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Unexplained upper back pain for 1 year.


My Name is Nathan and I am 28 years old. I am 6'8" (which is all fun and games until you get past 25 apparently) and I figure I should tell my long story. I couldn't find anything to match what's going on with me as so much is going on at the same time.
SO here we go with the history.

spring of 2013 I had a fluke injury where I bent down to pick up a hammer on the ground and the muscle that rides under my right shoulder blade had tweaked an abnormal way and had muscle pain there radiating to my right side under my arm. I rested for about a week and the pain was gone. A couple weeks following my right shoulder blade always snaps and grinds whenever the shoulder has to move forward or goes back to its resting position. The snapping and grinding feels like its coming from the upper corner of the scapula closest to the spine. I consulted my doctor in June where she examined me and started me on physiotherapy as it seemed to be nothing major. (During this time I was also going through for orthotics for my feet and physio as well being diagnosed with major osteoarthritis in my right ankle. This has gotten worse over 5 years that may have affected my posture as I still can't bear my full weight on my right foot as I can my left causing the muscles to be weaker but that's work in progress or hoping it is.)

Anyways, the physiotherapist has me doing regular upper back & next stretches/exercise for my posture since I live in a smaller persons world. Starting in the Fall of 2013 I started getting continuous pain in the upper spine. It was a constant dull pain that felt like someone was putting pressure on my spine right underneath my neck. The pain began as dull and just noticeable. As time went on, I updated my doctor and physiotherapist. with this information which just made more visits to physio and a bone scan in November. By the beginning of December the pain was getting more intense and deep breathing/coughing/sneezing would make the same region flare up and radiate pain to my elbows and chest. When I do my posture excercises now, I constantly get two cracks in my neck and upper spine. Sometimes they are just cracks and other times they cause pain like I described before but worse. My doctor scheduled an MRI for me which I just had this past Thursday and I get the results April 3rd. I had been on 2 tablets of 325mg percocets, celobrex, and muscle relaxants starting January. Now I'm at the point of taking 4 a day at work and even 2 a day on weekends at home where I used to never take any at home as I just stuck with marijuana to control my pain to avoid narcotics. Now since the night following my MRI, the cracks are more common, the pain is ALWAYS there and is just dulled even after 2 percocets and a muscle relaxant. I can't get more than 4 hours of sleep and my back wakes me. It's probably my own fault still working in the warehouse but the way this world is run, you have no choice because no one is going to pay your bills for you, so you do what you must. But now I'm lost for words and this solid year of not knowing has left me in tears many days and I hate the fact that to function at work and in my normal life I'm stuck on these stupid meds to make pain go away. If anything, I guess I came on here to poor my heart out because nobody in my life understands what I'm going through. To have arthritis already, and now this....I thank anyone who reads this and has any insight.



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • HI welcome,
    my hubby who also has the same symptoms and is actually going to see a pain clinic to see a pain doctor next week to try to get some relief for his back pain which is like a stabbing pain EVERDAY ALL DAY he also takes everything from NORCO to PERCOCETs but that doesnt even help him. so what did your MRI show?? the results?? are you going to see a pain specialist?? My hubby wanted to say that you are not alone as he is dealing with this as well and hopes that you get some relief as you definaltly cannot live in pain everyday. its not a good thing and can make some people get really depressed I had to push my hubby into getting things done as in the beginning he would just complain and I got tired of hearing of it ! as he would just sit here every day and complain and take it out on me and I just said ENOUGH!! do something about it !! call your docs see who ever you can stop masking the issue with pain meds that doesnt seem to work !!! now he realizes I am serious LOL I hope you get the relief you need and please keep us posted good luck to you ,
    Rob and Stacy :)
    ACDF One level C- 4 April 2014
    Cervical Spondylosis \ Myelopathy
    Chronic pain sufferer since 2005
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