Various warning signs with text overlay: Fibromyalgia Flares: Do You Experience Any Warning Signs?

Fibromyalgia Flares: Do You Experience Any Warning Signs?

Last night was a long night. In addition to loud peals of thunder and rain pelting the roof, our cell phones kept blaring out several severe weather warnings. Things finally calmed down, and we went to sleep with the now-soft pitter-patter of rain on the roof. That is, until 3:00AM when the phones blared out another flash flood warning. We finally went back to sleep and woke up to — surprise! surprise! (not really) — no power. Shoutout to our wonderful linemen around here though, they had us back up and running by 8:00. Imagine my surprise when I turned on the TV and saw that our little city had made the national news! They were reporting that less than a mile from where we live, people had been evacuated due to fears of a dam breach. That wasn’t the only evacuation going on either…. All of this was going on around us and we were completely unaware.

This whole thing reminded me of how fibromyalgia flares work sometimes for me. Sometimes they’ll come with warnings, but sometimes they just seem to come out of nowhere.

My flare warnings usually come in one of three forms:

  1. Throat pain – it’s not a sore throat, but rather a feeling of my throat being tight, or under tension.
  2. A feeling of general grumpiness or being overly emotional.
  3. A feeling that I can best describe as a feeling of someone pushing down on my shoulders.

If any of these warning signs appear, I usually try to slow down, and if possible, go ahead and take a recovery day to try to help lessen the effects of the flare and hopefully, shorten the time it lasts.

Then, of course, there are the flares that just appear out of nowhere, with no warning at all. I can be fine one minute, and the next, my bones feel as if they’re on fire and I’m so exhausted the thought of walking to another room makes me want to cry. This definitely calls for a recovery day!

Everyone’s recovery day looks different. For me, it usually means a day spent mostly in the family room with my good friends Heating Pad and Fuzzy Blanket watching some of my recorded shows or Netflix, with a nap or two thrown in whenever I feel I just have to lie down. I used to spend these days in bed, but discovered that for me, it seemed to make me more stiff and sore, and it seemed to prolong my flares. Now I try to move around the house a little every hour or so to prevent the inactivity/pain cycle I talked about here.

When we  live with fibromyalgia, we can pretty much expect flares from time to time, and finding what works to help lessen the pain or at least give us some comfort as we go through it can help us hang in there until we feel better. It sometimes takes trying new things and new combinations of things to get the most relief, but eventually, we find those things that help us ride out the storm.

Thinking about this really has me wondering if some of you also have warning signs before some of your flares, as I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone else mention it. I’d really love to know –

Do you ever experience any warning signs before a flare?

Please let us know either way in the comments, and if you do, if you don’t mind sharing, please tell us what kind of symptoms you experience that let you know a flare is coming.




  1. Interesting aspect with the warning signs, I’m not really sure… Maybe emotional in terms of lower mood, and general slowness/lethargy is ramped up. xx

    1. Thanks for sharing Caz. I just started wondering if the “warning” symptoms happened to anyone else. Of course, I guess the argument could be made that the symptoms I experience are actually the beginning of the flare…. I’ll be interested to see what everyone says. Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. I think I experience the same as you, Terri. The other thing that happens to me is my muscles just give out – either locking up or cramping causing me to call out. Today, I just hit a wall – couldn’t carry on any longer. I lay down in the midst of all the activity and fell asleep. I plan on having a quiet night.

    1. Thanks for sharing V.J.. I know what you mean about hitting a wall. I sure am sorry that happened to you today. I know you guys are super busy getting your new home ready. I’m glad you were able to get a little rest at least. I hope your night is nice and restful, and that you have a good weekend. Hugs!

  3. Thank you for sharing this excellent post Terri! I never knew what the warning signs of a Fibro flare were. With all the issues my husband is constantly complaining about I have often told him I think he could possibly have Fibro., but apparently in the eyes of the “superb” doctors we here in NC they think he does not have the typical symptoms. I tend to disagree with doctors because I did not have the “typical” symptoms of MS, but unfortunately did get blessed with that illness. I guess if doctors are right about his situation, that just means he has something called “chronic complaining syndrome”, yes I made that up!!! I hope you have a nice weekend Terri and I hope you start feeling much better!

    1. Thank you so much Alyssa! Unfortunately, I think a lot of people with fibromyalgia experience what your husband is with his doctors. I think that’s a lot of the frustration they have with doctors. I’ve been really fortunate with my doctors, and though I do have the “typical” symptoms such as tender points, extreme fatigue, and widespread pain, I also have some that aren’t as common as well. Of course, your husband is also at a disadvantage because he’s a man. A lot of people don’t seem to think men can get it simply because it’s typically been more common in women. Maybe he should start writing down all the things that are happening so he can show his doctor what’s going on. I like your “diagnosis” but I suspect it may be something different.😄

      1. Thank you so much Terri! The truth is, the only reason I thought it might be fibromyalgia he has is due to all the pain issues he complains about and fatigue, but honestly I think it might be more depression. I know how wrong this is going to sound, but he just wants to complain about things and have something be wrong with him. He might have it, but then again logically he probably doesn’t. He does not have the tender points so to speak, he just has a lot of pain in his neck and back. I wish I knew what his issue is, but I really have no idea! Do you think because of his neck and back pain with fatigue could be fibromyalgia?

      2. I’m so sorry Alyssa…. that’s the problem with pain issues…. there are so many different things that can cause them…. I couldn’t possibly say what could be causing it; that really is a conversation he has to have with his doctor. I hope you’re able to have a restful weekend. I know you need some rest after your long week. Blessings to you!

  4. Sandy has rather severe fibro and says she mostly feels the grumpiness you describe. Recovery is in the new recliner we put in our bedroom. She is also friends with Heating Pad and Fuzzy Blanket.

    1. Thanks for sharing George and Sandy. I think it’s interesting that the grumpiness is a precursor to our flares….I guess our brains know what’s coming ahead of time. Hope you two are doing well!

    1. Thank you for sharing Mishka. I’m going to have to start paying more attention to my dizziness to see if it’s a prelude to fatigue. It’s interesting that you mention the feeling of a lack of oxygen…. I often feel I’m not getting enough oxygen even though I’m not having trouble breathing. I’ve never been diagnosed with CFS but I know it often goes hand in hand with FMS. This makes me wonder….

  5. 🦋 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia many years ago and confirmed a number times when we have moved across or interstate and sort out new doctors. I have had many, many symptoms over the years but there are a few that persist and flare up often.

    I think the most aggravating are related to my 5 senses. Whoa…when they go into overdrive, I’m a mess. I can’t use touch phones, even if I use a stylus. Stylus’s are maddening and they can’t be used on some apps etc anyway. I often need to wear sunglasses even inside and using the computer. When my senses are in full flare smell, hearing and taste are so severe. Even the faintest odour makes me gag. Nothing taste good or everthing tastes sour.

    Another symptom on the top of my worst list is the fatigue. Yes, it comes with diziness, headaches and even nausea. I simply had to learn that I need to rest…NOW. Saying ‘no’ was the hardest thing to learn but I have to do it.

    Right now, my symptoms are minimal. Tomorrow may be a different story.

    Thank you for sharing Terri.

    1. Thank you for sharing Chrissy. It’s amazing how varied the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be, isn’t it? I just experienced the smell sensitivity this weekend…. An air freshener in our church bathroom triggered a migraine that I’m still dealing with today, and I have issues from time to time with my other senses as well.
      Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for following. I look forward to getting to know you!

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