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17 years old suffering from pain for over a year. please help.

IzeedeeIIzeedee Posts: 3
edited 01/11/2014 - 5:09 PM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I'm 17 years old and I have been suffering with horrible back pain since November of 2012. Iv'e tried physical therapy, two chiropractors, I've seen an orthopedic surgeon, I've had a clean x-ray, and a normal MRI. My parents are really busy and don't really know what else to do so they've stopped trying. Originally the pain was in my neck and upper-back but now it feels as if it's on my whole spine and less in my neck. The orthopedic surgeon said it's probably a muscle issue. I am very strict about icing and ibuprofen but it doesn't really help. Sitting worsens it so I only go to school for two periods now and the rest of my work I do at home. I sleep with a body pillow on my side or on my back. My ribs are often sore especially when I wake up but other than that it's strictly along my spine. I'm sore all the time and If I don't relieve it by laying flat on the ground or upside down, it becomes more of a stabbing pain. When I lie on the ground or on a foam roller the pain is so immense and it takes my breath away but it feels a bit better afterwards for a few minutes. I've started dreading waking up because when I'm unconscious I don't have to fell it unless it wakes me up which it often does a few times a night. It's really making me depressed and question weather living is worth the pain.I don't know how much longer I can live like this. I'm really scared I'm going to live with this forever and I don't know what else to do. Please help me.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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  • mickkrmmickkr Posts: 166
    edited 01/11/2014 - 10:21 PM
    No one here has the knowledge or authority to contradict the diagnosis of the orthopedic surgeon and it may well be correct. If your parents accept the diagnosis then, for all intents and purposes, that is that and there is not much you can do about it at the present time.

    What I would suggest however is that you keep a diary of your pains - when they occur, what you were doing at the time or just prior to experiencing the pain, where the pain is and the level of pain etc.- and that you present your "pain diary" to your doctor at your next appointment.

    Don't suffer in silence. If your pain continues, especially if it gets worse, make sure your parents know about it and if you are offered "explanations" like "muscle trouble", ask questions such as "what particular muscles are causing the pain and why?. What is the condition called and how will it resolve? What do I need to do to minimize the pain?".

    If it is more bother to fob you off then you are more likely to receive a proper diagnosis.

    Be persistent without being petulant!

    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
  • I was misdiagnosed for 8 years with a thoracic spine injury. I spent around $30,000 to try and get a diagnosis, went to every conceivable doctor both eastern and western, had multiple prone MRI's and bone scans and every other possible test and I know the agony of thoracic pain. The only thing that showed up on the prone MRI was my very badly damaged T5. It was actually the one above causing all the incessant pain as it was slipping out, and I think they would have realised this on a weight bearing MRI. I cannot give you any promises - but if nothing is showing up on a prone MRI it might be worth a try. At the very least it could rule out some other things.

    Heat packs worked for me as well.

    It is good to keep a pain diary - I did one every 30 minutes for a week. One side -time - activity - then pain level from 1 - 10. You can just rule up an exercise book.

    I believe weight bearing MRI's make more sense as your body will be filmed in a weight bearing position, rather than a lying down position where your body can go back into a more normal position. If You PM me I will give you the link to the studies. I cannot give you the link because of the forum rules. You might show your parents and I think the cost is about the same as a prone MRI. If you are in the US there are a lot of places that have these MRI's.

    The person who eventually diagnosed my problem was a physiotherapist who felt my spine and realised there was only 20% of bone on my right side and nothing to hold the one above in. . Normally thoracic injuries are to the front. I know you have tried chiropractors but normally physiotherapists are more gentle. Ask them to feel you spine. Also have a look at a dematone chart and you can see where your pain is radiating and which part of your spine is effected. I have given you a link to a manual on this site that helped me a lot. It is worth reading.


    It could be thoracic pain if it helps to lie down and if sitting makes it worse. If you would like the link to the research please PM me. Thoracic spine is where all your vital organs are as well so it may not be spine pain it could be referred pain from any other vital organs. It is important to try and get a correct diagnosis as soon as possible.

    I don't know what the laws are in the US but in Australia you normally need your parents consent. Please try talking to them again if the pain is that bad. Tell them how you feel. No-one else can feel anyone else's pain so they may have no idea how bad the pain is. My family still do not understand it properly and I am an adult. If you go to a Doctor take someone with you, like one of your parents to verify your pain. I know they are busy, but they will care about you. I also take what I have written on this board with me. maybe if you showed your parents your post they would understand it better. i am happy for you to show them my post. For a while I thought it must be in my head as no one could diagnose me, but I knew it wasn't. It is difficult and upsetting to be in pain and not know why. Don't give in. Now I am diagnosed I have pain free days, I thought I would be in this much pain forever as well. PM me and I will give you the link. Try talking to your parents again and show them what you have written.
  • I was thinking the same thing. Muscle damage usually heals itself in a couple of months at the most. If it's been this long think it must be something else happening.
  • Thank you for your posts. Just to know someone read my post makes me feel like I'm not entirely on my own with this. I'm not overweight, 5-6 120 lbs. I do gentle swimming and pilates a few times a week to stretch and build up my core. My pediatrician told me to do this about a year ago. I changed my diet 9 months ago to have less carbs so I can reduce inflammation. I was a healthy 17 year old girl before this. I don't doubt my doctors but none of them take me very seriously. I met the orthopedic surgeon for about 3 minutes and then he had me do an MRI and an X-ray a few weeks later. He didn't call back for about 3 weeks after I got them done so I emailed him and he said "Your MRI looked fine. It's most likely a muscle issue." He never said what muscle, I think he's just assuming because the scans are clean. He never responded back to my email asking what I should do about it. I've done 2 rounds of physical therapy. I feel like my normal doctor is annoyed with me because I had to push him to refer me to an orthopedic surgeon and now that the orthopedic surgeon says nothings wrong, my other doctor will just be like "see I told you so". Other things: I have hyper-elastic joints that can dislocate very easily, has anyone ever heard of this causing back pain? I don't have any pain in my joints I'm just very flexible. I talk to my parents a lot about it but they don't know what to do so they dismiss it as stress and tell me to take some ibuprofen. Does anyone have any advice of how I can get my parents and my doctors to take me seriously? Or just what I should do next?
  • You need to show your posts to your Doctors and parents. A study show that the people least believed by Doctors are children. Although you are not a child I think it would be the same for young people and girls. They sometimes tell you it's in your head. The only way I think you will get them to believe you is print out posts from this site and show them. Hope it works and have a look at weight bearing MRI's. I have PMed you the research. Make up ur own mind.
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