I am going to try to be as descriptive as possible with this post. I have been in pain for about 6 years now and it seems to be getting worse, I'm wondering what the issue might be. I was in a car accident about 7 years ago, but this back pain didn't start right away so I don't know if it is related or not.
I have pain in my back almost every single day of my life. It can range from level 5 (dull pain) all the way up to level 10 pain (which it hit last night and I was laid up on the couch until 4:30am when I finally just passed out from exhaustion).
The pain I am experiencing is in my actual spinal area around the T3-T6 area. It seems to be a little bit more dominant on the right side of the spine though it hurts left, right, and center. As I move around I can hear a crunching sound (like ligaments, etc) and pretty regularly I will feel and hear a little audible crack. This is not like a "pop" when you pop your back, it feels like something is sticking, there is a sharp little pain and then the crack happens, and then the sensation of sticking stops. These little cracks seem to be more towards the outside of the spine on the left and right sides, though they do happen in the center very infrequently. I don't know if it is maybe bone spurs?
As far as the main pain goes, it is accompanied by pressure that seems to originate from the vertebrae themselves (from within). My back pain seems to be absolutely severe when the temperature outside changes drastically. 3 days ago it was about 22 degrees outside and yesterday it warmed up to almost 60 degrees and my back went CRAZY. It seems to be always sore when it is cold outside, but it's never more than a 5 pain wise. If it goes from hot to cold or cold to hot, my pain shoots up to the 8-10 range. In the summertime
my pain stays at low levels with the exception of once in awhile it'll get back up there again. I haven't decided if the storm fronts play any roll in that or not (like when pressure changes in the air).
I am concerned about this. I turned 35 a few weeks ago and this pain is really starting to affect my quality of life. I've seen my doctor a few times and told him about the pain. He refuses to do anything other than give me flexeril and tell me to lift weights. He will not give me any pain meds, refer me to a specialist, or really discuss it with me at length.
As far as pain management goes, I've been taking a lot of Ibuprophen and Tylenol, neither of which does a remarkable job of taking the pain away. I do not really care much for narcotics, but at this point the pain is so bad I'll take just about anything as long as it makes it stop. I'd really like to get this looked into but right now I'm in college without a job and no insurance.
I use heat a lot, and my back feels pretty good when I am on the heat, but as soon as I am off of it, the pain is back. I haven't really tried ice treatment, so maybe I'll do that.
I am wondering if the pain that I have is arthritis or something like that (because the weather affects it so drastically) but I am unsure and am wondering what the possibilities could be so that I am armed with information to go an talk it out with a doctor.
Thanks very much.