I am a 25 year old female. I am 5'4" and am 139 lbs. I have had chronic thoracic back pain after a car accident in December 2009. I was in the back seat, with no seat belt and the driver was in a rental car with no insurance. At the time, I did contract work and could not pay for any treatment - nor did I realize immediately something was wrong. A few months later, I realized I was having increasingly bad pain in my upper to mid back, eventually it was so bad one morning that I had to go to the emergency room. I was given an x-ray, which showed nothing and then dismissed as having a "sprain". I asked if they could do more, but they refused, wrote me a prescription for pain medication and told me to rest. I was told my injury would heal in time.
It did not.
Out of pocket, I got physical therapy through a practitioner recommended by the hospital - I could barely move, the therapist said that the measurement she had done and my range of motion were some of the worst she'd seen. Months before I was flexible, and agile having been athletic all my life. She expressed concern because of the placement of my injury, however, at this time I just wanted to get back to work - I figured, "Why bother with an MRI? I'd spend all my money on the imaging and not be able to afford the care." I figured this was the best option. And it helped, assuredly with my movement but the pain was still there.
Now, my daily life is: Wake up, horrible side pain - it feels like my kidneys are failing me. For a while I was certain I had some sort of renal issue but this was ruled out via blood and urine tests. This is combined with a dull (but very painful - if that makes sense) pain that feels as though it encompasses the whole of my upper back and over all "heaviness" especially in my legs, some times accompanied by a slight lack of coordination for the first 15-20 minutes after waking.
Driving to work: I absolutely cannot get comfortable in the seat, and have tried a number of pillows and supports, I experience radiating pain stemming from the T7 site, ranging from a nagging dull ache, to a sharp pain as though a nail is suddenly hammered into my spine. I experience similar pain from spasms ranging from around the T7 site to my neck and shoulders. For whatever reason, these often occur on the left side of my body. After a drive, I feel similar to how I feel when I wake up and must decompress by standing/walking for some time before this resolves itself. Similarly, sitting causes me severe discomfort. I am often sitting, my hours can range from 9-13 hours a day and I drive two hours to work, so you can see why this is particularly unfortunate. Other symptoms can include, what seems to be lack of coordination with my hands - nothing severe, but when this happens I notice I will drop things or make the same typo over and over again. Also very rarely I will have trouble breathing and feel like I am experiencing severe chest pain when I breathe. Strangely enough, I occasionally experience pain starting at my knees, and it feels like the bone itself aches if that makes sense.
Luckily: I am no longer under contract, and will be receiving the benefits of health insurance. I am excited to share the results of this with you here as a follow-up. Still, as that is a bit off, I was just wondering if anyone had experienced these type of symptoms and what type of treatment helped you. My GP has prescribed me painkillers on and off, but I do not like to take them because of the side effects. (extreme nausea and constipation to start, I cannot take this type of medication while working which is when I experience some of the worst pain, and I do not want to be physically dependent.) I also take prescription strength NSAIDS, and a drug to treat spasicity. (my back, neck, and shoulders feel like a brick wall, and massages have to be done so hard it leaves me with bruises) Unfortunately, I am left with little choice when the pain interrupts my ability to sleep. (was getting so little sleep I was falling asleep at the wheel) I have been told by other sufferers that I will likely be repeating this vicious cycle for the rest of my life, but I'd like to believe that is not true.
Any words of wisdom, support, or guidance would be appreciated.