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I am new to this forum, in fact I have never used one but I was searching for research regarding my chronic health problem and came across this forum. I was hoping someone, anyone.. would help me! PLEASE

I am 27 year old, 120lb female who is suffering from chronic pain in the right scapular region, which I believe is causing the entire spine to feel severe discomfort, ache, and severe heat. The pain is worst in the morning arising out of bed and prevents me from fully standing up straight. In the am, I have severe aching of the entire spine/back. I need to set my alarm 30 mins before fully awaking to take a pain med in order to not cry out in agony. Without pain meds, the pain is so excruciating and minimally tolerable. I would rate it a 6/7 out of 10.

HISTORY: I worked at a chiropractic office 15 months ago and one of the "perks" was to get adjusted. While working there, I was engaging in weight lifting but It was minimal and I do not recall hurting myself at the gym. NEVER IN MY LIFE have I experienced any kind of back pain, ever! I started chiro adjustment as I heard it is healthy for the spine and body and to try it. I had never had an adjustment and was worried about him touching my neck. It just seemed scary adjusting a neck.. eek. Anyway, he adjusted my neck, upper, lower, hips.. overtime obviously not at one adjustment. After one adjustment, I started feeling a weird tingle under my scapula. After a few, it got worse and I started using a heating pad often that you heat up in the microwave. I also iced it, and I heard heat/ice on and off is beneficial. I would only use heat or ice 1x a day maybe 2. The tingling under my scapula started causing achy and upper back pain/thoracic consistently.. however it was a 2/3 out of 10 on the pain scale but was constant.

I stopped getting adjusted at adjustment 12 to 14x because I felt the pain was because of the adjustments as I never had a back problem, or any type of constant pain. I feel like chriopractic care is not for everyone and I believe this has caused the current life altering issue I am dealing with and wish I never was adjusted. I will never truly know what caused the chronic pain but it is the only logical explanation. I do think it could have been lifting related, but I had always lifted and know how to properly lift as well. Regardless, the incicent has caused detrimental results on my life.. so I am asking anyone TO PLEASE HELP ME, HELP ME FIGURE OUT WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME, I AM SOO SAD;(.

Currently, I cannot function without 3/4 or more pain meds a day as the pain continues to get worse. I am experiencing tingling, burning, warm to touch, tightness, aching in my scapular region. It feels like its underneath the right scapula. I feel like that is causing the aching in the thoracic/lumbar spine regions and the pain is constant unless it is relieved by Ultram or Hydro/acetam. I have tried to function without any pain meds because I am a nursing student, I learn about addiction and know what pain meds can do to peoples lives. I could not physically function, get ready for school, eat breakfast, without a pain med. The pain is so intense that I just cant do anything, it almost tires me out and iI feel short of breath and need to lay down. But then I do not want to get up, and the pain intensifies If I do not take a pill.

I am soo beyond sad and feel worthless now, like such a loser because I need the meds in order to function and I pray everyday that I can be normal again. I am doing well in nursing school but that is only because I am on meds to relieve thepain. if I was not on a pain reliever, I would not be able to get to schooL, I would not be able to do anything.

I have seen a spine surgeon, and begged him for an MRI, but he did not do one focusing on my scapula, only on cervical/thoracic. It showed a buldging disk but the doctor said that is not causing my problem. He said he could not help me further. I went to the same offices PT that they recommended and felt no relief after 10 visits, no progression. With the insurance I have, it prevented me from seeing spinmusculoskel specialists in the area who are highly recommended, however I talked to an old friend and their good ffriend was able to pull some strings and get me into this hhighly recommended spine doctor.

The newest Doc says I am having severe muscle spasms in the right scapular region and that is causing my problem so he is going to do a few trigger point injections and advised me to his PT office and am starting PT in a fewdays, again. The trigger pt procedure is in a few weeks. I know trigger pt injections are temporary and I want to be cured forever, what could I do to never experience this pain again? What do you think is wrong with me? Can anyone help me?


  • Good morning and welcome to the forums!

    Just out of curiousity, did you see an orthopedic spine surgeon or was this a neurosurgeon? Also, the beginnings of my cervical fusion surgeries were rooted to what I thought was a problem with my right shoulder. I was barely able to lift my right arm above shoulder height and couldn't fully extend my arm out-ward. Those issues ended up resulting in a fusion of my C5 thru C7 vertbrae.

    My opinion: Go ahead and see if this new doctor and the trigger-point injections help your shoulder. If they don't, I would consider a neurosurgeon and possibly do a another MRI and perhaps include the thoracic spine with it. Something isn't right......I would also be sure to write down each symptom so you're perfectly prepared.

    Have you considered possible legal action against this chiropractor? They're not supposed to injure you........

