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Pain for over a year in trapezius muscle

Hi there, this is my first post. I'm hoping to find anyone who might have some insight or who can relate to my issue. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.

Over a year ago, I went on a backpacking trip overseas for a total of 3 months. With this being my first backpacking trip, I was extremely naive when it came to packing my bag. I over packed significantly.... the backpack was way too heavy for my body size and weight. I'm only 5'3" and weight 110 lbs.

Any way, about three weeks into my trip, my upper back/shoulders/neck hurt so bad and were so stiff from the weight of the bag. I think the combination of the weight, the ergonomics and me not knowing how to properly lift my bag all contributed to my injury. At that point I did what I could the rest of the trip to not carry my bag around, although the pain just got progressively worse. I did see different doctors about a month into my trip and had an x-ray. The x-ray was fine and I was diagnosed with a bad strain.

Instead of cutting my trip short and coming home to get treated and to rest (like a smart person would have done), I made the wrong decision of sticking out my trip, even though I was in so much pain. As soon as I finally returned home last September I saw several doctors, including my primary care doctor, Osteopath and Physical Therapist. None of them wanted to give me an MRI, even though my insurance covers it. At most I had another x-ray, which the doctors said "looked pretty normal, with the exception of my neck not having a curve to it, although it was most likely that way before the injury." Hmmm...

I have done physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, and even 3 sessions of Prolozone therapy. It's been over a year and although I'm not as bad as I was last summer, I am still extremely stiff, weak and it hurts for example when I cough, sneeze, laugh, sit, lean forward. My upper back and is constantly cracking, and when I turn my head to the left, my neck makes a crunching noise. It's also more difficult to breathe, due to all the tightness. The only thing I found that gives me some mild and temporary relief is taking a hot shower.

I'm a 27 year old female who is and has always been very health conscious. So I'm not understanding why this is taking SO long to heal and get better.

Any thoughts? I can't seem to get any clear answers from any of the doctors I've seen.

If you've read all this, I really can't thank you enough for taking your time to do so :)



  • I'm so sorry that you're still suffering. If it were me, after all this time, I'd be wanting an MRI. No-one can be certain of what's going on in there from just an X-ray. I always think its better to be safe than sorry.
    I use a prescription ketamine cream that contains muscle relaxers & nerve meds. It's really helped me. Maybe you need to get a little more demanding with your care at this point. I wish you luck! ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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