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A Lost Hello

Where to start...hello is as good of a place as any I guess.

I am a 24 year old female with chronic pain. I originally saw a doctor for a shoulder injury (December 2010), or what I at least thought was a shoulder injury, after I had been having pain and one day was lifting something and felt a pop in between my spine and shoulder blade.

Since then I have been diagnosed with tendonitis in both shoulders and have seen 7 different doctors and 2 different physical therapists. The first time I saw the doctor I complained of back pain but at the time my shoulder seemed to be the issue. Every test that has been ordered has been for my shoulder, mri, emg, xrays (3 or 4 sets)... my shoulder seems almost normal now. My back is getting worse and I can barely get a doctor to look at it. When I trace my spine if feels like a couple of my discs are too close together. Oh, my dad has ddd...I know that it isn't exactly hereditary as well.

I feel like I am losing hope and don't know where to turn, so here I am checking out forums.

Sleeping has been a huge problem for the past 3 weeks, I am lucky to fall asleep and stay asleep. Waking up every hour or two is now inevitable no matter what I try. Yesterday at work I stood up and when I went to walk I just about collapsed. It felt like my spine was going to break in half or that one of my discs was going to shatter. I can still feel it when I breathe deep or try to move.

If there is any advice that people are willing to share I am listening. Any stretches...I'll try just about anything at this point.


  • Wow Sarah , you're not having a good time at all! You definitely need to speak to a doctor about your back, an orthopedic surgeon would be better. Not that you need surgery but to find out what's going on.....Don't wait , find out asap so you can deal with it and hopefully alleviate some pain!
    I just went through a fusion surgery so I'm no stranger to pain. The back is a complicated structure that needs to work right or your whole body suffers , especially your lower half.....
    It's hard to give you advice on stretching but you should try anything that doesn't bother you too much. I found "traction" helped me. Try to find an "inversion table" and that stretches the spine slowly and evenly, very good for the spine. Low back stretches are to sit in a chair , legs open and lean forward and hold. Let your body weight bring you down farther..... You at least need some meds to keep you sane and let you sleep at night. Go see the doc asap and "tell" him what you want.....Take care...

    Different degrees of back pain since 1994
    Cortisone shots Jan/09
    Discectomy and lamenectomy April/09
    L5 - S1 spinal fusion July.13th/12
  • Conveniently my dad has one...because he has ddd. I tried some static stretches last night, but the ones that I found have more to do with your lower back.

    I am contacting my doctor today. My luck is horrid though. With the holidays coming up we are working overtime and this week is inventory so I'm on a minimum of 10 hour shifts. Another reason that I have been debating the ER. Last time that I went they gave me valium. Not much but they could hold me over until a regular appointment. Expensive valium with the ER bill though. Haha. :/

    And yes, the entire situation is a mess.
  • I forgot about where you live, (the States? ) in Canada there is no charge even for the ambulance. (they will give you a bill "sometimes" but you don't have to pay it, not many know that) The hospital will give you small amounts of pain killers while you're there too.... Maybe you should take some time off work if you can, to get checked out? Health comes first and it may get worse while you wait......... Take care!

    Different degrees of back pain since 1994
    Cortisone shots Jan/09
    Discectomy and lamenectomy April/09
    L5 - S1 spinal fusion July.13th/12
  • tamtamttamtam Posts: 2,749
    edited 10/16/2012 - 6:58 AM
    First let me say welcome Sarah. Something you should know about the ER, if you go to many times, for pain, they may label you, as someone there to get medications. That is not your case, but you don't want that label. Somethings you might look at is a dermatone chart. It shows the spine and how it relates to other areas of the body. For example the cervical spine would effect the shoulders where as the lumbar spine would effect the legs. In rare cases, of myelopathy of the cervical spine it would effect the legs. If they have not looked at your neck as a cause of your shoulder pain they can start with a simple x-ray checking for bone spurs and to see if the disc height is correct. Now if your having back pain it can also be from other issues such as a gallbladder attack. It is so very important for the doctors to find the pain generator before they can begin to treat it. Throwing valium it will help, as it will serve to calm things down. But it doesn't get you any closer to finding out what is wrong.

    Anyway just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Live in the US, but couldn't anyways. I would feel horribly bad for lying :l haha. I haven't been to the ER in at least 1.5 years, so doubtful that they would flag me. The back pain has been pretty constant, and it is mid/upper back, a little more rare but degeneration is still a possibility.

    I know that medication doesn't solve the issues but I am also still working full-time with overtime when needed. Right now I am on Naproxen as and NSAID and T3 (lowest dose). They tried having me take Tramadol, but alas I am allergic :( From just one pill I was sick for almost 12 hours.

    Unfortunately I do not have any time to take off work and even if I did with my position it would be frowned upon.
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