    Good luck and please keep us posted! :-)

  • My cervical problems began with extreme muscle spasms in the middle to left of my upper back. It was a sign that the muscles were working overtime compensating for the fact that three of my cervical discs were gone. It was obvious even on the x-ray, which is usually not the case, but an MRI showed things to be worse than even the x-ray showed. When I went to my surgeon, he said it wasn't a matter of IF I had surgery, but WHEN. But, let me say that seeing a surgeon doesn't necessarily mean surgery - they'll try everything they can before surgery, a last resort.

    I would try some muscle relaxants and see a board-certified, fellowship-trained spine surgeon, one who only works on spines. I prefer an ortho, but that's because mine is one. Others really like their neuros.

    I hope your upcoming treatment helps. Traction might also help and that may be available at your PT. Was your MRI on your cervical spine? I can guarantee you that you can take your MRI images to three different surgeons and get three different opinions. So getting another opinion might be a good choice.

    Good luck. Referred pain is very confusing. Keep us posted, ok?
  • Hello,

    I appreciate someone hearing me for once.. sorry the post was so long! I cannot sue the chiropractor since he was my boss and in NY state, I guess you ccan't sue your boss.. you have to sue workers comp and to be honest, my back affects every ounce of energy I have and it didn't seem worth it. Llike I feel as if nothing would happen and I would waste my breath. The first doctor I saw was a spine specialist, surgeon and he said he cant help me any ffurther because he did not know where to even start surgery.. said I did not need it. However, he never gave me the time of day to really help me figure out what is wrong. So Doc #2 gave me a few more options like recently stated but he said he would not keep me on pain meds for awhile and would ween me off after a bit. I understand that I'm young but if I am in pain THIS BAD why are doctors like this? If the pain subsides I would freak, I would be the happiest person on the earth. I don't want pain meds to function.. why is it BC I'm so young that doctors say and do this? If the pain NEVER goes away am I going to have to live in pain and never go anywhere, never do anything? I have a friend with back pain and she is on meds too, however she does not need them to wake up and move about, just when the pain gets worse. She nags me and says ohh common get up, deal with it. You have school and responsibilities etc. Which is TRUE however, how can I WHEN I CANT EVEN MOVE? I cannot tell you how many times a day I cry or pray for recovery, to workout again and run, to laugh and never be sad or depressed, to never have to take a pain med to function.
    Lastly, I have to tell you this. I have a primary doctor whom I have never really cared for so I would see would see the np. Anyway, the np knows about my back as I need to keep primary doc updated and she rrequested I see the actual primary doctor as he knows more etc etc. I go and see this guy and cry because the situation is emotional and his response was that I needed to see a psychiatrist as I may have a bipolar disorder. When I was 15 years old i was hospitalized for depression bc a bf had broken up with me and that is the last appointment i have had with this man. Now 12 years later.. this. I looked at him stunned.. wondering if he saw my mri, heard what I had to say.. I'm what? Bipolar? this is exactly why i do not like doctors and think they do not listen.

    Thank you all for the kind posts and I am glad I have others that understand.

  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 05/05/2013 - 6:09 PM
    who is giving you pain medications? if the pain is truly muscular, a much better option would be to try you on muscle relaxers instead of pain medications. Since you don't know the cause of the pain, you really do need to find out what the cause of it is, and then treat that condition rather than masking the pain with hydrocodone indefinately.
    It may be muscular in nature, and it may take some time to repair itself but there are tests that can be done to determine what the cause of the pain is, and what the best way to treat it is. if it is a pinched nerve, a nerve pain medication may be a better option to consider. heat and ice are good ideas, alternating them , with 15-20 minutes on and then off for an hour or so.
    phyiscal therapy can take some time to strengthen the muscles, and it could be a simple muscle pull or something else. it would be a bit unusual for a problem in the scapula to be causing pain in the lumbar area though. you may be 'guarding" which may be contributing to the problem. hot showers can help to ease muscle pain and over the counter pain medications, heat patches, and creams (topicals) may also be of some benefit.
    try to find a physical medicine and rehab doctor or physiatrist who might be better able to help you determine what the problem is and give you direction to see how best to handle it.
    Good luck,
  • karenikkareni Posts: 58
    edited 05/05/2013 - 6:57 PM
    Physical therapy didn't do much for me either. I started with a orthopedic surgeon, then a neurosurgeon that gave me my diagnosis of spondylolisthesis but didn't do much for it (he sent me to pain management and a pain psychologist). So I went to a second neurosurgeon that did my fusion. You definately have to be persistent like Shandra says. You are your best advocate and it may take time but you must go with the dr you feel confident that will give you the best care. I hope you find one that will take care of you, good luck!
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