Hello all. My name is Seth. I'm a 28 year old male and going on nearly a year of moderate to severe, chronic back pain. I created an account here at spine-health a couple of weeks ago, but I've just mustered up confidence to put myself out there in the hopes of finding an answer.
My pain story starts 11 to 12 months ago. I began noticing a pleural rub about once a week for 20-30 minutes at a time. As the weeks passed, the rubbing continued to increase in amount (both frequency and duration). Finally, I had enough of the rubbing that was more annoying than painful. A few months later I was diagnosed with Pleurisy. After months of treatment with NSAIDS, steroids, bronchodilators, etc., I finally had it under control. That's when the real pain began...
Almost immediately after the pleuritic symptoms subsided, I began experiencing pain in my thoracic spine area. This pain has been with me since. The pain has many personalities, which has caused a problem for me in explaining what I'm feeling. At times it feels as if there is a knife stuck right in my thoracic spine. Other times, if feels like a softball is stuck at the same location, often causing pain to radiate up the the base of the skull (and for some reason, inducing anxiety). Sometimes it feels as though it is an open wound and bleeding, and often is itchy. I tend to have this cycle of pain, pleural rub (thoracic pain subsided) for a day, a couple of hours being pain free, then moderate to severe thoracic back pain for about a month and a half. The pain only goes away when the pleuritic symptoms pop up. All this on top of tingly feet and hands.
No diagnosis as of yet, but not for a lack of trying: chest and spine rads, MRIs (brain, cervical and thoracic spine), NCS/EMG, CT scan, and an unholy amount of lab work. I've had so many diagnostics that the Mayo Clinic denied my physician's referral, saying they couldn't do anything more than what has already been done. I've tried it all: Neurology, Pain Management, Physical Therapy, Physical medicine, Sports medicine, Chiropractors, Acupuncture, Osteopathic Manipulation, and of course, a slew of medications. Nothing to indicate what is causing this pain, and no relief.
I'm reaching the end of my rope with this pain, and I'm afraid my physician is at a stand still. Any input would be considered and appreciated. I found it very cathartic to write that out, so I apologize for the length and wordiness. I want to be a contributing member to the spine-health forums, so please feel free to correct any of my forum faux-pas.