1. How did it get started?
Honestly, I cannot recall a single incident. However, I have several theories and questions as to how it started. I started wrestling at age 7, then at a competitive level at age 11, and continued in this sport until shortly after high school. I also played football and ran cross-country. I haven't lived the healthiest life thus far and I am certain these choices are now coming full tilt. I have also been in a few auto-accidents, neither a result of my actions, and yet both were significant enough to warrant medical attention. Doctors and hospitals are not my favorite places to be and I would not willingly seek such attention had I not been in so much pain. Oddly enough, I was suffering from symptoms similar to those of other registrants to this site long before I was injured in these accidents.
My most puzzling question is, "how is it that my DDD is central to the thoracic, and limited therein, when the rest of my spine has no remarkable indication of ailment?" I have seen many doctors and, after 10 years of gradually progressing pain, I still do not have adequate answers.
To date, I have been treated like a drug addict, accusatory questions regarding past drug use levied at me, and repeated referrals to specialists who have no desire or interest in diagnosing me. It has been suggested that my pain is "due to the way my brain perceives pain." In other terms, I am merely crazy! I told my primary care physician my problems. She ordered a MRI on my lower back when I specifically told her it was not the origination of my pain. I digress . . .
2. How long have you been dealing with in?
I have had pain in this portion of my back for 10, plus, years.
3. What treatments are you currently under? Do any help?
I am currently taking advil and cyclobenzaprine. They are not effective in relieving the pain. Although the muscle relaxant helps when my back "locks-up." I have been prescribed many different narcotics, however, I am not overly enthusiastic about taking controlled substances. Frankly, the medications were ineffective and served only to rot my stomach. I have not had an opportunity to discuss alternatives with my newest doctor. I thank God that I found him.
4. Has Surgery been considered?
When the predicating cause was suspected to be my right shoulder, surgery was suggested to alleviate the strain on my back, thus far only subsequent MRI's and other tests have been ordered.
5. Have you tried Deep Tissue Massage (The "Real" thing )
No, not the real thing. It is way too expensive!
6. What causes it to flare up more?
Now, nearly everything from sitting to standing to walking seems to instigate flare-ups. Lately, my chest muscles have been sore and tightening up to the point of pain.
7. When you have flareups what do you do about them?
When I'm working I wince a bare it. When I'm at home I immediately rest and allow my muscles to relax and stop their spasms.
8. Can you continue to work with this condition?
Yes, I am a legal assistant and private investigator, and my work is rarely physically exhaustive. However, I intend to attend law school in the Fall of 2009, and I anticipate long hours behind the desk and in front of computers
9. Has it been getting worse or staying the same?
Progressing much worse than ever.
10. How are you dealing with it all?
Trying to stay positive. Not letting incompetent medical practitioners get me down. Taking the medication prescribed to me. Lots of prayer!