensation feeling.

Related: Best Type of Massage For Fibromyalgia

In addition, this can help the person to fully relax, which is great for those who may be suffering from more stress or anxiety.

5- Be sure to stay moving as this can help the sensation to pass. While it may be hard for someone with fibromyalgia to move constantly, adopting a small exercise routine into their life is going to help greatly.

Be sure to talk to your doctor about any exercise routine to ensure you do not overdo it too much!

Since this issue is something that is caused by nerves, many people receive some sort of nerve medication in order to alleviate these symptoms.

This is something that your doctor will have to recommend and will only do this once they have concluded that this is definitely the reason for this sensation.

Other people find that if this crawling sensation becomes too much, a cool shower or a warm shower can help with getting this to stop.

Most people find that if you utilize the many remedies for dealing with fibromyalgia, many of these will stop the crawling sensation as well.

Due to this sensation being caused by the fibromyalgia, this approach does make sense.

Crawling Sensation with Fibromyalgia

How to Diagnose the Crawling Sensation

For those who have fibromyalgia, if they were to go to their doctor complaining about this sensation their doctor is going to immediately notice that this goes hand in hand with this illness.

However, for those who have yet to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the doctor may look that nerves in the body and test the blood for any mineral or vitamin deficiencies that could be causing this.

From here, the doctor is going to look at what can be done in order to alleviate these symptoms.

They may recommend those suggestions above, or they may recommend that the person looks at other types of therapy if they believe that this is related to their stress levels.

If you are suffering from fibromyalgia and are finding that this crawling sensation is something that you are dealing with, do not be quiet about this.

Talk to your doctor about what you can do to get this to stop as it can cause you to feel as though the illness is taking over your life.

In addition, it is through reporting this issue that more studies are performed in order to see the correlation and possibly devise new treatments that would help other people in the future.

Fibromyalgia is one of those illnesses that are not new, but the many issues that go along with this are getting discovered daily.

For those who have the crawling sensation, do not let this get you down. There is hope in getting this under control.

Related: Extreme Itching: Is This Common With Fibromyalgia?

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  • Than you for this article. I thought this problem, that I’ve had for 15 years was separate from my fibromyalgia. I call it the creepy crawlies. It starts in my calves, eventually arms and even the sternum. I have associated this with tiredness, and I will move around a bit until I feel it is a suitable time to go to bed. Sometimes as early as 8p.m. It is exascerbated by tiredness. It drives me crazy. If I wait too long, I am unable to fall asleep unless I lay on my stomach. I was always afidgety child and know I have overactive nerves and hyper reflexes.

  • Been dealing with the creepy crawlies for years. Thank goodness for biofeedback technology because with that I was able to learn that the creepy crawlies are indeed parasites! As it turns out, my husband’s “arthritis” was actually pinworms, and my daughter’s endometriosis, PID, and interstitial cystitis was a couple of microscopic parasites. Its not feasible for pharma-operated medical schools to teach cures so everyone really needs to find practitioners who know how to utilize this technology.

    • How did you solve these problems? I’ve been complaining to my GP about parasites for years now as I have all these symptoms yet nothing can be done because the diagnosis is coming back negative…

      Any help would be highly appreciated.

      • I know many think that not everything can be solved with medication but this problem can. In 2014 I went to my primary doctor, before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and told him that he had to do something about the “but crawling sensations” under my skin. I was desperate after years of this feeling doing nothing but get worse. He prescribed Doxepin. Immediately I felt better. After getting the dosage right I haven’t had any crawling sensations. Good luck to you! I hope you find something that helps.

  • Mine feels like a thousand bees stinging me all at once, under the skin.
    After months of doctors’ visits and going crazy, finally I was prescribed Gabapentin. That is the miracle drug for this problem!

  • Thank you so much for sharing….I am on Etanercept pen, doesnt help much…. being diagnosed recently…it drives me crazy to have to deal also with this crawling feeling….

  • I have also called this sensation the creepy crawlies! I have had it since I was a teenager and never knew what it was. I have found a few things that help to get rid of it. 1) 600 mg of gabapentin 2) a very hot shower over the neck and shoulders 3) it helps if someone pounds on my upper back, shoulders and neck. I have always imagined that the hot shower and pounding sort of short circuited the nerve reactions. In any case it has always helped me.

  • I can’t take Gabapentin unfortunately, as it’s contraindicated with my Venlafaxine & Sertraline (both of which I absolutely cannot stop taking as they’re the only thing that keep me anywhere near sane). I stay away from hot showers, use Aveeno moisturiser with colloidal oatmeal in it, I don’t use central heating or air conditioning (both dry out the air and can trigger/exacerbate itching) and I keep a spray on hand to use whenever I get that little sensitivity indicator that the ‘itchies’ are on the way. It’s actually a spray designed to help moisturise the skin on your face, as part of your skincare routine: ‘Pixi by Petra Hydrating Milky Mist’ which contains hyaluronic acid and black oat. I keep a bottle in the fridge (keep all your skin stuff in the fridge if you’re prone to the ‘itchies’ and whilst I use it as a step between my serum and moisturiser on my face every day, it’s perfect for calming down irritated skin. The coolness of being in the fridge definitely helps, the ingredients help to keep the skin hydrated and less likely to be damaged by scratching, whilst soothing the entire area. I buy it in Boots Chemist (UK) and it’s a total lifesaver. I also keep antihistamine cream in the fridge on stand-by for those times when it gets out of control, plus I always have an antihistamine tablet with my vitamins every day. All of that, really helps.

  • Several years ago I was suffering from this itching on my upper arms but there was nothing there to cause itching like a rash or bites. It was always worse at night and heat made it worse. The only relief that I could find was to put ice packs on it and after about 20 minutes or so it was temporarily gone. After suffering for more that a year I saw an ortho doctor and a neurologist who did MRI, nerve testing, brain scan, but they still had no idea what was going on. Finally, I saw a dermatologist who looked at all the tests and the fact that I had no rash that was causing the itching. He says well then it must be an internal nerve issue and it’s actually nerve pain that just feels like itching. He said that’s why the ice packs worked because it was actually calming the nerves. He prescribed gabapentin and after the very first dose that night I had no more itching. It has been a miracle for me.

  • I was diagnosed with Fibro more than 12 years ago, along with scleroderma, an autoimmune disease. I get the “crawlies” in exactly the same place as the picture in this post- right between my shoulder blades. Had kidney cancer last year which ended up with surgery to remove a kidney and adrenal gland. I cannot take a lot of meds now as other the kidney is not 100%. Dealing with the pain is hard because before I used to take Motrin or Advil or prescription N’SAIDS. Tylenol does nothing for me. I can use Benedryl spray which helps with the itching.
    I watch my diet, do yoga daily along with walks and swimming, and take naps. I find being active and pacing my daily activities helps a lot but I still need a complete rest day every now and then.

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